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Pretty much everybody, actually.

For white people, it seemed more or less obvious: "we've got guns and live in civilized nations, and they're squatting in the jungle with spears." Of course, being the ones with the guns does tend to give your opinion on what constitutes "civilization" more weight, if not more actual validity.

However, it's kind of surprising how valued light skin has been even in populations where the norm is rather darker. This might have something to do with the fact that richer and higher-status people could stay inside instead of having to go out and work in the sun all day.

(Note: I'm not saying the claim is right, I'm just pointing out that it wasn't one person, or even a small group, but that this is, historically, a pretty general attitude.)

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Q: Who decided that white people were better then black?
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