Republicans in Congress passed a bill today officially declaring that racism no longer exists in the United States.
Large majorities of conservative lawmakers in both the House and Senate voted for the symbolic measure, which coincided with this year’s Martin Luther King Day holiday.
“Today we can finally say that Martin Luther King’s dream has been fully realized,” said Speaker John Boehner from the House floor. “We have an African-American president. We have an African-American attorney general. We have blacks in the Senate and on the Supreme Court.
“Fourteen African-Americans have even been to space. Hundreds of black athletes earn millions of dollars each year in professional sports. And every time I turn on HBO or my local radio station, there’s a black entertainer making us laugh or helping us to get our groove on.
“Black people have achieved success at the highest levels of American life. And I think it’s safe to say that none of these extraordinary individuals could not have accomplished these feats in a racist society.
“So I join most Americans in recognizing what we’ve all known for years: racism is a thing of the past. Finally we can put this terrible chapter of our history behind us.”
Although much progress has been made in recent decades, African-Americans in the United States are still more likely to go to jail, less likely to go to college and earn much less money on average than whites.
Just in the past few months, several unarmed black teenagers were shot by police under controversial circumstances, a stark reminder of the deep racial inequities that remain in the justice system.
Such events do little to convince those on the right, however, who argue that the election of the nation’s first black president has canceled out any remaining racial discrimination in society.
“Hopefully now that racism is over, black people will put down the watermelons, stop making excuses and finally get jobs,” added Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who once addressed a white supremacist group and yet inexplicably remains the third-ranking Republican in the House.