Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Seeing racists in others yet not self...

I wish I could say this recent article from CNN on a new poll was surprising but...it's not:

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.

Ironically the issue of color came up earlier on Glass City Jungle because we were discussing something that our Mayor had stated about a local shopping mall should hire more officers "of color" to be off duty security with the implication being that some of the teens and young adults that were causing issues would respond better to a non-white officer.

I took and take the position that it should not be about the color of the skin of the officer it should be the uniform that is respected. That the longer we make that basically an excuse for bad behavior the longer we will continue as we are.

What this poll does demonstrate is there is a problem with perception:

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.

There are people out there I dislike, but it's not based on the color of their skin, yet how do you combat that knowing that many of all of those polled seem to believe that I or anyone would automatically dislike them based on the color of their skin?

Granted the poll is a small sampling, only 1,207 Americans, including 328 blacks and 703 non-Hispanic whites, and it would be easy to say that makes it not as valid but I've seen some of that same attitude here in my own hometown. A supervisor does not say "hello" to a worker, and it is automatically assumed that the supervisor is "racist" because the worker was black and the supervisor was white. The above mentioned belief that somehow a police officer's skin color should matter and an attempt to shut down an arab owned carry out while ignoring several black owned carry out's that have documented issues in the same exact neighborhood. The not distant discussion where it was felt that Ken Blackwell would get support from the Black communties of Ohio merely based on the fact that he was black. I could go on but those are just a few of the recent examples that immediately come to mind.

I watched the video on CNN about the town of Vidor. How many years will this continue? It doesn't appear that Vidor is racist, that those episodes are so far in the past well except for the woman who went on camera saying she didn't want to eat with blacks...but believing that many years later that Vidor is still a "sundown town", that type of belief continues to add to the mistrust and at times even the hatred.


Me4Prez said...

I know some people who I consider racist. I think the technical term for them is family.

I do not consider myself racist and I am more afraid of poor whites than anyone. I have never seen racism as bad as when I was in the Army. And it went all ways. I had a friend who did not know any white people before joining, always said he hated white people, but was one of my best friends because he said he didn't consider me as white.

Hooda Thunkit said...


You're right about respecting the uniform, many groups don't though.

I don't look at the color of a person's skin, preferring to judge them individually, by the content (or the lack thereof) of their character.

I learned that by listening to a very influential and thoughtful clergyman.

I've found both good and bad in all racial groups, although I've noted a more prominent prejudice in one or two.

The numbers you cited though were not unexpected.