How Race Relations Got Worse

How did we end up in a place where a Fox News host is defending slavery?


Black Lives Matter
Sam Simmonds/Polaris/Newscom

The election of Barack Obama was a unique moment in the long and complicated history of race relations in America. A huge symbolic barrier had collapsed. Never before was there so much optimism about escaping the grim clutches of the past. We had made a new start that would lead to new heights.

Hope was infectious. Most whites voted against Obama, but on the eve of his inauguration, 55 percent of whites, as well as 75 percent of blacks, thought his presidency would improve race relations. The profound symbolism of a black man in the nation's highest office could hardly be overstated.

"Even in polls taken earlier this year, a majority of African-Americans said that a solution to the country's racial problems would never be found," CNN reported shortly after the election. "Now blacks and whites agree that racial tensions may end." One African-American told CNN, "I've seen this country vindicate itself."

When urban crime declined significantly in Obama's first term, some experts attributed it to the psychological impact of his election. Urban blacks had a new confidence, wrote Ohio State University historian Randolph Roth, and "their greater trust in the political process and their positive feelings about the new president led to lower rates of urban violence."

That was then. This is now: Fox News star Bill O'Reilly, whose show has had the highest ratings in cable news for over a decade, responded to Michelle Obama's speech noting that the White House was built with slave labor by saying those slaves were "well-fed and had decent lodgings." When that comment drew criticism, O'Reilly accused critics of "lies and deception and propaganda."

There were two things of note there: that a mainstream white commentator would suggest things weren't so bad for 18th-century slaves and that when he was upbraided for that suggestion, he would claim mistreatment. But the uproar was a vivid reminder that whites and blacks, as groups, still have incompatible perceptions.

When some whites hear of "well-fed slaves," they heed the adjective. Blacks hear only the noun. When some whites hear references to slavery, they take it as an aggressive personal affront, not a simple recognition of history.

The racial climate, which looked so promising in 2008, has deteriorated. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found 69 percent of Americans describing race relations as bad—three times the figure in 2009. Three-quarters of blacks have a positive view of the Black Lives Matter movement, but only one-third of whites do.

Having an African-American in the White House made race an inescapable part of discussions that once could skate over it. Obama's position also has threatened the security of whites who tend to regard blacks negatively. To have the nation led by one of "them" rather than one of "us" has been deeply unsettling.

When a black president laments racial injustice, it carries a sting that such comments lacked when delivered by a white one. When Obama expressed sorrow over the killing of Trayvon Martin, a Fox News contributor said he was inciting racial violence.

Any show of black dissatisfaction with the status quo evinces fury among some people of European descent. The Democratic convention segment featuring Mothers of the Movement—black women who have lost children to gun violence or in encounters with police—provoked the conservative National Review to denounce the Democrats as "anti-white," even though their national ticket features two whites.

Such sentiments existed before Obama arrived, and they can be inflamed by events unconnected to him—such as black protests and riots after the killings of Michael Brown and other unarmed African-Americans.

Even Obama's departure may not soothe this white group. The nation's shift away from a white majority is not going to stop when the next president takes office. Black Lives Matter will not fold its tent. The disturbing videos that appear when police kill or brutalize African-Americans will keep coming as long as the incidents occur.

If Hillary Clinton becomes president, it's possible that white anxiety will subside. But the impatience of blacks, deprived of the solace of Obama, may only grow. If Donald Trump becomes president, he will sow triumphalism among resentful whites and a sense of betrayal among blacks. The repercussions are incalculable.

Maybe one day we'll escape the clutches of our racial past. But the day that seemed close at hand eight years ago looks impossibly distant today.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Check Out All of Reason TV's Video Coverage of the Democratic National Convention!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. BLM is not an anti-white group. It’s an anti-law-enforcement group, and it is a generational struggle within the black community (much of which is dependent on law enforcement industries). Whites need not feel threatened by it. Overall it will reduce crime and violence, which will benefit everyone and improve relations. Both Hillary and Trump will exacerbate race relations. Hillary will do it by too-generous social services that foster resentments, whereas Trump will exaggerate crime and violence to incite the masses.

    1. They come off as an anti-white group when their main complaint is that six of every ten victims of police brutality aren’t white in accordance with national demographics.

      1. And they pretend that police shootings are skewed toward black victims when actual statistics show no bias.

    2. So the idea is that of Baltimore’s mayor when rioters take to the streets; just stand back and let they do what they are going to do. Kinda risky don’t you think? You could end up like the infamous Walgreen’s

    3. Not an anti white group? Is that why they segregate journalists by race at their events?

      Maybe you and Chapman should consider that the reason so many white people are upset isn’t because they’re closet klansmen but because equality has been redefined to include ‘corrective’ discrimination against white people.

    4. Sorry, I don’t give a shit until there’s massive rioting in L.A. because until then shit isn’t as bad as it was in 1992.

    5. Overall it will reduce crime and violence, which will benefit everyone and improve relations.

      LOL! Oh, wait…you were serious?

  2. “Obama’s position also has threatened the security of whites who tend to regard blacks negatively. To have the nation led by one of “them” rather than one of “us” has been deeply unsettling. ”


    So the deepening racial divide is the result of “fearful whites”, and not the dozens of racially divisive statements made by Obama over the last 8 years?

    Go fuck yourself.

    1. Hey, the best thing about Obama’s presidency has been all the racial healing.

    2. It gets old to see the person who is literally the most powerful person in the entire world consistently referred to as a victim because some of the people who he rules over say mean things about him.

      1. He’s not actually the most powerful person in the world because he doesn’t know how not to be walked all over by his advisors and foreign leaders. He’s a doormat with theoretical power who doesn’t know how to project it.

