Racism in America – Disgusting

I’ve been giving thought to racist attitudes for the past couple years. After President Obama was elected in 2008, I had hoped that racism was finally on the way out of the country. Over the past four years, I have been thinking that wasn’t the case.

Today I read an article in the Washington Post describing an AP poll on the subject.

The poll, along with a similar poll in 2008 according to the WaPo article showed an increase in anti-black attitude from 48% to 51%. There were even higher anti-Hispanic rates.

This is very disheartening to me. Unfortunately, I still hear echos of this. A friend might say something like “I saw this guy at WalMart, he was black, and he was…”. I occasionally hear the same thing, but replacing “black” with “mexican”, or even “middle eastern” in some variety. I do not think I’ve ever heard phrasing like that with “white”.

Blacks got the shaft from before the founding of the United States, and continued to receive mistreatment both individual and institutionally. Or rather, “continue”. It took President Lincoln to free enslaved blacks, and it took President Johnson to get the legal promise of equal rights, in 1963!

I think it is valid to ask why attitudes are worse. I’m sure part of it is economic. I think part of is is due to President Obama as well – not him personally, but the nutcase attacks on his heritage (both the “birthers” and the other idiots who think he is Muslim) that influence the easily led.

I’ve written before that I somehow lost the explicit racism I was raised with. I owe a number of people that conversion – Patti, DaVette, Bryan, William, Michael, and John (you all know who you are). None of these people had to tell me that racism was wrong – they demonstrated it through living. In a similar vein, I have hoped that the mere presence of our black citizens, doing good works and working in the community, would be the catalyst for a steady decrease in racism.

But that seems to not be the case. I have come to the conclusion several times in wondering why Obama is so hated by some is mainly due to racism. I did not want to come to this conclusion. I would almost rather that the opposition to Obama be due to his policies, or even blame it on the Republican failure to acknowledge the legitimacy of Democrat presidencies (that’s what happened to Clinton).

But the bottom line is the attitudes as documented by the AP poll. The poll also has similar numbers for Hispanics, about 52%. So it seems that Americans as a whole have problems with our brown-skinned population. I would be interested to see numbers for Asians, Middle Eastern, and Islamics as well. I suspect that (for the last two in particular), there would be similarly high numbers.

I’ve made the observation that, as a country, we are less than 50 years from truly barbaric treatment of black Americans. Racist bombings and lynchings in the 50s and 60s, and the tooth-and-nail fight against equal rights, particularly in the South, were not only anti-Constitutional, but morally wrong. We still have skinhead/neo-Nazi activity, and enough people who think the Confederate flag is some sort of “heritage” thing, instead of the anti-American curse that it really is.

I guess we are not far enough away from the bad days of the 50s and 60s. And we have a major political party (Republicans) that aren’t helping either.


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