SIDNEY M. WILLHELM
AMERICA has been a racist society from its very beginnings—adopting, modifying, and dispensing with tactics extending from complete acceptance of ethnic aliens in the form of acculturation and amalgamation to liquidation. Myths of racism, however, are the rationales White America creates to enhance the racist tradition. To sanctify its racist commitment, White America exhorts justifications which alter in light of changing conditions. To dispose of an unwanted race, whites avoid the pangs of compunction simply by confessing to the submission of racism in accord with the absolutes in the myths of racism.
Initially, whites perceived the Indian and Negro in terms of the Christian myth; the two peoples were heathens. Both were repugnant to whites, and Christianity legitimized the repugnancy so that Negroes and Indians were viewed as nonhumans at best and beasts at worst. As heathens, Indians could be murderously slaughtered and Negroes mercilessly enslaved for beasts of burden. Extermination for the former and subjugation for the latter were acts of civilization progressing over soulless creatures. White men could follow the spirit and letter of Christian theology without fear of contradiction. The God of Salvation is____________________