Ron Jacobs in Counterpunch:
Racism in the United States is white people’s problem. Unfortunately, it’s everybody but white people who suffer most of its consequences. It was white folks who created and benefit from the structure of white supremacy and have a vested interest in keeping it going. Until enough of them either decide to destroy the racist structure that perpetrates so much injustice or until the supporters and maintainers of that system are made to feel the wrath of those white people no longer interested in maintaining it, racism will exist. Given that the US economic system would not be what it is today without the institution of slavery, it seems reasonable to state that the elimination of white supremacy is not possible within the capitalist system. Accepting this argument means that anything short of ending the current economic setup in the United States is but a step along the way to a world where racism does not exist.
Racism is composed of more than the Klan, the Nazis and other white supremacists holding rallies and hosting websites. It is also more than electing a clearly racist individual to Congress or the White House or appointing one as head of the Justice Department. Racism is also ignoring the elections of such individuals or rationalizing them as the being the way democracy works. Racism is more than supporting segregated schools or sending your child to a private school designed to keep non-white children out. It is also the act of accepting such arrangements. Racism is not only maintaining a system where most young high school students of color essentially rule out going to college, it’s also not having a problem with that system and justifying it by saying those students can join the military first. Racism is not only defending statues (and other memorials) of slavers and men who fought to preserve slavery, it is accepting those statues as part of a mutual history that deserves to be honored. The very fact that the potential removal of those statues is causing white supremacists to come out in droves and beat people who are in favor of that removal proves that these are memorials to white supremacy, not merely war heroes.