        1. Most powerful puppet?

    3. Such people do exist. I don’t think it’s wrong to say that such reactions to having a black president have something to do with increasing racial tensions (if that’s what’s happening). I don’t think it’s a big part of it, but it does exist.

      1. They do. But I think part of the problem is that Obama is seen, and sees himself, as being a “black President” in the first place. If he called himself “mixed race” (like Tiger Woods, for example) he might have done better at healing racial divides. His mother was white, after all.

      2. So too do some black people exist who resent white people in authority even when they do everything in their power to try to help them. Should we decree though that this resentment is the defining cause of black people’s attitudes?

      3. Such people do exist.

        A statement that means precisely dick in a nation of ~330 million people.

    4. Yes, this is the official history the leftard scum like Chapman and Dalmia will try to make permanent: Block Yomomma’s total dismal failure of a presidency was because of all the racist bitter clingers, having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with his policies, attitude, or governing philosophy and style.

  3. The ideas in Reason articles are sounding more and more like left-wing college professors.

    1. Look at the author. This isn’t a new thing for him.

    2. Even the most cosmo commentarians have to wonder why Reason publishes this leftist weasel.

    3. It’s Chapman. ‘Nuff said.

  4. Did I mistakenly stumble onto Salon.com? What the hell is this?

    It’s telling that the two people you mentioned, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, actually *deserved* to be shot. That, in a nutshell, is precisely why race relations are worse; Obama routinely inserts himself into any incident involving a black victim, well before all the facts are known, and incites tribalism by instantly calling it calculated racism.

    Remember “the cops acted stupidly”? That was just six months into Obama’s term. He had no idea what actually transpired but was in front of a microphone within hours inflaming racial tensions. Same deal with Trayvon; “this could have been my son” implied he was just some random innocent who died simply because he was black, never acknowledging that the shooting was entirely justified.

    Michael Brown was even worse. He basically deputized Holder to bring in a travelling roadshow of racial arsonists to incite riots. Then it turns out Brown robbed a store and literally tried to kill a cop. And Obama did nothing to deescalate the tensions.

    BLM, and its underlying fallacy that blacks are under siege by white cops, is a lot like the “Women earn 77 cents on the dollar” and/or “War on Women” nonsense. They are lies designed to rouse a voting bloc into pulling the D lever at the next election. It’s not in Obama’s interest for race relations to actually get better.

    So fuck your “…threatened the security of whites who tend to regard blacks negatively”.

    1. Did I mistakenly stumble onto Salon.com? What the hell is this?

      Forget it Jake, it’s Chapmantown.

    2. Chapman has been in the bag for Obama for years. I guess he has to because he writes for the Chicago Tribune.

    3. Amen. I’ll also add that whites paid in blood and treasure to end slavery. I think we are the only country to forcibly stop the practice. The English passed a low to end slavery except they really just exported slavery to their colonies.

      1. The English expended a lot of effort to end the African slave trade into the Middle East in the 19th Century. The Spanish and French never wanted to end it – they just lost their colonies to wars and revolutions.

        1. They also promoted it in America and the Caribbean via economic policy.

      2. The Civil War wasn’t fought to end slavery. It was fought to end the right of states to secede.

        End of the Civil War: May 9, 1865

        Ratification of the 13th Amendment: Dec. 6, 1865

        Of the 34 U.S. states in 1861, 19 were free states and 15 were slave states. Four slave states never declared a secession: Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri. Four others did not declare secession until after the Battle of Fort Sumter: Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia?after this, they were less frequently called “border states”. Also included as a border state during the war is West Virginia, which broke away from Virginia and became a new state in the Union in 1863.

        If the Civil War was based on the sole premise that slavery must be abolished, then why didn’t the Union push something like the 13th Amendment through after some of the Southern states seceded, since they then had the votes to make it happen?

        1. Who is claiming that the Civil War was based on the sole premise that slavery must be abolished?

          One side fought to preserve slavery. The other fought to prevent states from seceding.

          1. Sure, I’ll never argue, as some do that slavery wasn’t the main issue or at least the issue that tilted the South into secession.

            However, the North systematically plundered the South for taxes a number of years, using their superior population numbers to pay for things for themselves with money from the South.

            Slavery was the final straw, no doubt, but I think it is a disservice to the truth that the war was about slavery only.

            1. However, the North systematically plundered the South for taxes a number of years, using their superior population numbers to pay for things for themselves with money from the South.

              The South only have 3/5 of the population of the North.

            2. How could “slavery have been the final straw”, when there was no legislation passed, or pending, to end the practice and the newly elected Republican party’s platform stated that it wasn’t going to be an issue on which they would act?
              The states that seceded made slavery an issue in their decision, but it was far from the main one and it took more than a year before Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, as a tactic in the war and, even then, it freed the slaves only in the Confederate states, not the states that still had slavery, but didn’t secede.

        2. An outcome of the Civil War was the end of slavery, not the same thing as saying the sole purpose of the war was to end slavery.

        3. The people from the North who did the actual fighting did it to end slavery. They would never have done it just to “save the Union”. Leaders at the time merely used this for motivation. If not for slavery, there would be two countries now instead of one.

          1. Undoubtedly some of them did, but there were a lot of other reasons as well … including a draft, which in and of itself is just another face of slavery.

      3. And plenty of our ancestors (like mine) were forced into the army right after immigrating from Germany or Ireland to die for strangers, people who didn’t have a cent, didn’t even speak English, who had no dog on the fight, forced to die for someone else’s freedom.

        That’s my family’s ‘reparations.’ White privilege my ass.

