The reason “everything is racist these days” is because we’re finally having the right conversations

I see so many people whining about how “everything is racist these days” and “people blame white supremacy for everything.”

Yeah. That’s because racism and white supremacy are infused into everything in our country—we’re just starting to acknowledge it.

And by “we,” I mean white folks. The vast majority of people of color in America already know this to be true and have always known it to be true. White Americans, by and large, have been ignorant, oblivious, or in denial about how America’s legacy of white supremacy impacts us.

There’s a reason for this.

We cannot separate our most celebrated history from white supremacy in any sort of honest way. And that’s really uncomfortable.

White supremacy built this country. Our founders wrote racism into the Constitution. Our economy relied on the violent oppression of people of color.

This is our history. The great men—and yes, they were great in many ways—who established our republic were mostly overt or passive white supremacists. Even our beloved Lincoln, who opposed slavery, was a white supremacist who didn’t believe in equal rights for black people.

That sucks. We like the feeling of pride and patriotism that comes with what we were taught in school. We love hearing about the brave souls who fled tyranny and founded a new nation built on freedom and the idea that “all men are created equal.” We like that simple story.

The fact that slavery directly flew in the face of those freedoms, and the fact that they really meant “all white men are created equal,” feels gross. Icky. Yuck. So we ignore it. We downplay our foundation of white supremacy. We say “that was in the past, it doesn’t matter now.”

But practically every socioeconomic disparity between whites and minorities can be traced back to white supremacist policies and practices.

We could talk about the psychological and economic effects of hundreds of years of slavery, and we should. But we don’t even have to go back that far. Modern history offers plenty of examples of white supremacist laws, policies, and practices. This is stuff that happened during my parents’ lifetime.

Both of my parents are still living, and they aren’t even that old.

Segregation, redlining, public housing policies, unjust lending practices, etc. were all based in white supremacy and happened during current Americans’ lifetimes. And they still impact non-white communities today. (Some good reading on that here: (link:…)

And that’s just the big stuff that impacts groups of people. We haven’t even gotten into the individual effects of white supremacy.

When kids of all races look at a poster of U.S. presidents, they see a sea of white faces with one lone face of color. That means something.

Screenshot via Puzzle Warehouse

It means the power in this country has always been held by white men. That’s reality. But it didn’t just happen that way—that power was purposely and systematically maintained by white men and withheld from others. Again, this is simple reality. There’s no disputing this fact.

So, the message we get simply by looking at a poster of our presidents is that white = power. (Also male = power, but that’s another discussion.) It’s a visual representation of historical white supremacy that also reinforces the notion of white supremacy. Weird, right?

People point to our one non-white president as evidence that racism is over, but what his lone face did was bring the racism that white folks imagined had disappeared after the Civil Rights Movement back into the light. It forced us to look at it. It forced us to talk about it.

The constant racist attacks on that president should have made it obvious that racism wasn’t dead. The rise in blatant white supremacist activity as a reaction to his election should have been a clue that we’re not past it.

Racism lives, not because we talk about it too much, but because we still haven’t talked about it enough.

White folks largely don’t like to look at or talk about how much white supremacy has impacted us because it means that we have a role and responsibility in dismantling it. It’s far easier to pretend it doesn’t exist.

It’s far easier to say, “That’s just white guilt,” or “I don’t see color” or “The law says we’re all equal now,” and ignore the fact that there are people alive who used whites-only drinking fountains.

It’s easier to pretend that Civil Rights laws changed everyone’s hearts, despite the fact that a good portion of the country (and lawmakers) opposed the Civil Rights Act.

The roots of white supremacy are still enmeshed in our society, in our politics, and in our daily lived experiences as Americans. To pretend that isn’t true is dishonest.

So yeah, the reason “everything is racist these days” is because we’re finally having the conversations we always should have had. About how racism manifests in both overt and subtle ways. About how most race-related issues in America actually do go back to white supremacy.

You can rant about everything being about race. You can keep trying to deny that white supremacy is a much more abiding influence on our society than is generally acknowledged.

But these needed conversations are going to keep on coming. Hop on the train or move off the tracks.

 If you enjoyed this post, please pass it along. You can follow Motherhood and More on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 9

  1. Just some evil white guy

    Another white apologist spewing in accurate and divisive nonsense. The history of this country has almost zero impact on the lives of most people TODAY. If we want to reexamine history to expose the racism that existed I am all for it. But to continually tell the white children of today that they are somehow given an upper hand, and therefore responsible for the plight of people of color is flat out wrong. The only privilege that exists in this country is that which is based upon financial status. As a white person who was raised dirt poor I can attest to the fact that I had no opportunities that my black or brown friends didn’t have.

  2. Kris

    just because I am born white, I am a racist? How do I argue with that? I can’t and that is the point. Even though I support, appreciate, and honor all walks of life. Critical Race Theory is only punishing our children who had nothing to do with it and now are being predetermined by there skin color. Isn’t that racist? Pretty sure we have civil rights in this country, we could all do better but how about focusing on poverty, healthcare, living wages, elder care, the disabled? Wouldn’t that help us all? The greed and corruption of our polotic and media are out of hand. Not all white people should be called racist just for being white, ever. That is what got us in this mess in the first place.

  3. SickOfKarens

    Isn’t it fantastic how Karen’s with no degrees, and no knowledge, can espouse nonsense to make themselves feel superior to others. It seems to me that she’s the white supremacist.

    1. Kris

      Oh really and how would you like to be called names? Disagreeing with someone is not racist. Everyone has a voice and should not be punished for an opinion, pretty sure if she would of been white and disgruntled there would of been no issue. She married a prince seems like she is doing pretty well for herself!

  4. Don’t want to loose my job for being honest

    The reason everything is deemed racist anymore is because weak minded individuals are being given a platform to speak (ie social media). The real truth is that we all have the same opportunities in this country. You can go accomplish your dreams OR you can dwell on things that happened generations ago and blame that on your failures. The race of past Presidents doesn’t inhibit your ability to get a student loan and start your lifelong journey of success.

  5. David

    White supremacy built this country. Our founders wrote racism into the Constitution. Our economy relied on the violent oppression of people of color. I don’t believe that you have actually read the Constitution of the United States. Many history scholars believe that slavery would have been wiped out even without the Emancipation Proclamation. What built this nation is actually a hatred of oppressions. However, this is not to say that America has not it’s share of really messed up ideas. The easiest way to stop racism is to stop being racist and stop thinking that any and every disparity is because of racism. All people in the United States need to do is to work hard and stop believing that someone is holding them back. The idea that someone is holding any one back is simply not true or a good way to see the world.
    PS. from the sound of it you don’t like the fact that you are white. However, this type of self-hatred is a form of racism. Please love your self and be the change that you want to see.

Leave a Reply to Kris Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *