Starting in the 16th century, masses of African people were abducted, subjugated, and transported across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas under horrendous circumstances. Almost two million individuals perished during the excruciating voyage. For more than 200 years, the dependence on Black people in the United States generated prosperity, opportunity, and wealth for white Americans. As American oppression continued to develop, an intricate and lasting mythos about the supposed inferiority of these people was designed to legitimize, preserve, and protect this unjust system. These lies endured enslavement’s official elimination after the Civil War and are still very much alive today.
But this system has made us weaker, not stronger, and our continued addiction to it is a sign of our dysfunction and national sickness. Before we can heal, we must first have the courage to admit that we have a problem.