      4. Are you an idiot, or are you just being deliberately obtuse? We are the only country to “forcibly” stop the practice because we are the only country that “needed” force to stop it. Most other countries ended slavery via legal methods (i.e. legislation), whereas slavery was so embedded in the American economy and in Southern society that it required four years of total war and 12 years of martial law (Reconstruction) to stamp it out. Half of the people who died during the Civil War died to protect slavery, and a significant portion of the other half (the Northern half) were more focused on fighting secession than stamping out slavery (see the Northern draft riots).

        Also, England deployed an entire squadron of the Royal Navy to the West Coast of Africa to deter the slave trade and liberate captured slaves; some estimates suggest that nearly 40,000 were set free in the antebellum period thanks to the Royal Navy’s patrolling of the Slave Coast.

        1. “Half of the people who died during the Civil War died to protect slavery”
          Total bullshit!

    4. Also, the obvious fact that blacks kill blacks at an alarming rate.

      Salon indeed. If this shit keeps up, I’ll not be picking up my subscription renewal.

    5. Its gotten to the point where I just gloss over the article and read the comments instead on this god forsaken website.

    6. This times 400,000.

  5. Make no mistake BLM is a hate-filled group that has now crossed the line into illegal gang activity. They have called for the murders of innocent people. They have looted they have destroyed neighborhoods their intention is to broaden the race divide they have stated their hatred for police officers as well as white people.
    These groups have an extreme hatred all whites law enforcement.
    They are dangerous and the politicians that have aligned themselves with these groups are treading in dangerous waters. Those people that blindly follow this group do not have the entire story they believe only the things that they are spoon-fed. .
    Following is excerpts from an article from US Herald July 28th 2016 at the end will be a link for the entire article.BLM organizer Ashleigh Shackelford
    “Why are you going to protest when you’re the oppressor?” asks Shackelford. “White people are killing us. So when I see white people show up to a rally excited and smiling, ready to march like it’s a hobby?I’m disgusted and absolutely fucking livid?I’m ready to fight.”
    Shackelford continued in her hateful race filled rant; “White people are 400 years too f***ing late for a round of applause for a damn tweet with a hashtag, or for showing up to a damn rally.”

    1. Don’t forget “White people get to the back!” But no, BLM is not racist.

      1. AdditionMyth hardest hit

  6. What irritates me is how some blacks push collective guilt on all whites, some blacks have this belief that the ancestors of all whites were guilty in the slave trade.
    Perhaps more blacks need to realize that not all whites are racist and not all ancestries of whites were complicit in the slave trade.
    Then you have ignorant whites who are racist for no other reason but blind hatred. They lob all blacks together and fail to realize that blacks do have legitimate grievances. I think if more blacks (and whites) followed the advice of Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell then perhaps we could move forward.

    1. More important than this collective guilt nonsense is the mistaken belief that white people invaded Africa and stole the slaves. The vast majority of slaves were traded by African warlords and kings who conquered and enslaved other black people. A slave trade existed within Africa for centuries before white people even showed up. Every culture and every civilization on every continent practiced slavery and committed horrible genocides, because the first 5000 years of human civilization one war of civilizations. What the Europeans did only differed in scale, because of their technological prowess. Had the Aztecs or Africans invented the ocean-crossing warships and guns first, they would have conquered and enslaved the world as well.

      1. You are absolutely right. And a little known fact is whites were actually the first race to abolish slavery, the Arab/Ottoman/Islamic solace trade was larger, longer, and very brutal. Whites were specifically targeted throughout the Mediterranean, the Italian and Spanish coastal settlements were abandoned because of the Barbary Pirates, even as far away as Ireland fair skinned blonde haired women (and while families) were hauled away to the Middle East slave markets. But you don’t hear much about this evil because it’s not PC.

        1. *Slave trade

        2. And Africans are still enslaving each other today.

          1. Yeah but how often do we hear about that in mainstream media or by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?

      2. What Europeans did in Africa was show up with gold and other valued items and offer to buy slaves.

        Lots of African leaders saw the chance to get extra money, prestige, etc. So the Europeans found a market for slaves and they expanded it. And they added fun refinements like the Atlantic crossing in slave ships.

        Now, some people will say the Europeans were *uniquely* evil, which I find hard to swallow given the history of African-on-African, Arab-on-African and European-on-European slaving.

        Reparations would be a real bitch – finding out how many of your ancestors held slaves (whether European, African or Turkish), how many of your ancestors fought in the Union Army or the Underground railroad, how many of your ancestors were slaves, and then calculate whether based on your family history you should *pay* or *receive* reparations.

        Imagine someone with white Union soldiers for ancestors, who went South after the war and married some young woman from a slaveowning family, and other branches of the family are made up of black slaves, while some remote ancestors were Venetians who captured Turks in war and enslaved them (as the Turks would have done in the opposite situation), and other ancestors were Anglo-Saxon serfs which isn’t quite as bad as a slave but maybe they are entitled to a bit of compensation from descendants of their Norman overlords, except that the Saxons and Normans intermarried at one point…

        Einstein would reject these calculations as over-complicated.

        1. That’s a great insight Fusionist, it would be impossible to figure out who owes who.

          1. More to the point. I have significant portions of my DNA from Scandinavia, Brittany/Normandy, England, Ireland and Scotland. I can’t even work out if I owe myself reparations. Did my DNA come from the male conquerors or the female subjects of invasion? Or both…more likely?

            The whole idea of reparations is stupid beyond belief.

        2. What Europeans did in Africa was show up with gold at the already well established Islamic slave markets.


          The Islamic slave trade had grown enormously in the period of Muslim conquest between 700 and the 1490s.

          Let us not aid the pretense that Africans–the inventors of slavery–were some great band of innocents..

          1. And of course, many blacks love Islam. It’s hard to know if they are ignorant or secretly want to be slaveholders themselves.

