History is complicated. With millions of people running around doing things, there is a lot happening at once. In order to tell a story that finite minds can comprehend, some facts must be left out. Events must be cherry-picked that fit the story. A narrative must be imposed. This does not necessarily make a lie; but it does make a partial truth.
It is true that some Americans used to own slaves and that most slaves were of African descent. It is also true that some people fought to keep slavery a viable institution, and that laws were enacted to keep slaves dependent (such as the anti-literacy laws). It is also true that when slavery officially ended, racial discrimination continued and new forms of exploitation arose, such as “wage slavery.” It is also true that white supremacists continue to live in America to this day. That America has long been a nation of white supremacy is one narrative.
It is also true that every human culture on every continent once had slavery in some form. Sometimes they were kin. Sometimes they were captured from enemy tribes. Africans bought and sold other Africans for thousands of years before Arab merchants carried them across the sea in crowded ships. It was Western civilization that first began to break the pattern. Christianity taught that God loved all people. The American Declaration of Independence claimed all men were created equal. Many American founders wanted to end slavery nationwide from the beginning, but for political expediency agreed to a compromise that allowed each state to decide for itself. Eventually a civil war was fought to end the practice. Since then, great strides have been made to end discrimination and segregation of all kinds. Cultural contributions from all over the world have mixed to give rise to a uniquely American culture copied around the world. Blacks have given us much of our trends in fashion, slang, and music, while Italians have given us culinary delights and Jews have given us comedy. Interracial marriage is common. That America has led the way in inclusiveness is another narrative.
Be careful not to jump to conclusions from only hearing one side of history. There’s a lot going on at once.
In politics, we play with the lives of other people. Those we vote for will put in place policies that might make the difference between life and death, imprisonment and freedom, or poverty and riches. Voting without being fully informed is the worst form of negligence. Listen to as many different news sources as you have time for. Seek out contrary opinions. Check your bias. Read history. Read science. Find a trusted analyst to sift the news for you, explain it, and put it in context. Look for errors in their logic. Ask for supporting evidence. Most of all, actually think.
Logic. Love. Liberty.