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How big of a problem is racism in the USA?

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The virulence of Racism in the USA  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Is inter-racial racism a significant social problem in the USA?

    • Very significant.
      7
    • Somewhat significant.
      0
    • Slightly significant.
      6
    • Absolutely insignificant.
      1


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(Some background: http://blairrockefellerpoll.uark.edu/6107.php )

 

A side-topic, and perhaps a foundational one, for the Ferguson situation is the issue of racism in the USA.

 

When I look at the national conversation about Ferguson, I detect a conversation that's often two sides talking past each other.

 

I think the root of this problem is a decidedly different view of racism in the USA, and the practical effects of racism, based on, well, one's race.

 

To put the problem in the simplest--and perhaps oversimplified--terms, the majority of white people think there's not very much racism, and it's no big deal when it does exist, and the majority of black people think pretty much the opposite.

 

Regardless of what "the masses" think, however, I was wondering what people here thought...

 

 

Edited by dream_weaver
modified poll question

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At this point, the biggest problem is racism among blacks. I don't mean the "black power" idiots, I mean the type of racism where black people are expected to behave and think a certain way ("be black") by fellow blacks. It's not just when it comes to political views (though that's a big part of it, as evidenced by the overwhelming majority of blacks leaning left), but also religion, culture, everyday habits.

 

It's ridiculous how many times one hears the adjective "black" used by black people to describe not a person's skin color, but the very thing MLK warned people not to define based on skin color: the content of a person's character.

 

There are of course other forms of racism (be it institutionalized racism in some areas of government and business, against blacks, or affirmative action, a racist policy which disadvantages whites), but they have nowhere near the kind of impact the racism blacks inflict on other blacks has.

Edited by Nicky

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Ditto what Nicky said.

I think racism is a huge problem in our country right now, but I don't think any more than a percentage of a percentage of white people are perpetrating it.  While there's no lack of irrationality coming from every single ethnic group, virtually all white Americans seem too scared to even whisper the "N" word, let alone make it a battle cry.  No; the huge problem I'm referring to consists of the people rioting in the streets with Molotov cocktails and lynching the nearest white person whenever they can find an excuse to.

 

And make no mistake about these recurring 'demonstrations'; they are modern-day lynchings, happening right here in America, at every semi-plausible opportunity.

 

It honestly frightens me.

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Ditto what Nicky said.

I think racism is a huge problem in our country right now, but I don't think any more than a percentage of a percentage of white people are perpetrating it.  While there's no lack of irrationality coming from every single ethnic group, virtually all white Americans seem too scared to even whisper the "N" word, let alone make it a battle cry.  No; the huge problem I'm referring to consists of the people rioting in the streets with Molotov cocktails and lynching the nearest white person whenever they can find an excuse to.

 

And make no mistake about these recurring 'demonstrations'; they are modern-day lynchings, happening right here in America, at every semi-plausible opportunity.

 

It honestly frightens me.

 

 

Got it. So you voted, "absolutely insignificant" above, correct? I want to make sure  everybody understands the poll...

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Ditto what Nicky said.

I think racism is a huge problem in our country right now, but I don't think any more than a percentage of a percentage of white people are perpetrating it.  While there's no lack of irrationality coming from every single ethnic group, virtually all white Americans seem too scared to even whisper the "N" word, let alone make it a battle cry.  No; the huge problem I'm referring to consists of the people rioting in the streets with Molotov cocktails and lynching the nearest white person whenever they can find an excuse to.

Whaaaa???? Lynching? No one has been lynched in this manner. You do realize lynching involves killing? You seem to say "racism is only something minorities do, white people are victims". What in the world are you talking about?

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Whaaaa???? Lynching? No one has been lynched in this manner. You do realize lynching involves killing? You seem to say "racism is only something minorities do, white people are victims". What in the world are you talking about?

 

Perhaps you could say, lynching in another manner: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/92-515.ZO.html

 

Random acts of violence by black youths are creating a sense of insecurity among whites, Central & Far East-Asian immigrants, Latinos, and even the African-Americans themselves. This is not to say that "white-on-black" violence doesn't happen; certainly it does. Yet, stories such as the one in the link I've provided rarely generate much national attention, and they haven't generated much mob violence since the incident at Howard Beach.