        3. What’s most absurd though is that most white blood in this country is from European peasants; hell my own ancestors were serfs, I.e. slaves, until they came here. i have every right to object to the insinuation that slavery is a stain on me or my family, every bit as much as this douche bag Chapman would if I suggested he were to blame for the Armenian genocide.

          1. Right on! My family lineage (Swiss Alps) I’m sure were very poor as well, they were lorded over by the local Lords and Dukes and what not, I’m sure life sucked for them, soo am I supposed to go and contact the Swiss government in Berne and request reparations?
            They would tell me Geh heim zum America.

          2. Yeah, no shit. A.) I don’t owe anyone for things my parents, their parents parent’s did, etc. The idea that anyone does is purse horseshit invented by idiot Congress critters and others too worthless to even spit on. B.) The number of slaves brought into what would become US seems to be under 500K. There were millions traded and many were traded in South America as well as all over the planet. So how it is that anyone alive today has any guilt for what happened to slaves more than 100 years ago is a specious idea at best. You want “reparations”? Go collect from the Spanish.

          3. The thing is, once you go back several hundred years you wind up being descended from pretty much everyone from your general region of the world who was alive at the time and has living descendants. The exponentially growing number of ancestor slots you have as the tree goes back in time means that you have many, many more slots than there were people alive at the time, and there was enough movement in Europe that the genes got spread around.

            This is why it’s funny when people do genealogy and get excited when they discover that they’re descended from some European royal family from the 12th century- everyone of European descent is, probably along many, many paths through the tree (especially since a lot of the royal males were pretty prolific.)

      3. I doubt if there’s a human being alive today that doesn’t have some ancestors that were slaves and other who were slave owners at some point in time. That, in and of itself, doesn’t justify anything. A person is not responsible for what someone else did in the past, only for what they themselves do.

    2. And it doesn’t even matter whose ancestors enslaved whose. We are not our ancestors and do not bear guilt for their crimes. The whole collective/ancestral guilt thing is just absurd and can only make things worse because you will always be punishing innocent people and creating new tension and resentment..

      1. You’re right, it doesn’t matter because we aren’t our ancestors, absolutely.

        1. And like I say, lots of us are so miscegenated we’d have to pay reparations to ourselves.

          1. Revive the economy with this one simple trick!

    3. I don’t really care considering my family were Irish immigrants in the late 1800’s. Cry me a river, Ireland lost pretty much every war ever and were constantly enslaved. Wah. We invented Guinness and moved on. Amusingly, Great Britain still has ‘kick a ginger day’ where people are constantly assaulted because of a physical characteristic, you think that would fly with any other minority group? Ha.

      1. You mean your white privilege didn’t protect you guys?

        1. No, but then again being smashed by culture after culture since at least Roman times gives me very little sympathy historically speaking. In modern times, I see no daily racism directed towards black people but since I’m definitely not black maybe I wouldn’t understand or see it since I’m not living it day to day. It’s possible, anyway.

          Police are dicks no matter what color you are, in my own personal experience, so I wonder if it’s just a cultural feedback loop with a false premise. Either way, I’m not sure what BLM’s point is since statistically speaking they’re wrong on pretty much every level. I’ve had drug dogs go through my vehicle on more than one occasion, and I always manage to get a ticket every time I’m pulled over for anything. Do I attribute this to my race? Nope. I attribute it to the police and to being poor. Thankfully, the second variable no longer applies but when it did you can bet I viewed the police with a ton of animosity since you know if you can’t afford that ticket you go to jail.

          That’s a pretty huge difference that people basically ignore in your average interaction with the police, but whatever. After you have money in America you can legally bribe your way out of jail for pretty much anything, and this is a well known fact that’s been true since police took over fundraising for the state. If Black people can change that, great, but lets just say I won’t be holding my breath.

          1. Well just remember, if you ever need money, you can always start suing fraternities and sororities for having St. Patrick’s day parties using Irish stereotypes. If every tiny cinco de mayo sombrero tequila straw is a new oppression against Mexicans, I’m sure you could make a racket out of St. Paddy’s day.

            Being German myself, I’ve been demanding the Office of Civil Rights pay me a nickel for every Christmas Tree purchased in the US (cultural appropriation) each year. They haven’t gotten back to me yet.

      2. I’d be paying myself reparations in multiple ways. Part of my ancestry is Irish serf, part is English master. Part of my ancestry is French peasant, part is French Lord. Part of my ancestry is German aryan, part is Semitic Jew.

        Oh, plus I have 1/8 Cherokee to throw in, so one of my ancestors was driven on the Trail of Tears from Carolina to Oklahoma (which is made more fun and screwy when you consider that one of President Obama’s ancestors was a drover on said Trail).

        … I’m waiting for my reparations check, Mr. President….

  7. Oh fuck the hell off Chapman. Join the god damned progtard camp that says that not only is Anerica not great it’s fucking evil and until all the fucking white people give the government huge piles of cash to give to all the black people then we’re all just evil systemic racists.

    Shit the Stat Tribune ran a fucking article yesterday about how evil Mt. Rushmore is because the sculptor wasn’t Jesus and how the presidents depicted were evil motherfuckers.

    I have fucking had it. If you hate the goddamned country so much get the fuck out. Find some other country that’s accepted millions on millions of immigrants and move the fuck there.

  8. There’s votes to be had playing the race card. Shocking.

    Race relations were better when I was a kid and the goal was equality. Now it’s all about special favors – who would have thought giving people stuff based on their skin color, while blaming other skin colors for society’s ills, would exacerbate race relations?

    1. the goal was equality

      I’d like to expand on this if I may. When the goal was equality of opportunity those who may have been ‘less equal’ worked to pursue/achieve it. Now that it’s equality of outcome, why lift a finger when the state will do the work for you?

