Why do we put things off? Is our fear of failure, disappointment or embarrassment really so great that we let it lay waste to our dreams? Perhaps. But we also procrastinate because we believe we'll live forever.
The 1800s were of course a time of blatant racism, and many authors reflected that by depicting fictional characters of color in horribly stereotyped ways. Or they omitted those characters entirely, as if the world was populated by whites only.