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.