      1. Why believe people are equal when the government and institutions assure us that it isn’t the case?

        1. Further than that, the government does not want it to be the case. If equality of outcome were achieved would the powers that be ever admit it? I think not.

          1. Case in point: we still have female only scholarships despite women being almost 60%of students.

            Anyone who ever believed ‘reverse’ discrimination was only until the ‘oppressed group’ got on equal footing is a fool.

            “Ok, we have (more than) our fair share of this stuff, you can stop giving it to us for free now” said no one ever.

  9. Everyday I visit Reason I start to feel more like this guy: https://youtu.be/RF-matqjq5s?t=59s

    1. Haha, I know the feeling.

  10. If Donald Trump becomes president, he will sow triumphalism among resentful whites and a sense of betrayal among blacks. The repercussions are incalculable.A Trump victory will bring a racial apocalypse. Has this website been hacked to display essays from the Democratic Underground?

  11. Perhaps the fact that every time someone has criticized Obama’s policies over the last 8 years they have been labeled as racist might have something to do with the deterioration of race relations. Just sayin’ Chappy.

  12. This is an exceedingly weak article. To buy into Chapman’s argument, you have to assume that, although the majority of white Americans approved of a black man becoming president, all of a sudden they grew anxious and resentful about the very thing they approved of.

    Let me pose what might be a variable with maybe just a little more explanatory power – the rise of the Social Justice Cult. The Social Justice Cult has given a lot of black people a narrative of their victimhood and the need to oppose it. At the same time, its given the white middle and working classes ample reason to believe that racial activists actually do bear them ill will.

    Now, the extent to which you want to blame the current administration for the rise of the Social Justice Cult is a legitimate matter of debate. But, I think it’s a much more relevant explanation than white people all of a sudden turned racist.

  13. Nobody’s defending slavery. People think every slave’s experience is like Roots, however, which is simply historically inaccurate. We’re teaching kids that black people were all stolen from white people who invaded Africa, which is simply not the case for 99% of slaves. We never talk about the slave trade in any way but “white people are evil”. The demise of race relations is mostly due to the radical liberals in college who thrive on white guilt and that is where our teachers come from.

    1. Stolen “BY” white people who invaded Africa*

      1. From what I understand, most of the original black slaves were first captured by other inland African blacks who then sold them to whites or arabs at the seaports who then shipped them to the Americas or Europe. I know the invasive colonial era didn’t start until a long time after the black slave trade was well underway. In fact, a lot of it didn’t happen until *after* the slave trade itself was outlawed.

    2. Nobody’s defending slavery.

      From the article:

      Bill O’Reilly, whose show has had the highest ratings in cable news for over a decade, responded to Michelle Obama’s speech noting that the White House was built with slave labor by saying those slaves were “well-fed and had decent lodgings.”

      So it’s OK to be a slave if your current master doesn’t take full advantage of you?

      1. O’Reilly is a retard.

        1. Bill O’Reilly is the voice of White America, haven’t you heard.

          In his next article Chapman will no doubt talk about Toni Morrison’s comment about wanting to see white people murdered and how it reflects black people’s attitudes toward white people.

      2. So it’s OK to be a slave if your current master doesn’t take full advantage of you?

        Given the number of people who seem more than willing to enter such a state and actively agitate for it (under different names) I’d say there are those who are happier without the responsibility for themselves and without their freedom.

        1. Democrats gave up on harvesting cotton, now they harvest votes.

          1. And they’re working on automating that, too.

        2. Well, my GF is black and wants a large and voracious government – except for when her property tax is concerned, or a host of other intrusions.

          If you’ve been indoctrinated to not view taxation as theft and to not view the current government as practicing fractional slavery, it can seem like a good idea to empower the government to do things you think will result in good outcomes. Overcoming that indoctrination can be incredibly hard.

          1. Except for the fact that things the government does rarely have good outcomes, and even more rare are the outcomes that would have been better than the outcomes a free market would have provided.

      3. You’re conflating O’Reilly saying that some slaves lived in markedly better conditions than others (and than some non-slaves) with arguing that slavery was a good thing that never should have ended. I’m not seeing anything in the article where Chapman quotes O’Reilly as saying that slavery was awesome and we should do it again ASAP, and I’m sure if anyone would find anything even remotely like that it would be good ol’ Steve.

  14. The problem with race relations in this country is that minorities are almost exclusively Democrats. And as Democrats, they do not seek to remove the boot of government from their own necks, but seek to apply it equally to all of our necks. Then, when the white-folk complain about it, they are called racists for not agreeing to be treated as terribly by our government as they are, or they are racist for not wanting more of their money stolen by the government.

    Chapman and others can sit back and call me racist all day for not agreeing with policies put forward by black leaders or hispanic leaders or democratic leaders because those polices are detrimental to the same minorities these leaders are supposedly trying to help. I know who the real racist scumbags are. They are patronizing white assholes like Chapman, they are your Jacksons, Sharptons and McKessons who are in it for their own celebrity.

    1. The boot of gov’t is not upon the necks of Democrats who support more government.

      1. Of course it is. Every time a poor minority tries to open a business and gives up due to the ridiculous amount of regulations, zoning laws, etc.

        Every time a poor person quits an entry level job because welfare is easier, and they never take the opportunity to climb the career ladder.

        Every time the police murder a minority over the right of people to put things in their own body.

        Every time eminent domain targets poor neighborhoods that can’t fight back.

        The list goes on. It is so sad that black people and other minorities can’t see how the expanded government they continually fight for fucks them.

