Beyond FRUSTRATING: Racism Alive and Well in the U.S.
· 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks.
· Just seven in 10 Democrats support Obama.
· Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks:
--20 percent of all whites said the word “violent” strongly applied,
--22 percent agreed with “boastful,”
--29 percent “complaining,”
--13 percent “lazy” and
--11 percent “irresponsible.”
· When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.
· More than a quarter (25%!) of white Democrats agree that “if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites.”
· Among white Independents, nearly four in 10 (40%!) agree that blacks would be better off if they “try harder.”
A stunning graph is included with the article, but only in the “printable” version that readers have to click-through to view. I also found intriguing a Yahoo ad that was run at one time to the bottom left of this article; the ad portrayed a sad middle-aged black man and asked if the reader was depressed. How fitting.
The lead of this article wraps it all up in a wake-up call to Obama supporters who assume their candidate is a shoe-in: “Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House.”
Stanford political scientist Paul Sniderman, who helped analyze the “exhaustive” survey, had this to say: “There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn’t mean there’s only a few bigots.”
I’ve met with readers of my novel (which explores subtle forms of contemporary prejudice) who insist we’re “better than this” or “black people are treated just the same as everyone else” or “you’re exaggerating.” Others insist they’re “colorblind” and wonder why we can’t simply “put this behind us.” Maybe this article will finally make more people see, as Marvin Gaye once sang so sweetly, “What’s Going On.”
Post-note: By 7:30 a.m. MST today, the article “Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama” had already been bumped off the list of Top AP Stories.