The results of a survey on NPR stated that the majority of those arrested in the Ferguson riots had jobs. They could have been pursuing some more constructive act of self-interest, rather than jumping into the eye of the proverbial tornado. The problem is huge, complicated, and I believe that many of the acts of legislation intended to promote racial harmony have been quite unsuccessful. I'd like to say I have the solution, but I don't.

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The issue of internalized bigotry, collectivism, and conformity are hugley important. Its kind of sad, but even if blacks were as oppressed as some leftists claim, they would most likely worse off with their own governments just because of how unwilling they are to see one another as individual people with their own lives to live.

 

I think that a combination of learned prejudice and normal in-group biases in majority groups does lead to injustices being done to minority groups in the United States. This isn't just true for race though. Its all over the place, and in some places the roles are reversed. Sometimes women are objectified and are sexually harassed at work. Sometimes men are accused of being pedophiles while being in public alone with their daughters. White children who are minorities in their school districts are of often abused by the majority population. Black people sometimes speak in a different way, and people assume they are stupid, lazy, criminal, or unproductive because of this. 

 

However, minorities in this country do go through things that are caused by the rest of their communities (its never just straight white men). I have witnessed some major bullying of asians (emasculation for males, objectification for females). I know a black girl who was accused of being a prostitute just because she was making out with her boyfriend in a parked car, they even took her to jail. I know that my boss is a pretty active bigot in his hiring processes (and if I told anyone about this I would just be blown off because no one cares).  My mother works at an HR firm, and tells me that many of the businesses which recieve employees from them have major qualms about hiring blacks.

 

Those are just anecdotes. I am not a sociologist so I don't know how exactly I could quantify and test these issues for anyone here. What is worse is that a lot of people who like to talk about these issues are either progressives or far-left Anarchists, which leads them to missing very important nuances.  I would encourage anyone though to keep an eye out for how minorities are treated in whatever communities they are a part of,  and to ask them if they do think that they are treated unjustly because they aren't part of the majority groups in the organization or community.

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Racism can also be understood that, in the past, there was a supposed pseudo-scientific justification for racism.  Do I think that most people believe this today?  No.  I think that racism in America has morphed into something more along the lines of division by class, education level, religion, culture, etc. - with the color of a persons skin playing a small role in their acceptance/rejection by others.  If you saw someone in a Prius with a Nader for President and NPR bumper sticker, how would your estimation of the driver's values differ if he/she were black, white or Hispanic?  

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If you saw someone in a Prius with a Nader for President and NPR bumper sticker, how would your estimation of the driver's values differ if he/she were black, white or Hispanic?

I doubt the different estimations of the driver's values will result in different behavior toward the driver: at least for 90% of estimators in 99% of situations. Edited by softwareNerd

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Those are just anecdotes. I am not a sociologist so I don't know how exactly I could quantify and test these issues for anyone here. What is worse is that a lot of people who like to talk about these issues are either progressives or far-left Anarchists, which leads them to missing very important nuances.  I would encourage anyone though to keep an eye out for how minorities are treated in whatever communities they are a part of,  and to ask them if they do think that they are treated unjustly because they aren't part of the majority groups in the organization or community.

 

The OP has a link to an interesting study that provides some hard numbers. Like I said, the TL;DR is that white people don't imagine (inter-racial) racism existing whereas blacks see it as a big problem.

 

One can imagine that is because:

 

a. They are making it up to pollsters so they can secure more handouts.

 

b. They are telling the truth about their own experiences.

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I doubt the different estimations of the driver's values will result in different behavior toward the driver: at least for 90% of estimators in 99% of situations.

This post could get interesting if you are taking the position that your behavior is not influenced by the non-verbal ways in which people communicate.  You do understand that my "example" was meant to be humorous, but at the same time illustrate a point? 

 

If you were in a part of your city, known for it's high crime rate, and you saw someone in a wife-beater taking a shot gun into a liquor store, you're telling me that this would not alter your behavior?  That you would follow him in assuming that he's not up to something bad?

Edited by New Buddha

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... if you are taking the position that your behavior is not influenced by the non-verbal ways in which people communicate.

