July 16, 2007

White people = mean and uncaring

The Reality of Race: Is the Problem That White People Don't Know or Don't Care?[R]esearchers found that whites more accurately assessed the burden of discrimination borne by a hypothetical minority group in a fictional country than they did in the specific case of black people's experience in the contemporary United States. In the hypothetical, whites estimated that the minority group members (described in the same terms as black Americans) deserved $1 million in compensation, but when presented with the question in the context of black Americans, the median estimate was $10,000.

That result was not surprising, but I was taken aback by the conclusion one of the researchers drew:

"Our data suggest that such resistance is not because White Americans are mean and uncaring, morally bankrupt or ethically flawed. White Americans suffer from a glaring ignorance about what it means to live as a Black American."

I think the data--along with all my experience both as a white person and someone who writes about white supremacy--suggests exactly the opposite:

White Americans are mean and uncaring, morally bankrupt and ethically flawed, because white supremacy has taken a huge toll on white people's capacity to be fully human.

1 comment:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
From writerfella's over six decades of dealing with White America, he sees that it actually is a combination of factors -- white Americans don't care to know. There's an old joke wherein one person says to another, 'What's wrong with this country is due to ignorance and apathy!' To which the other person replies, "I don't know, and I don't care!"
writerfella also has one more observation: no white man ever passes up the opportunity to act like the white man...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'