Arguments on the Left: U.S. History

Arguments on the Left: U.S. History

Three short essays from Michael Kazin, Nikhil Pal Singh, and Barbara Ransby.

Illustration by Molly Crabapple

An American Conception of Justice by Michael Kazin

“Historians have amply demonstrated how central racism has been to the formation and reformation of the United States. But many of those same ideas and institutions have also been vital to combating white supremacy.”

Racial Metaphors by Nikhil Pal Singh

“If colorblindness rests on the claim that the civil rights movement changed everything, the idea that racism is in our DNA borders on a fatalistic proposition that it changed little or nothing.”

Racism’s Roots and Branches by Barbara Ransby

Racism in the United States is not mainly about attitudes and individual bias but about divisions that were forged long ago by the super-exploitation and political dispossession of people of African descent and other racialized groups, to the benefit of white capitalists.”

Read more arguments in our summer issue.