I agree, my behavior is influenced by non-verbal communication. The example you give in your post above is a good one, where the non-verbal communication is relevant to the decision.

On the other hand, when it comes to (say) interviewing a person for a job, being black, or male, or Japanese does not communicate anything on its own.

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On the other hand, when it comes to (say) interviewing a person for a job, being black, or male, or Japanese does not communicate anything on its own.

This is the point that I was making in Post #9.  That in the past, especially the 19th and early part of the 20th Century, many people held pseudo-scientific beliefs about the superiority/inferiority of different races.  And that when people throw around the term "racism" now days, it has a different meaning from what it did in the past.

Edited by New Buddha

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True. Yet, there still is bias and stereo-typing.

Terms like "bias" and "stereo-typing" are revisionist, negative and indicative of an intrinsicist mind-set.  An Individual makes inferences based on the information available to him at the time.  That information may later prove to be false, and amendable, but that doesn't mean that it is not objective within the sum total of available knowledge to him at the time that the decision is made.  Labels such as "bias" and "stereo-typing" are assigned from a privileged, third party perspective - i.e. a mythical luxury that does not exist.

 

Edit:  Every decision made is a "biased" decision.  Is an "un-biased" decision the same as a "un-selfish" act?

Edited by New Buddha

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I agree, my behavior is influenced by non-verbal communication. The example you give in your post above is a good one, where the non-verbal communication is relevant to the decision.

On the other hand, when it comes to (say) interviewing a person for a job, being black, or male, or Japanese does not communicate anything on its own.

Statistics about black Americans, white Americans, and Japanese Americans differ in many ways, sometimes dramatically so. A person's skin color, given just this little bit of extra context (that they're American), communicates which set of numbers to apply if one wishes to estimate the likelihood of a person having certain attributes.

 

I don't know how useful that information is, but it is information, and it is being communicated by the person's skin color. Hate to go this far (because it's unrealistic), but I can at least imagine a situation where an employer is really pressed for time and doesn't have time to go over everyone's qualifications, and looking to pick someone with math skills out of a large pool of people, where it might pay to only bother spending time checking the qualifications of Asian applicants.

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Hate to go this far (because it's unrealistic), but I can at least imagine a situation where an employer is really pressed for time and doesn't have time to go over everyone's qualifications, and looking to pick someone with math skills out of a large pool of people, where it might pay to only bother spending time checking the qualifications of Asian applicants.

 

But you don't imagine such a scenario (or a parallel one e.g. blacks and a job involving security) being realistic? You don't imagine that happens in the USA?

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There is lot of discussion about this topic on the Tea Party sites where I am a member – at the end I made the following generally self-explanatory post to start my long OP on related issues which have now become very serious.

XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XX

The huge misunderstanding and undeserved guilt amongst white Americans about the topic of racism due to history of slavery, their demoralization due to democracy aggravated by the whole world hating their success (including internal haters), makes me repeat a few lines as introduction to this post.

An important frequent objection was on TP Patriots: What the heck does this topic have to do with the TPM and our three core values?  And even warnings were issued not to go astray into racism.

 

Basically I am for the 3 core values of TPM. But democracy has destroyed them, so I am against democracy. Democracy runs on votes and for a long time now race is being used as a major tool to segregate America, to create loyal vote-blocks, garner votes and they have already destroyed the US Constitution. In fact when the GOP emancipated the Af-Ams, the Dems were racists and Af-Ams were loyal GOP voters. But later, as part of democracy, the Dems hijacked the entire Af-Am vote-block by gradually destroying the US Constitution, starting with Wilson the racist-segregationist, FDR’s New Deal, Demo-platform of 1960 etc! But on TP Nation the black conservative Marcus produced an exceptional quote to show how race is being misused to destroy America since 1911 and prior – merely to satisfy vested self-interest. (http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blog/show?id=3355873%3ABlogPost%3A2909178&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_post

(Part of it is produced here for readers’ convenience --

Marcus Quote: While I am familiar with black Republican author, orator, and advisor to U.S. Presidents, Booker T. Washington, I only recently came across this amazing quote from him which nailed the Rev. Sharptons and Rev Jacksons of America back in 1911.

There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

Wow! Booker T. Washington had these low life scoundrels figured out way back then. He perfectly described the shameful despicable exploitation of the goodness of the American people on display at the Michael Brown funeral.

