244 years after declaring independence from the British, the United States of America has discovered that it has a racist past. Previously thinking stories of racism were just part of the nation’s folklore like Paul Bunyan and Bigfoot, Americans are finally waking up to the fact that racism in their country is not a figment of anyone’s imagination.
“I had heard about racism in our country, but I just assumed they were fairy tales,” said Sally Douglas, a stay at home mom in Auburn Hills, Michigan. “When my kids came home from school talking about racial injustice, I just assumed they were being exposed to some thought-provoking fiction. I had no idea that Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were real people. If I had known that their harrowing journeys actually happened, I would have spoken up about racism years ago.”
The source of America’s awakening is the discovery that police sometimes make mistakes and that when they kill a suspect, it isn’t always for a good reason. Until quite recently, Americans were under the impression that all police were good guys who weren’t at all influenced by racial stereotypes or profiling.
“I’m shocked to learn that police can sometimes be racist and kill innocent people for no reason,” said Jenny Phillips, a college student in the San Francisco Bay Area. “After years of thinking they were totally fair, impartial stewards of the law, I now realize that this isn’t the case and that cops are monsters who must be stopped.”
One of the more startling discoveries of the past few weeks for Americans has been the realization that many of their beloved statues are of men who were racist. Previously thinking their leaders did nothing wrong, Americans are shocked to learn that many of them were really horrible people.
“The biography I read of Teddy Roosevelt as a kid painted him to be a great guy who everyone loved to be around,” said Daniel Jones, a recent college graduate from White Plains, New York. “He joked with the kids, he said ‘bully’, and all in all loved his country. The Teddy Roosevelt I learned about is the last guy to seek the demise of an entire race of people for sport. I’m still processing this.”
When asked why they are tearing these statues down, Americans say that had they known these leaders were racist, they would never have gone up in the first place. They’re just making things the way they would have been had they known how things really were.
“If we had known Thomas Jefferson actually owned slaves, we wouldn’t have named our school after him or put up a statue in his honor,” said Brittany Williams, a senior at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. “Now that we have taken the time to read our history textbooks and learn of his racist actions, we have no choice but to do the right thing and tear his statue down.”
The students’ decision to tear down Jefferson’s statue received full support from the school administration, who like them, were absolutely floored to learn about his support of slavery. As soon as they found out he owned slaves, they knew they had to make some changes.
“We are fully supportive of our students,” a Jefferson High School administrator said. “We’re just as shocked as they are to learn about Thomas Jefferson’s disgusting and repulsive past. All options are on the table right now including changing the name of our school.”
In addition to statues, famous American brands are also undergoing changes as well in light of these fresh discoveries. Previously thinking their brand Aunt Jemima was a throwback to a happier, simpler time in which everyone enjoyed equal freedoms, Quaker Oats has discovered that the truth is the exact opposite.
“We thought Aunt Jemima was someone who was really passionate about sharing her love of maple syrup with other people and doing so out of the kindness of her heart,” said a spokesman for Quaker Oats. “We finally took the time to look her up on Wikipedia and are shocked to learn that she actually represents a ‘devoted and submissive servant’ who wasn’t free. Even worse, we also learned that she never had a passion for maple syrup at all. We feel it is best to change the name of our brand to something that reflects our values.”
One of the most paramount discoveries of the past few weeks for the United States is the Civil War. Previously unsure of as to where the monuments and Confederate flags came from, Americans have finally learned that there really was a Civil War that rocked their country between the years 1861 and 1865.
“I had no idea the Confederacy was an unrecognized republic that fought against the United States on the grounds of preserving slavery,” said North Carolina governor Roy Cooper. “The statues have been here for so long I just took them to be works of art given to us by the French. Had I known that they were built by North Carolinians who supported such an oppressive and unpatriotic movement, I would have ordered them to be taken down the day I took office.”
Going forward, Americans are hoping to put their racist past in the rear view mirror and build a new identity. They realize that previous generations were really messed up and that if they’re not careful, future generations might give them the same treatment.
Note: This is a satirical piece I wrote to critique the current state of the United States and its attitudes towards its racist history. All quotes are fake.