A Concise History of Black-White Relations In The USA

This is another picture I came across on Facebook. It stirred a lot of interest and had tons of likes and comments. I couldn’t read through all the comments but their was a clear debate about how accurate this cartoon is at representing the history of race/racism in this country. Based on what I did read I found that part of what is at stake with buying into this version of American history is the sense of self accomplishment that many people carry. By saying that a person has what they have because of the exploitation of another group makes them feel like they didn’t actually work for it. It comes into conflict with their experience, especially in the case of poor white people, because they toil in poorly paid positions with little progress, similarly to many minority groups. How can you ask someone to identify with the role of oppressor when they themselves are oppressed?

Also this cartoon is clearly an oversimplification but I think it brings to the surface perceptions that are a big part of the racial debate and tensions in this country.


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