So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo

RACE AS WE KNOW IT IN THE US IS CLOSELY INTEGRATED with our economic system. The system of racism functioned primarily as a justification for the barbaric act of chattel slavery and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. You cannot put chains around the necks of other human beings or slaughter them wholesale, while maintaining social rules that prohibit such treatment, without first designating those people as somewhat less than human. And later, the function of racism was somewhat repurposed as a way of dividing lower classes, still with the ultimate goal of the economic and political supremacy of white elites.

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