Only white people living a segregated life could fall for the conservative notion of an anti-white bias
According to a 2011 study jointly conducted by Harvard and Tufts University, several “legal and social” events regarding “reverse racism” spotlight white people’s increasing concern about anti-White bias. Republican politicians are increasingly using this trend as a way to bring out their core voting base for the midterm election. We are facing yet another election where the GOP is relying on the lethal combination of ignorance and emotion to win a majority in the House and Senate.
In both the 2000 and 2004 elections, Bush, Jr. and a slew of Republican minions across the country ran on the gay marriage issue. Anti-marriage equality issues were placed on the ballot in battleground states to turn out the conservative vote. And it worked. Now that public opinion has shifted and courts are striking down these voter approved bans the Republicans are scrambling to direct their hate elsewhere.
Feeding Racial Tensions
The Harvard/Tufts study found that white people viewed racism as a “zero-sum” game. That is, whites feel that decreases in perceived bias against Blacks are offset by increases in perceived bias against Whites. This view is extreme enough that Whites now view anti-white bias as a “bigger societal problem than anti-black bias.” Bill O’Reilly of Fox News recently reinforced this view on his show, saying: “All you hear is grievance, grievance, grievance, money, money, money.”
Yet little, if any, proof supports this growing concern among Whites. In fact, the numbers would suggest that we need to pay more attention to racial equality, not less:
- We have one black president and almost a million black people in jail.
- A black male born today in the U.S. has a life expectancy five years shorter than that of a white boy.
- One in three black men can expect to be incarcerated in their lifetime.
- The black-white income gap is roughly 40 percent greater today than it was in 1967
- Blacks are twice as likely to be unemployed.
- The net worth of a white household is $110,500 compared to just $6,314 for a black household.
As Nicolas Kristoff wrote, it is “not a black problem or a white problem, but an American problem. When so much talent is underemployed and overincarcerated, the entire country suffers.”
How to Overcome
Why are we so divided when it comes to white-black relations in the United States? Some have suggested that we look at how we have overcome other divisional issues. One recent example is the marriage equality issue.
More LGBT people than ever before have chosen to live openly. As a result we see celebrities, athletes, and just plain everyday folks coming out as gay. Now straight people are beginning to see that friends, or even their children, are gay and gradually changing their attitudes toward gays. The same is true of women’s issues. Researchers have found that male judges are more sympathetic to women’s rights when they have daughters.
Racism is more persistent because of “de facto segregation,” according to Kristoff, “Whites are unlikely to have many black friends.” It boils down to an “Us versus Them” mentality. Yes, there have been gains for in the United States when it comes to racial equality, but not enough.
Whites feel that the coverage of the police shooting of Micheal Brown is too much. They also believe that race is getting more attention than it deserves according to a recent Pew survey. But the reality of the racial issue begs to differ. If the media ignores the issue, white people will become more diluted (ignorant) to the issue of race.
With that ignorance comes an unjustified smugness that we are past the racial bias that held us back for over 60 years and any gains now made by blacks come at the expense of whites. And waiting in the wings are republican political hopefuls licking their chops for a chance to exploit yet another issue driven by emotion and ignorance.
The “White Trash” bias as a long, 400 year history independent of other minorities. Several biases exist concurrently and society acts on them.
Nancy Isenberg, PHD shares some of this history in
“White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America”
Martin Luther King saw this bigger than life as well.
True, This argument is a false dichotomy “whites feel that decreases in perceived bias against Blacks are offset by increases in perceived bias against Whites.” The Eugenics movement was quite bipartisan, directed on a class that had blacks and whites.
Until white people in America have to take to the streets to make public their collective experience of discrimination and inequality, until they and their children have to bear in withering silence the anger generated by constant racial slurs and taunts being hurled against them, until they have to face the dogs and the fire hoses and the beatings and the bombings in order to make a statement about their rightful place in American society, until they have to worry that every police stop holds the possibility of an imminent beating or worse, until…, until…, until…, their whine about being “discriminated against on the basis of being white” will serve as nothing more and nothing less than a sure signal of just how much they lack any vestige of self-awareness and just how embedded is their sense of entitlement.
Listening to a white person in America complain about anti-white bias/discrimination is like listening to a Christian in America complain about being “persecuted for my faith.” Initially, it’s good for a laugh. After that, it’s just sad. And, to me, as a white man who has enjoyed the privileges of being a white American for lo, these many years, disgusting.
Sorry, but the flying of Confederate flags here and there is no indicator of widespread institutional racism. It ‘s rare and a sign of a bygone era and white trash ignorance. White privilige is an illusion because working white poor and marginally middle class whites along with a sufficiently large number of solidly middle class whites possess no more privilege than similiarly situated blacks.
In fact, many Hispanics, Latinos, and Asians could claim that they are held back by black privilege. But they do not. Instead, they overcome barriers to their entry, work the system and survive to prosper. Yes, de jure segregation no longer exists since Brown, Heart of Atlanta and other SCOTUS landmark cases. The judges openly referred to the fact that de facto segregation might occur, and it has, but blacks are as much inclined to segregate themselves as are the aforementioned ethnic and racial groups.
Of course, I agree that Republicans are insensitive to voters of color, but they are also unresponsive to the struggle of a large number of whites.
This blog does nothing but pander to blacks and alienate whites. Black managers in large corporations tend to hire blacks. Black mayors will hire black staff and on down the departmental line. The City of Atlanta is a prime example.
In this day and age the only class that matters and the one that it is legal to discriminate on the basis of is wealth. It is counter-productive to harp about the contemporary shibboleth that is “white privilege.”
Look at the numbers, John.
Did you completely miss those?
Nice article, Wendy. White privilege permits white people from even the burden of learning about white privilege. African Americans don’t have the same la-la land retreat where they can pretend racial prejudice does not exist. Well-written, level headed articles like this are a powerful response to this problem.
I live in Florida. ..there is a 30 ft X 50 ft Confederate flag flying next to 2 interstate highways….go north and the first thing over the state line …a Confederate flag on the official Georgia marker…Same thing to the West.. official Alabama marker.. Reverse white bias is simply another red meat divisive ploy…similiar to take OUR Country Back….that White people seem to find as an identification with what used to be the Majority Rule of White Politicians. .Remember the backlash to Affirmative Action in the 1970’s…same ploy …different phraseology