Must See: This Cartoon Neatly Sums the History of Black and White Race Relations in the United States

Sometimes, a comic can explain in six panels what might take six volumes of published work. And while the metaphors are often inexact and broad-brushed, comics like this one, called “A Concise History Of Black-White Relations In The United States,” nevertheless encapsulate truths in a rather . . . well, concise way.

Focus on the present to fix the future

It’s easy to focus on the past, and it’s important to acknowledge the injustices that haven’t been rectified. But these injustices don’t stay in the Antebellum South, where slavery was enshrined as a right in the Confederated States of America’s constitution. Nor do they stay in the historical North, where it the General Assembly of Connecticut didn’t get around to abolishing slavery until 1848.

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These injustices continue right through to the present day. Police brutality affects African-Americans far more often than it does whites, as does the war on drugs and incarceration rates. Even our economic policies hurt African-Americans more than they hurt whites, and it’s possible to argue that’s intentional; after all, the woman in Reagan’s “Welfare Queen” story wasn’t coded white.

To say that White America benefited at the expense of African-Americans is absolutely true. From slavery to feeding young Black men into the privatized prison system, there is a white person somewhere who makes money nearly every time an African-American suffers.

That, more than anything, is what makes the imagery in this cartoon, which originally ran on “Lefty Cartoons,” speak to a truth that everyone comprehends but few people are comfortable admitting.

from Lefty Cartoons (

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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