Toni Morrison sums up racism in less than 100 words

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Monday 21 November 2016 09:15
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(Picture: Francois Durand/Getty)

The Ku Klux Klan’s endorsement of Donald Trump as President-elect indicates not only a shift to the political right, but the presence of racist groups in the public sphere.

Racially-motivated incidents have been on the rise in the US since Trump's victory; reports are coming in from schools and universities and assaults have taken place in public.

Nicki Pancholy was wearing a scarf on her head for protection from the sun as she was hiking when someone left an Islamophobic note on the wind shield of her car.

This shroud of racism even prompted Trump to address the problem during his first interview as President-elect with CBS News:

I am so saddened to hear that. Stop it. If it helps. Stop it.

Protests have been taking place in America to challenge Trump's victory, with one of the cornerstones of criticism being his attitude towards ethnic minorities.

In a 1975 lecture on race and politics, author, Pulitzer Prize winner and Princeton professor Toni Morrison, sums up the true function – if ever there was one – of racism:

[K]now the function, the very serious function of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up. None of that is necessary.

More: The two headlines that tell you everything about racism in America

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