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Old 12-12-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

Pursuant to our excellent exchange of views and ideas over the last couple months, I found this article timely and interesting!

Tom


http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/12/racism.poll/index.html

(CNN) -- Most Americans, white and black, see racism as a lingering problem in the United States, and many say they know people who are racist, according to a new poll.

But few Americans of either race -- just one out of eight -- consider themselves racist.

And experts say racism has evolved from the days of Jim Crow to the point that people may not even recognize it in themselves. (video link: Watch people in a Texas town where blacks are still afraid to stop)

A poll conducted last week by Opinion Research Corp. for CNN indicates that whites and blacks disagree on how serious a problem racial bias is in the United States.

Almost half of black respondents to the poll -- 49 percent -- said racism is a "very serious" problem, while 18 percent of whites shared that view. Forty-eight percent of whites and 35 percent of blacks chose the description "somewhat serious."

Asked if they know someone they consider racist, 43 percent of whites and 48 percent of blacks said yes.

But just 13 percent of whites and 12 percent of blacks consider themselves racially biased.

Professor Jack Dovidio of the University of Connecticut, who has researched racism for more than 30 years, estimates up to 80 percent of white Americans have racist feelings they may not even recognize.

"We've reached a point that racism is like a virus that has mutated into a new form that we don't recognize," Dovidio said.

He added that 21st-century racism is different from that of the past.

"Contemporary racism is not conscious, and it is not accompanied by dislike, so it gets expressed in indirect, subtle ways," he said.

That "stealth" discrimination reveals itself in many different situations.

A three-year undercover investigation by the National Fair Housing Alliance found that real estate agents steered whites away from integrated neighborhoods and steered blacks in to predominantly black neighborhoods.

Racism also can be a factor in getting a job.

Candidates named Emily O'Brien or Neil McCarthy were much more likely to get calls back from potential employers than applicants named Tamika Williams and Jamal Jackson, even though they had the same credentials, according to a study by the University of Chicago.

Racial bias may even determine whether you can flag a cab.

New York Times writer Calvin Sims wrote a recent article about all the cabdrivers that refused to stop for him.

"If a cab passes you by, obviously it is frustrating, it's degrading and it's just really confusing, because this is akin to being in the South and being refused service at a lunch counter, which is what happened in the 60s and 70s," he said.
Victimized

The Opinion Research poll shows that blacks and whites disagree on how each race feels about the other.

Asked how many whites dislike blacks, 40 percent of black respondents said "all" or "many." Twenty-six percent of whites chose one of those replies.

On the question of how many blacks dislike whites, 33 percent of blacks said "all" or "many," while 38 percent of whites agreed -- a wash because of the poll's 5 percent margin of error.

About half of black respondents said they had been a victim of discrimination because of their race. A little more than a quarter of whites said they had been victims of racial discrimination.

The poll was based on phone interviews conducted December 5 through Thursday with 1,207 Americans, including 328 blacks and 703 non-Hispanic whites.
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

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A little more than a quarter of whites said they had been victims of racial discrimination.
uh oh. 1 in 4 whites are bitten in the ass by affirmative action!

on the flipside im sure out of the 50% of blacks who have been a victim, some experienced segregation in the south.
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

Hey Tom - wasn't the Kramer thread good enough for you?

There are a lot of provocative statements made in this article - I see three or four separate findings having the potential for creating endless debates...
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

Ever the doubting Thomas on things like this (polls... not race)

I would want to the see the actual poll, the statistics, the places polled, etc.

There are just too many variables in polling opinions, especially opinions of racism.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

Thing is, it's not about racism itself; it's about perception. THAT is what I find fascinating. Because it asks the subjects to give how they feel, it can only accurately represent their feelings.

To me, it's like having 75% of the people say that they think they are good drivers, but that 75% of the rest of the drivers are bad. The poll illustrates the gap between perceptions, with the truth being missed. The new and encouraging truth that I got out of it is that people do not WANT to be racist. That if they knew how to avoid it, they would. That there is still mistrust, but it is less than one might think.


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Old 12-12-2006, 03:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

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The poll illustrates the gap between perceptions, with the truth being missed.
Tom
What is the truth? - racism - especially as it is defined and re-defined over and over in our day - is almost entirely based on perceptions - ie AA think there is too much racial profiling - while white america thinks that racial profiling is not happening enough because of PC...could give 100 more examples - but if anyone is asked directly if they are racist, do they think racism still exists, do you know anybody who is, etc - what do you think they are going to say?
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

Well jeez, sumo, I don't know what the truth actually IS, all I know is that since the numbers don't add up, perceptions are skewed! :)

I gave my own interpretation, I thought overall it was hopeful, that people are trying and that they would do more if they recognized it. The research agrees with a lot of what we all shared in the last couple threads, by my reading of it.


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Old 12-12-2006, 04:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

Sumo makes an excellent point. It is hard to define something when definitions change depeneding on perspective.

I guess Hedgemony isn't so bad after all
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

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Originally Posted by Mosca View Post
Well jeez, sumo, I don't know what the truth actually IS, all I know is that since the numbers don't add up, perceptions are skewed! :)

I gave my own interpretation, I thought overall it was hopeful, that people are trying and that they would do more if they recognized it. The research agrees with a lot of what we all shared in the last couple threads, by my reading of it.


Tom
I wasn't slamming you Tom - it was a question to make my point/illustrate my view on the article you posted - there is no convention today on racism - let me be ridiculous to make my point - I'm a pollster - I call the Grand Master whatever of the KKK and ask him if he thinks he's a racist - I bet he would probably say no... it was much easier to recognize the "truth" about racism some decades ago - in our time it is all about perception - I think the article more than anything else, points to a heightened sensitivity - and I agree with you for the most part this is a good thing.. the fact that the AA community is recognizing it more is also a good thing ie Michale Irvin, Dave Chapelle, several musicians. etc
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Just 1 in 8 Americans (either black or white) see themselves as racist...

OK sumo, I get it now; I did misunderstand you. I didn't think you were slamming me, but I was unsure what you saw in the article that I didn't. Now I see that you were actually expanding on it. I agree with what you said, that the "truth" as seen in the article is relative, that what is true for one and what is true for another are different. The different perceptions become the truth, and then reality is shaped by that. Did I rephrase it the way you meant it?

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