Racism is a learned condition. Not inevitable, but because it serves the interests of the 1% to keep the rest of us subordinate, universally promoted by the media and the political henchmen who serve the 1%, with perqs permitted a relatively very few. Racism is irrational. It’s of no benefit to economic or material progress, only good for dividing people and thereby securing the position of the most powerful.
If more people were taught to think rationally — or in these times, to think at all — the irrationality of racism would become apparent, even a joking matter, and so would the greater inequality that harms most Americans (and for that matter, people overseas, too). But such teaching, for it to take place in a public school, becomes subject to political decisionmaking and always is vetoed by the 1%’s political hacks.
So we remain prone to falsehoods and calumny that defeat the 99% having a common identity. Our ability to join together and press for common benefits, and a society able to guarantee them, is diminished. We carp at one another on superficial grounds, including racism, and remain oppressed, most of us, missing the point.
I recommend this article as a case in point: “The Coded Language of the Alt-Right is Helping to Power Its Rise,” Washington Post, April 7, 2017, citing the excellent work of linguist George Lakoff. Language has two aspects, as a collaborative device and as a weapon, respectively deployed among friends and enemies.