        1. You cannot be the party of the poor without keeping people poor.

          1. But if we import more minorities, we get freedom and unmitigated economic prosperity. It is known.

            1. This is what I don’t get about the Open Borders types. To anyone with an iota of intelligence, it is easy to see that the types of people the left wants to bring in are people from 3rd world shit-holes whose cultures have never valued liberty because the left knows they will vote for them.

              They are literally trying to replace or breed out liberty minded cultures with cultures who value or at the very least would never stand up against authoritarians.

              1. That’s why they’re so concerned with convincing everyone that all cultures are equal. Sorry but cultures that find some value in restraining government power are better than those cultures that don’t.

          2. Right. What would advocates for the poor do if people stopped being poor?

      2. Tell that to the black Democrats shot by government cops.

        Or to anyone who is a Democrat who is ill treated by the government (aka the vast majority of them, same as for non-Democrats).

        Not realizing you are being mistreated is not the same as being treated fairly.

      3. Boots of government are always eternally standing on all necks present if boots of government are present.

        It is the only place they can stand.

  15. Why Reason continues to publish this retard whose arguments would get him an F in a high school debate class is beyond me. It’s like they enjoy insulting their reader’s intelligence from time to time.

    1. You haven’t seen modern “debate” classes. They’re judged not on the persuasiveness of their argument but by the speed at which they spew buzzwords that amount to bullshit and fallacies.

      1. Well, even college debates are generally judged by any idiot who happens to be standing nearby so when you extrapolate down…

      2. That might be a good way to judge what college to go to (or not). Attend the debates they sponsor.

  16. The concept of ‘race relations’ is ridiculous in my mind. Is there some sort of black embassy and white embassy (as well as the other races who always seem to be forgotten when people talk about balck and white)? It presumes a tribalism where all people of any group are represented by a few, who make the decisions on how to interact with the other groups.

    1. The whole concept of ‘race relations’ is predicated on racism. It assumes stark differences between races.

      1. That’s just your white privilege talkin’, muthafucka!

        1. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee – it!

          1. Clay Davis, is that you?

    2. It’s an argument built on half-truths and anecdotes… that attacks people for making over-generalizations based on half-truths and anecdotes. But at least the accusers get to feel superior about themselves.

  17. Sheesh, Steve — You’ll *never* get elected President if you keep writing such dark articles.

    1. “Dark” articles? RACIST!!11!!

      1. That’s nothing compared to dark pronouns.

  18. Why Are Race Relations Worsening?

    Without having read the article or any of the comments or, indeed, having imbibed sufficient coffee…

    As long as people continue to see themselves and especially others as members of a tribe, rather than as discrete, agency-having individuals, those tribes will be in conflict. You cannot forge an Us without also, by default, creating a Them. “Race relations” are shitty simply because the concept of race (as anything but the shallowest possible way to categorize individuals) exists.

    Sic semper collectivismi.

    1. You’re better off for not having read the article.

      1. My thoughts and prayers are with those who did.

        1. I need a Stossel article to bring my IQ back to its previous level.

  19. All I know is Obama has been less than impressive on this issue.

  20. Well I for one am not racist and I applaud Chapman’s bravery in calling a spade a spade.

    1. Oh, and the rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves. The very least you should do is try and atone for your racism by voting for Hillary.

      1. Well, she does have a vagina, you know. And it is her turn.

        Part of me wishes that a black lesbian had run instead of Bernie just so I could watch the Dems’ heads explode.

  21. Obama’s race relations are simply the collectivist viewpoint written into sociology instead of economics. Is it any surprise we are drifting towards racial Venezuela ?

    The best a government can ever manage to do is to maximize individual freedom freedom, remove differences in laws that are race based and enforce those laws across the board. Trying to micromanage the preference of individuals is going to yield contrary results.

  22. Steve, lots of things occurred to improve race relations, including the Civil Rights Act. We actually had a candidate once say he would repeal the parts that forbade segregation in businesses. So we got to that point a few years ago, sadly.

    Of course, that was Rand Paul.

    1. Yup, because forcing people to do things a certain way is much more helpful and causes much less racial discord and resentment than letting the market forces deal with it.

      People like you always tend to ignore the fact that it was illegal for businesses to not be segregated. But people like you must go full retard either way, can never acknowledge that there is an alternative between, or the fact that people have the basic right to associate with who they choose.

      1. Yeah, duh, everyone knows that forced bussing in the 70s is why black people and white people live in intermingled, peaceful neighborhoods in Philly and Boston. Duh.

      2. Yup. Bill O’Reilly thinks there is an alternative I between as well. You and him.

        1. *inbetween

        2. Yes, that’s right–because the alternative ‘inbetween’ state sponsored discrimination and no state sponsored discrimination is


          state sponsored slavery!!!


          ummm………are you sure you know what the words ‘between’ or ‘alternative’ actually mean?

      3. If people think the wrong thoughts, they must be forced to at least pretend to have the right ones.

    2. Yeah because forcing people to do things against their will is great for getting stuff done?

      What’s the word for that again? For forcing someone to do something? I wonder if it was mentioned in the article?

    3. Jackass you are an idiot. Freedom of association is a higher abstraction than public accommodation. The latter was required for a time when the gov was actively promoting discrimination. Now that mass discrimination is socially unacceptable we can reinstitute the more fundamental right of association. The market will punish the discriminators or potentially allow a few to exist to serve a fringe segment. Either way the freedom to associate without government interference is a higher goal. Especially in the absence of officially sanctioned discrimination.


      1. ” Now that mass discrimination is socially unacceptable we can reinstitute the more fundamental right of association.”
        Do you see anything – ANYTHING – that indicates we are moving in that direction?
        I see just the opposite.

