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I always like to remind the white brothers and sisters when they come up to me and say "You know, brother West, I'm not a racist at all, I've transcended that. My uncle's got a lot of work to do, but not me. No, mmm-mm. I'm a liberal, I'm a progressive." And I say "That's wonderful, I appreciate the effort. But if there's white supremacy in me, my hunch is there is still a little in you--you better check yourself."

There is no way you're gonna have 244 years of white supremacist enslavement, and 81 years of Jim and Jane Crow Jr., then [every] 2 1/2 days for 51 years a black man, black woman, or black child was hanging from some tree - the strange fruit that southern trees bear that Billie Holiday sang about, and then in 27 years the vast majority of white brothers and sisters transcended racism. It's a joke--the same way black folks still haven't transcended it. History's not like that. You don't leapfrog over institutional and systematized forms of evil so quickly.

(Source: Dr. Cornel West, a Harvard University professor of religion and Afro-American Studies)