I think it's important to realize that race is a social construct and not something that has been around forever. Lately, I have been listening to an excellent podcast called Seeing White. One of the ideas discussed that really struck me is the notion that racism was created to maintain and justify power as opposed to the idea that racism created power.
A topic that currently is currently in the news is whether or not to tear down Confederate statues. Most of those statues were erected in response to the enaction of Jim Crow laws and the rise of the Civil Rights movement. The statues were created as a way of exerting power over African-Americans. Considering what those statues represent, it's amazing they are still around. If you travel to Germany, you will not see any statues commemorating Nazi leaders or soldiers. It's time we stop claiming "cultural heritage" in figures that declared war on the United States for the purpose of being able to own human beings.