  23. Chapman needs to be the first person fired next time Reason doesn’t reach it’s goal int he next pledge drive. The article I just read was more like a victimology term paper in an African studies course.

  24. When some whites hear references to slavery, they take it as an aggressive personal affront,

    Context matters. When the left has used the history of slavery as a cudgel to imply that all white people are hopelessly, irredeemably racist I don’t think you can blame white people for getting a little defensive.

    1. Sure you can blame them, it’s the default tactic these days in fact.

  25. When Obama expressed sorrow over the killing of Trayvon Martin

    Obama chose to comment here specifically because of the color of the man’s skin. Obama has consistently entered into every conversation where non-white skin color could be commented on. If that’s not inherently racist, I don’t know what is.

    1. Not only commented, but openly confessed (or boasted) to empathizing more with him specifically because he looked like him.

      Preferential treatment for people who like you, how progressive.

      1. Preferential treatment for people who like you, how progressive.

        Isn’t eugenics considered a brainchild of the progressive era?

        1. I’m assuming you meant “for people who look like you”, given the rest of your post.

          1. You are correct. I’ll just blame the squirrels for eating the ‘look.’

  26. How did “race relations” get worse? Because of people like Steve Chapman earning a living from sensationalist pearl-clutching.

    I mean, seriously, is Chapman like the token Progressive that Reason keeps around so that they can claim to be unbiased? I’d say he’s the Juan Williams of Reason except that I have some respect Juan Williams.

    1. We need some Dick Cheney op-eds to balance him out.

      1. “The Libertarian Case for Invading Iran”

        “This Contractor Was Paid $40 million to Reconstruct This Village. It Was Never Built, But Here’s Why That’s Not a Problem”

        “Why I Shot My Hunting Buddy Like That Fucking Snickering Dog in Duck Hunt”

  27. I did not vote for Obama, not because of his race, but because of his progressive politics; however, when he was elected to took a positive view of the “progress” and liked the notion that perhaps we were on the way to a “post racial society” [anybody remember that phrase?].

    Unfortunately, neither Barack nor Michelle has ever missed an opportunity to fuel the racial narrative, be it her standing under a vintage “whites only” sign in a museum, or he making a statement like “Trayvon could have been my son.” The idea of not having racial politics is anathema to persons like Al Sharpton, who literally make bank off of the conflict and others who thrive on victimology. It is not accident that he has made official visits to the “house built by slaves” on a monthly basis since Obama’s inauguration. It can never be allowed to end, and clearly it won’t. Now “racism” is far more nuanced in a way to insure it doesn’t, largely because that is what works for the Democratic Party and leads Michelle to say things like “I cannot see why African Americans would vote for any other party.”

  28. Short version of every Chapscum article these days: Obama would have been the greatest president ever if it weren’t for all those racist bitter clinging whiteys.

    You should get your nose broken, Stevie boy.

    1. Short version of every Chapman article these days: Obama would have been the greatest president ever if it weren’t for all that lousy reality


  29. Supreme Dark Lord ?@voxday
    Reason magazine has clearly abandoned reason, logic, and truth. SJW convergence strikes again!

  30. I’m curious as to why Reason decided to run this article. It’s not uniquely libertarian or all that informative, and beyond a few widely known polls and the general assumption that white people are insecure and awful doesn’t really have anything thought provoking to say.

    Not that I don’t mind reading other views, but normally when presented here they’re at least well researched and reasoned even if not always ultimately convincing. This is just an op-ed that could have been from a student newspaper for all the research and intellectual rigor that went into it.

  31. Explain to me why voting for Obama because he’s black was not racist but voting “against” him because he’s black is racist. In a similar vein, why isn’t it sexism to want to elect Hillary on the basis of her sex?

    Maybe, and I’m going out on a limb here, racism is still an issue because the people who are obsessed with race are, you know, racist.

    1. To answer your 1st questions:
      Isms are only applicable to those who can try to make money off of them.

    2. Both are racist. If you favor one of two people of different races because of that persons’ race, you are implicitly disfavoring the other because of *his* race.

  32. How Race Relations Got Worse?
    Certainly the constant drone of class warfare rhetoric from Obama has fomented a great deal of the racial animosity over the last 8 years. His interjection into local and state affairs with regard to racial shootings only further ginned up the already tense situations.

    Obama is chief among the race pimps even to the point of having Al Sharpton as an advisor. That is just another fine example of how truly ignorant and stupid Obama is as a statesman. He let his personal anger invade and disrupt his ability to operate as a bureaucrat. Its hard enough to be a moronic lying bureaucrat to then throw in some genuine propaganda behind it to get everyone pissed off.

    Race relations have never been great but he certainly has a huge amount of blood on his hands for making them worse. And if the cops would just get body cameras, that would be a huge step in the right direction that Obama’s stupid ass could never have pushed forward.

    1. Agreed!

      It’s too bad you didn’t write the article.

    2. Obama could never let go of the Community Organizer schtick.

  33. I i get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 3 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    Heres what I’ve been doing:=>==>==> http://www.Alpha-Careers.com

  34. When a black president laments racial injustice, it carries a sting that such comments lacked when delivered by a white one. When Obama expressed sorrow over the killing of Trayvon Martin, a Fox News contributor said he was inciting racial violence.

    “When Obama expressed sorrow over the killing of Trayvon Martin” he was expressing solidarity with Trayvon’s lying, irresponsible parents, regardless of the factual situation or eventual trial outcome.

  35. What complete race-baiting nonsense, something I would expect to find on a racist left wing site.

    The quality of Reason’s articles is seriously declining.

