Even more than 150 years after the end of slavery and more than 50 years after the successes of the civil rights movement, skin colour discrimination and racism in the USA still permeate large parts of society and almost all areas of life. For example, African Americans have less education, income, property and savings than their white US counterparts. Young African American men are also disproportionately more likely to be victims of police violence and more likely to be sentenced to stiffer prison terms. A deep division in US society has led to a resurgence of racism on many levels in recent years. And this is also reflected in increased outbreaks of violence. Jürgen Martschukat, Professor of North American History at the University of Erfurt, leads the research projects "Armed Self-Defence in Contemporary America: Intersectional Perspectives" and "Contested Democracy. Gender, race and sex in contemporary US history", which deal with the topics of racism and violence. In the second episode of the WortMelder podcast, we talk to him about these very topics and about how African Americans are criminalised, why we need to look back to the 1970s and 1980s to understand the present, what role Obama's presidency and his opponents play in this - and of course why these are issues that concern us here in Germany and Europe just as much.