Folks, in a nutshell, the Left's selective outrage over Brown's death is about getting paid and ginning up rage-based black voter turnout for Democrats in November. Apparently, the Democrats and MSM only consider a young black male's life of value when it is taken by a white person. Epidemic black on black shootings only get a yawn from Dems and the MSM while sipping their mocha lattes.

Insidiously, irresponsibly and strategically, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder even threw in their anecdotal two cents, sharing their uncomfortable experiences with police as black males.                  Marcus Unquote

As per the link provided by Marcus just above, Obama has taken the unprecedented step of sending 3 White-House (apart from the role of his special advisor, the famous Reverend, in the drama) to attend Brown’s funeral – all 3 are black – and white people shiver that they will be accused of racism!

Part of my response to the above:

But just incidental to Marcus’ information above, I am producing a similar piece (it is shared with a similar-minded Indian friend I acquired during my many years in India for job purposes) --

A rich European NGO came to a slum in India to educate and improve them. The slum-lord without whose permission nothing can be done there, has 3 known wives (and god knows how many illegal ones). He suggested a simple solution: “spend 10 -12% of your huge kitty on a few binges of food and cheap alcohol for the people you want to uplift; they will be happy because they don’t like to learn but consume. Divide remaining money into 2 parts, one for me, the other amongst all of you.” They said, “Ours is a long term project, we want to teach these illiterate people how to live”.  He answered: “Bloody idiots! If these people improve where will I go? My huge money, leadership position, clout, boot-legging, everything depends on their votes which depend on their being illiterate worms.”

India and US are so far apart in terms of development as to be different universes – yet they have some similarities too – that is because of democracy which leads to similar behavior of power-hungry politicians.

Democracy is a fertile ground for the breeding and prosperous nurture of these scoundrels (referred to by Marcus and Booker Washington), the Sharptons and Jacksons -- but the list of whites pointed out by me (Wilson, FDR, JFK, LBJ to today) is far more pernicious; the drama is far more paying to them than Sharptons and Jacksons and Obamas. Merely cursing them or even removing them is of no use, democracy will ensure that they will be replaced by equivalents; democracy necessitates need for evils such as today’s reverse racism on whites (as per Marcus “despicable exploitation of the goodness of the American people”). DEMOCRACY SHOULD BE UNDONE                                    Unquote

The racial division is now substantial – the three core values of TPM are mainly held by whites (and therefore they are called as “racists”) and non-whites mainly vote for their destruction. And as Marcus says, issues like Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown are frequently blown only for vested interests. Several policies of Dems are adopted purely with race in mind (example increasing their voters by Latino immigration).

The individualist Americans’ (mainly white Americans’) response to all the above is captured in one statement by a member on TP Patriots: "unfortunately liberals have played the race game so well and so long that we are all fearful of being labeled racist" – this is a gross  understatement, the whites hold a huge undeserved guilt about slavery and are going overboard in making up for it, almost to the extent of getting America destroyed – If they know the reality (which I am presenting) they will be shell-shocked about the falsification: they are the greatest and only emancipators in mankind’s history while slavery and prejudice are very normal all over the earth even today!

I agree that one has to show that he is not being racist while bringing out the contribution of race to today’s slide – but if the topic is completely banned it will never be exposed. I will offer my write-up with proofs and within limits of not making any racist remarks – and every statement will be logically proved.

My OP on the topic is in reality an Introduction to a long write-up; unfortunately because of the huge misunderstandings about this topic I had to write an introduction to the introduction! Please remember – the topic is too complex, half page posts will get us nowhere except criticizing the opponents within our own cadres who already know it all. Long write-up is needed to undo democracy and you will have to be patient with my writing.                      Accordingly I am starting a separate OP in the à Productivity à Member Writing section.

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But you don't imagine such a scenario (or a parallel one e.g. blacks and a job involving security) being realistic? You don't imagine that happens in the USA?

That's not what I meant by "not realistic". I said that the scenario where that's a rational course of action is not realistic.

 

But of course it happens. It happens everywhere, not just in the USA, and it happens to people of every race, nationality, hair color, etc. Some people are stupid, or thoughtless, or inclined to use poorly thought out preconception to make decisions. Or they let their emotions blow minor details out of proportion.