    The lead in states that O’Reilly “defended slavery” when he only reported a historical fact (although disputed by some). Total slanderous bullshit by Reason. Then, it goes downhill with suggestions that white people are all racists who are anxious about black empowerment. Again, total bullshit. Stating that the majority of whites voted for Obama is misleading – 45 percent of whites voted for Obama in 2008, then 39 percent in 2012, numbers comparable to Bill Clinton. Race was primarily a factor in his favor since almost all blacks (96%) voted for him.

    As for the rise in racial tensions, blaming whitey is insane. The Obama administration’s racist policies and race-baiting triggered greater racial conflict. Period. And bringing the mothers of dead black thugs (killed while assaulting people) up on stage was a despicable act by the DNC intended to fan racial hatred further.

    I am appalled by this article.

    1. Exactly, 55 percent (-ish) of whites voted against President Obama is 2008, but 96% of blacks voted for him….yet whites are the racists.

      *sigh* I need to fix my computer, somehow I’ve gotten into some sort of re-direct loop to HuffPo.

  36. RE: How Race Relations Got Worse

    Nothing but lies.
    Race relations are at an all time high since 2012.
    You don’t see police shooting blacks anymore.
    You don’t see injustices among the races.
    You don’t see marches against discrimination any more.
    Open your eyes.
    We’re all living the good life here in our beloved workers paradise.

  37. I second the calls here for firing Chapman. This might be a first for me but this article is despicable. This is just racist and race-baiting ignorance on full display.

  38. I’ve made 64,000usd so far this year w0rking online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about my friend JGw and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.
    Here’s what I’ve been doing?

  39. So sad to read such a racist article on Reason. The author sees nothing but race and judges all whites by the comment of one tv commentator. Only evil strives to keep false divisions alive. I have heard this race war BS since the 60s, and am done trying to argue with it. Life is too short.

  40. Anyone who’s selling you hope is selling you bullshit.

  41. What is this leftist drivel?

  42. Steve, I really enjoyed this piece. I actually predicted in 2008 that if Mr. Obama won, it would uncover THE deep racial chasm that existed underneath what appeared to be solid earth. The analogy I used was how my hand went through a wall at my house that appeared perfectly intact. However, the termites made sure the outer appearance remained pristine while eating away its insides. Unfortunately, I told my fellow Blacks in 2008 that we were going to catch hell by making history. Peace…

  43. It’s good to see that Gawker’s staff have found a new home…

  44. I didn’t get a chance to chime in when it was relevant, but I came back to see what everyone had to say. It looks like I wasn’t alone in my impression.

    I hope this was just intentional click-bait trolling, or an assigned exercise (“give me 1,500 words on why race relations got worse as a reaction to having a black president”). Lordy, lordy, I hope those aren’t your real opinions.

    Lots has already been said, but I’ll try to offer a little insight from someone who lived the divide for over a decade and a half. My wife (an african-american) and I lived throughout the south and traveled across this country together. We went to all-white venues and all-black venues frequently. In all that time we never once had a white person even look at us sideways. We went to rural baptist and pentacostal churches where she was the only minority present, and were always very warmly welcomed. We went to country bars in the heart of “klan country” in north Georgia. We were never the least bit unwelcome and she was never anything less than warmly received. Now, it didn’t hurt that she was hot. Hot chicks always have it easier. But nobody ever, not even one time, no one ever said anything about our relationship or questioned her right to be there.

    1. In that same time frame I was mostly well received at black clubs, black churches and concerts, etc. But it was not the least bit uncommon for someone to say I didn’t belong there, or hit on her (with racial overtones), or generally make an issue of it when I was the minority. And when I was not present it was not just “not uncommon”, it was kind of expected that certain elements of the black community would question her relationship and suggest that she should stick to “her own kind”.

      Look, people are people. They are tribal at heart. But the European tribe in America has spent the last 40+ years working hard to suppress these instincts. There are very few places in America where it is acceptable to hold seriously racist views as a white person. What people hold in their heart of hearts, who can say. But claiming that racism is a prime driver in white America in 2016 is just plain unsupportable.

      Meanwhile, there has been an element in the black community that has openly supported race-conscious public attitudes – the Sharptons, Farrakhans, even major entertainment industry figures like Spike Lee, etc. The reason race is still an issue in 2016 is because these people want it to be an issue and enough of the black community lets them make it an issue. That is all.

      There are serious issues that specifically affect the black community far more than anyone else in this country. And as long as racism is trotted out as the reason, this won’t change.

      1. Oh, and O’Reilly is a buffoon and a blowhard. His statement was stupid from the jump. I’m not sure that that justifies the sub-heading though.

        That the TV equivalent of a radio shock-jock says something outlandish isn’t a basis for sweeping conclusions about the state of race relations or the mental state of “white people” writ large.

      2. Meanwhile, there has been an element in the black community that has openly supported race-conscious public attitudes

        The fundamental organizing principle of the modern Left is hatred of white men, past and present.

        In the case of blacks, it’s never ending race baiting that “They going put y’all back in chains”.

        The Left sows racial division and hatred as a matter of policy, and has been doing it for decades. Just one of their many truly evil crimes.

        1. For those who doubt this is true, every election season we would get a wheelbarrow load of mailers from groups like the NAACP and SCLC. They were vile, race-baiting things designed solely to whip up racial animus and bring out the vote for team D.

          The best example I can remember was from the 2000 election. They made up a big, full-color mailer of the back of an old pickup truck with chains. George Bush – who executed the guy who committed that crime, btw – was complicit in this murder.

          This is why someone like Kanye West could get up on national TV at a time of epic tragedy during a fundraiser and say “George Bush hates black people”, despite all evidence to the contrary. These groups work very hard at maintaining the narrative and cultivating this mentality.

  45. Progressitarian says Whitey is The Devil. Feel guilt, Whitey! Now! Kneel and Obey!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.