Monday, January 20, 2014

White people the real victims of racism?

(image from Psychology Today)
Articles like this just blow me away (and not in a good sense). The headline says it all: "Study Finds White Americans Believe They Experience More Racism Than African Americans."

Say what? I'm a white man, and I'm pretty sure this is one of the stupidest beliefs I've ever heard. Ever. And I've heard a lot of stupid beliefs!

Here's an excerpt:
There’s a saying that “the new racism is to deny that racism exists.” If that is the case, it may explain a study conducted by researchers from Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School. Their findings claim that self-described white Americans believe they have “replaced blacks” as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America.

The authors say that their study highlights how the expectations of a “post-racial” society, predicted or imagined in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidency, has far from been achieved.

The study finds that while both Caucasian and African Americans agree that anti-black racism has decreased over the last 60 years, whites believe that anti-white racism has increased. Moreover, the study finds that the majority of Caucasians believe that anti-white racism is a “bigger problem” than what African Americans face.

Talk about faith-based thinking! Do we even need to discuss this? Well, apparently we do. I can't imagine any American being dumb enough to believe this, but... well, it's just astonishing, isn't it?

The article continues:
Tufts Associate Professor of Psychology Samuel Sommers, PhD is the co-author of the article “Whites See Racism as a Zero-sum Game that They Are Now Losing,” from the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. He comments that ”It’s a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment.” ...

An astounding 11% of Caucasian respondents assigned the maximum rating of 10 to the seriousness of anti-white discrimination. Compare that with only 2% who reported the same of anti-black racism. Caucasians, the study found, often believe that racial equality is “a zero sum game,” where one group gains at the expense of others.

Get that? More than 1 in 10 whites thought that anti-white discrimination couldn't get any worse, that it was at the absolute maximum in America!

If that doesn't blow you away, it should! I don't think I've ever witnessed one instance of anti-white discrimination my entire life, neither directed at me or at anyone else I've ever known.

In fact, the very existence of anti-white discrimination, the idea that I might be discriminated against on the basis of my race, has never crossed my mind. Ever! Not in my childhood, my youth, my working years, or now. It's just never been a consideration.

But we white people are supposed to be facing discrimination and bigotry? Really? How dumb can you get?

This is depressing, isn't it? That Americans of any race could be this dumb? The only bit of hope I can gather from this is that the sample size of the study was very, very small (only 209 Caucasians and 208 African Americans). Maybe they just got a particularly dumb batch of white people?

Oh, and racial equality is not a zero sum game! Nor is equality in the areas of religion, sex, or gender, for that matter. Equality in general is not a zero sum game - just the reverse, in fact. Letting everyone participate fully in the American dream enriches us all.

If there's a problem in America, it's that we're not quite there yet. We've come a long way, but we've still got a ways to go. And as a straight white man, I'm looking forward to that. Equal rights for everyone else doesn't threaten me one little bit.


SantosG said...

I would write a comment with more content about this, but in my country it's damn late and I have to go to sleep. But I totally agree with you and it was a great post. :) I'm glad I found your blog and forgive me for my bad grammar.

WCG said...

Thanks for the comment, SantosG. Please come back again when you've got more time.

jeff725 said...

It's that time of year again, WCG. MLK Day and the Right is engaged in their favorite cynical pastime: playing the "content of their character" card.

You know the drill by now; as the Right tells it, there were only four words in the "I Have A Dream" guessed it...."content of their character." If you think about it deeply enough, right-wingers saying "content of their character" is coded racial language to other right-wingers. Then they pull the old bait-and-switch and accuse liberals of being the REAL racists. This year's offender? None other than Mrs. Moose Chili:

BTW, I got 2 tickets to Bill Maher at the Lied Center March 30. I wonder if Jody P will be there? If he is, you might have to get me out of the hospital after they surgically remove my foot from Jody's ass. :)

WCG said...

Thanks for the link, Jeff - though it's a bit depressing, isn't it? Then again, so was my original post, huh?

And enjoy Bill Maher. That should be lots of fun, as long as you watch where you put your foot. :)

Futacy said...

1. The longest filibuster in US history was a 24 hour long rambling done by the governor of Mississippi in the 1950s to block a bill that, if passed, would make lynchings a federal crime. The governor's argument relied on the notion that lynching is a good and effective way to prevent black on white violence, which was virtually non-existent back then, and lynchings were often (if not usually) done on false charges or charges with little to no evidence.

2. Though many studies and surveys have consistently shown that black people are no more likely to buy or sell drugs than white people, black people are more than twice as likely to be arrested on drug charges. Also, when being pulled over on the road, black people are also nearly three times as likely to be searched without arrests being made than white people.

3. A 2003 Milwaukee study was done to test how much having a criminal record affected your chances of being hired from a job interview. However, they were surprised to fins out that being black hurts (with a clean record) your chances significantly more than having a criminal record alone (and being white). Apparently, black people are WORSE than criminals by job interview standards.

4. Anti-white racism is wore than any racism has ever been in the USA, even worse than segregation in Mississippi, and white people are the primary victims of racism in the USA today because we're not allowed to use the "n" word, but black people can. If you don't want us to use it, then why does every single black person (yes I've counted) use it? It's not fair. It's just not.

People can be so full of it.

Futacy said...

Number 4 was sarcasm, just in case you didn't catch that.

WCG said...

I did. :) Thanks for the comments, Futacy!