Right on cue for that conversation comes the release of a poll by the Associated Press suggesting that racism has actually increased since President Obama was elected.
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.There are people who take this information and assume it is somehow President Obama's fault or that he should have been the one to fix the problem.
In all, 51% of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48% in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56%, up from 49% during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.
I don't happen to agree with either of those assumptions. When I read that article, I immediately thought of a blog post by my friend Robinswing titled We Can't Fix Ya! I hope she won't mind if I quote a good bit of it...we need the reminder.
The blackwoman has been thinking it might be time to seek out some solutions for eliminating racism. A more difficult project than I imagined.President Obama is one of those black people who "took what he could get." The fact that in doing so he made some white people uncomfortable is THEIR problem - not his. What he is responsible for is to continue being the president of ALL of America and doing that to the best of his abilities - just as he has done the last 4 years.
Race is a problem for white people to solve. If black people or brown people could have made racism go away it would have long since disappeared back into the nothing-ness from which it came.
Nah, it’s on white folks to make the necessary moves to kill and bury, once and for all, the notion of race. I think in a generation or two this just might happen.
For one thing no small part of the fear rising in the hearts of some our finest race-baiting carbon units is the realization that within a generation they will be the minority. This idea causes folk like Pat Buchanan to go to sleep at night clutching at his gonads. He’s been ringing the white folks we’re about to be outnumbered bell for a really long time. With the election of America’s first black president, many of the dull-normals suddenly got it.
In the America they grew up in, such a thing was not possible. A black president was not a notion the mouth-breathers ever considered. It couldn’t happen...
Settling the question of race must fall on the shoulders of those who have most benefited by racial divisions. It’s called white privilege and if you are white you have enjoyed this privilege whether or not your parents are recent immigrants, held slaves, didn’t hold slaves, ancestors fought for the Union or the Rebels...White privilege belongs only to your race and only your race can call back the privilege by extending it through law, institution and practice to everyone. So far there has been no real effort in that direction. We got law. We understood you cannot legislate feelings. Only behavior.
We took what we could get...
White people have to come up with the solution to racism. Some of these folk are family. Some are neighbors. Some are friends. Talk to them. Don’t let them get away with the stereotypes. Challenge them on privilege. Point out that as long as this privilege exists, racism has a home.
If all else fails, remind them that they are soon to be the minority and that karma is a bitch.
The people who continue to harbor fear of the imminent loss of their privilege are just going to have to deal with it.