October 27, 2012

Majority of Americans are racist

AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks

By Jennifer Agiesta and Sonya RossRacial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.

Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people's more favorable views of blacks.

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.

"As much as we'd hope the impact of race would decline over time ... it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago," said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with AP to develop the survey.

Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test. The survey on Hispanics had no past data for comparison.
Comment:  You can bet Americans' prejudice against Indians is just as strong.

This poll confirms several things I've said. That racism is far from a thing of the past. That many Americans still harbor prejudice against minorities. That conservatives are more prejudiced than liberals. That racism goes beyond what people explicitly say to their unstated and unconscious feelings. That a huge amount of the antipathy toward Obama--the Tea Party movement and the Romney campaign--results from this racism.

Same with the so-called "honor and respect" of Indian mascots, leathers 'n' feathers costumes, and advertising images. Much of this activity is fueled by unconscious racism. You don't use someone you respect--Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Ronald Reagan, or your mother--as a tool. Turning an Indian into a one-dimensional marketing gimmick is inherently demeaning. It necessarily misrepresents and trivializes an entire race.

For more on the subject, see:

"Stupid Indians" Criaglist posting
"Too sensitive" about Del Rey's headdress?
Transgendered Natives face more discrimination
GOP America = strivers vs. parasites
"Prairie Niggers!" in SDSU bathroom

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