"I was taught the popular folktale of racism: that ignorant and hateful people had produced racist ideas, and that these racist people had instituted racist policies. But when I learned the motives behind the production of many of America's most influentially racist ideas, it became quite obvious that this folktale, though sensible, was not based on a firm footing of historical evidence. Ignorance/hate-->racist ideas-->discrimination: this causal relationship is largely ahistorical. It has actually been the inverse relationship--racial discrimination led to racist ideas which led to ignorance and hate. Racial discrimination-->racist ideas-->ignorance/hate: this is the causal relationship driving America's history of race relations."
-- Ibram X. Kendi, from "Prologue," in Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, New York: Nation Books, 2016. (This book received the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction.)