White supremacy is inescapable. It permeates all of our institutions. All of our societal interactions. Every system in our country has been crafted through a lens of white control and privilege.

I have this recurring thought every time I see conversations on race. A question I would like to pose to those who deny the existence and extent of racism in all things American.

When did racism die?

It’s not a rhetorical question, nor a trap. I genuinely wonder when people think race ceased to be an issue.

To all those who claim “not to see race” and bemoan the social justice warriors who somehow make everything about race as if there is no historical context that would explain why that is imperative, I await your response.

Over the past weekend, Ruby Bridges celebrated a birthday. While we may relate thoughts of her story to grainy black and white photos of a little black girl from a different time, I was shocked by the fact that she was only turning 64 years of age.

Let’s put this into perspective. This is a human being who is now viewed as a hero for her courage while being one of the first African-American students ALLOWED to attend school with her white counterparts. This following a supreme court decision FORCING white people to let Black students attend their schools.

Accompanying this time period was an intense hatred for young Bridges’ very being. With regular white mothers, fathers and children snarling, spitting and threatening her existence in their space.

Ruby Bridges is still young.

So again I ask, between then and now, what was the specific point where the hatred, prejudice, and racism that so freely flowed through the veins of white folks and all of American society subsided?

I want a serious answer. To those who unironically dare to use the words “race card” and can’t seem to wrap their minds around why people “make everything about race”.

When did White supremacy end? Surely they can’t deny that it once existed. As much as I suspect that they avoid thinking about the fact that it did. That America was founded on the evils committed on both those indigenous to this land and to those forcibly brought here in shackles.

Realize that your (not so distant) family members viewed non-whites as literally less-than-human and tell me how that wouldn’t lead to continued prejudice and hatred in the time to come. To deny that there would be a legacy of racist attitudes and power structures in play is another level of intellect dishonesty.

When Tucker Carlson preys on his viewers fears of non-whiteness and decries the importance people place on diversity, we’re not allowed to call it straight up racist?

When Serena Williams has one of the biggest matches of her life disrupted by bizarre calls and umpiring, is it surprising that we know there’s a good chance she was treated differently because she’s an outspoken, powerful, Black woman?

Regardless of your thoughts on the match, at least we can all agree that there’s no place for explicitly racist cartoons like this, right?

What’s that, people won’t admit that it’s clearly a racist caricature?


Josh Stewart considers himself a global citizen first and foremost and is passionate about cultural exchange. He has a B.s. in Political Science and Hispanic Studies from St. John's University in Minnesota and experience as both an ESL and social studies teacher in Korea and the Philippines. He currently works a digital content Manager for Citizen Education and Education Post and enjoys both traditional and creative methods crafting messages around the desperate need to improve our education system and provide quality options to the most marginalized students and families.



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