 

But for that to be a problem for someone, it would have to be widespread. Having one employer out of twenty discriminate against you isn't a problem. A problem would be having 19 out of 20 do it, or 99 out of 100. Then it would become difficult to find the one who doesn't do it, so you'd have a problem.

 

Isolated cases of racism are only a problem for people who make careers out of looking for "problems". For everyone else, it's of no consequence whatsoever. The notion that qualified, hard working black people have trouble finding jobs in the USA because of prejudice is just silly. If anything, they have an advantage because of affirmative action and the irrational demands for racial diversity.

 

P.S. I mean an advantage on a very technical level, when looking strictly at the mechanisms of being hired for a given performance... once you factor in the psychological effects of being "helped" by all the kind, patronizing white people your whole life, I'm sure any advantage dissipates. After all, no matter how well intentioned the Liberals who pass the affirmative action laws and push unfair diversity down the throats of corporations and government agencies are, the fact remains that irrationality doesn't work; giving someone the unearned doesn't actually help them, in the long run).

Edited by Nicky

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It's funny how I'm positive that I'm not a racist until some 40-50 year old black person with a racial chip on his shoulder lets me know otherwise. I don't understand nor do I feel sorry for these types -- they do it to themselves. Today, race is just one of countless factors people may use to jump to conclusions about a person. If that person is decent, his false conclusion will later be revised, and then the mistaken racial bias will have been rendered moot.

 

Even if this weren't the most important point,

But for that to be a problem for someone, it would have to be widespread. Having one employer out of twenty discriminate against you isn't a problem. A problem would be having 19 out of 20 do it, or 99 out of 100. Then it would become difficult to find the one who doesn't do it, so you'd have a problem.

and racism was actually causing major problems for your job prospects, walking around with a chip on your shoulder would still not be the solution.

 

Take two examples, maybe even the two most significant recent false-bias examples: homosexuality and racism against blacks. The projectile of these two biases has been dramatically different. In just one short decade, gays have gone from those-who-shall-not-be-named, to an almost totally normal, fun, who-cares aspect of society. Blacks though, now for decades, are still bitching and moaning about not getting a break, getting beat down by the white man, etc. They are the ones perpetuating this, not non-blacks. Gays, on the other hand (particularly young gays), readily accept a "normal tag" on their sexuality and just integrate it into all the other aspects of their person, and non-gays follow suit.

 

I agree with Nicky, the problem is blacks perpetuating racism among themselves.

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Race underlies serious problems in the US? I have experienced a great deal of what I define as racism. For example, a prospective black tenant whom I could not verify employment for accused me of racism, assaulted me and robbed me. A member of the Mexican Mafia who was selling drugs on the corner (sometimes to members of the Calif. legislature) and having loud parties until 4am keeping my 1yo son awake accused me of racism and threatened my life. Only then did the police take action. Hiring committees at a large organization I work for are organized by those having a racial agenda, are stacked for that purpose. Hiring committee rules are such that if a black man is on the short list, then he must be given the position. I sat on such a committee where one black managerial candidate described his leadership style as authoritarian who still got the job. Other hiring committees I have served on were similarly stacked and biased. I have since refused to serve on them because I do not want to lend my reputation to such a process. What must be the mindset of those who create biased hiring committees designed to hire blacks? I'm sure they feel justified and that they are not capable of racism since they are not white men. The personnal anecdotes could go on and on.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that as currently defined by many in positions of authority, only white men are capable of racism. Self-reflection is not possible for a minority who holds this view.

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I'm trying to ask the right question here, and maybe I should have asked it differently, along the lines of: "do you feel that racism against blacks and other minorities is a significant problem for them? Rate from insignificant to very significant".

 

Based on the responses here, almost nobody here seems to think that blacks and other minorities have any real problems with inter-racial racism in the USA, and that they are just making things up when they say there is significant bigotry, i.e. they are just making lame exuses when they complain about racism in the USA. Fair assessment of most people's views here?

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So another vote for, "absolutely insignificant", correct?

Well, I voted, but I guess if you want me to additionally write my vote to you, I submitted "Slightly significant," which I think is reflected in my post.

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