Ever since Africans were kidnapped from their homeland and brought to America, a social structure was created: white over Black. This hierarchy has been the bases for racism and all of the racist acts that have been carried out in the interactions between the white and Black races in America.
Closer to “emancipation,” beloved former Presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were recorded arguing the inferiority of the Black race and a structure governing how the races would interact with each other.
Jefferson postulated that Blacks are physically and mentally inferior to whites: “I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind” (Notes on the State of Virginia, 1787).
Lincoln recommended that the superior position be assigned to the white race: “There is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race” (Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, IL September 18, 1858).
The fact that the word assigned is used is important because it implies a degree of randomness. Put another way, this definition/ assignment is NOT natural. However, years of drilling this concept into the psyche of former slaves and former slave masters have made the majority of present day whites and Blacks accept this as true. To further compound matters, the propaganda (pamphlets and radio shows, movies and TV shows, etc.) that have been put out with racist material (see video below) have made many forget the historical truth that Europeans were taught (before their age of enlightenment) by Africans. Not knowing the specifics of this fact or dismissing the truth in the details in this piece of history will cause us to strive to reach another lie, racial equality.