Vintage Racism: The "We Don't Want Trouble" Defense Makes a Comeback

Want proof that "post-racial America" is a myth? Look no further than a timeworn racist excuse.

Back in the Jim Crow days, there were two basic approaches to racism in the segregated South. You were an aggressor—a lawmaker wedded to segregation, a member of a lynch mob, a scientist trying to prove non-white people were inferior, or your garden variety white person who might use a racial epithet. Or you were a bystander—someone who maintained the status quo by saying, "We don't want any trouble."

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