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US legacy of racism goes back to Europe: Journalist

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Members of the racist US group Ku Klux Klan participate in in a march in Tennessee. (Getty Images file photo)

The US legacy of racism goes back to Europe, as it is “deeply rooted in the Atlantic slave trade, which began in the 15th century by Spain and Portugal,” according to an African American journalist in Detroit.

Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday after Republican Senator Lindsey Graham claimed that the US was not a racist country.

Graham said in an interview on Sunday with Fox News that the US did not have racist "systems," but did face continuing challenges from some Americans who hold racist beliefs.

"No, in my opinion...our systems are not racist," America is not a racist country," Graham told Fox News.

"This attack on police and policing...reform the police yes, call them all racists no," he continued.

Azikiwe said that “Graham is following the conservative position by denying that racism exists.”

“Institutional racism in the United States is not an absurd assertion. Everyone who is objective, and who was alert and conscious, and aware inside the United States has tremendous amounts of knowledge about the legacy of racism and its continuing impact, particularly on African Americans and other people of color communities. So this is just an attempt to deflect attention away from the ongoing crisis of race relations inside the United States. Why? Someone should ask Senator Graham:

“Are hundreds of 1000s, and millions of people around the world in the streets protesting against police misconduct inside the United States if there's no problem with racism. Why are they right-wing groups such as the proud boys, the Boogaloo boys, Qanon, the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party, the Skinheads, and all these other Neo-fascist groups, if they were not motivated by racism?” he asked.

Graham’s statement is ‘outrageous’

“Donald Trump, the head of his own party, utilizes racism and racial prejudice to mobilize people and to divide people for political and economic gain. So this is outrageous that he would even make a statement like this, and it shows that the Republican Party in the United States is totally disassociated with what is happening in reality,” the analyst continued.

“Racism is not an individual matter it's not a matter of attitude. It's a systematic problem, and the system has to change. In order for the system to change it has to be a complete overhaul of the economic underpinnings and the social context under which racism flourishes. And this is why you have so many problems with the police in the United States. It is because the police services are rooted in the legacy of enslavement and genocide against African and indigenous people. So the system has to change, and Graham I know realizes this, but he's in denial, in an effort to deflect attention away from what the real issues are in the US,” he stated.

The journalist said that “the legacy of racism goes back to Europe. It's deeply rooted in the Atlantic slave trade, which began in the 15th century by Spain and Portugal and, of course, expanded to the Netherlands and France, Great Britain, and the others.”

“So, Europe is just as culpable in regard to the legacy of international racism as the United States. So yes, if racism is destroyed in the United States it will go a long way to eliminating racial prejudice worldwide,” he concluded.

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