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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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I don't know what you want me to say. Should I give a detailed rundown of every anecdotal encounter that I've experienced within the specifics I mentioned (younger ghetto blacks, older civilized blacks, etc.)? Should I then link that to the numerous news stories I've watched over the years, exhibiting similar behavior across the US? Etc. If you don't believe me now, is it safe to assume you won't believe me then?

Things like your example of when you used to work at a warehouse. That's something to talk about, and my response to it is the same as Iudicious. News stories don't help here, they only help to point out that something has happened. If you saw, say, 50 negative news stories about the black population blaming whites in that area with a black population of 10,000, it wouldn't say much, except that 50 people did something wrong. The strongest claim we could make is "At least 0.5% of blacks unfairly blame whites".

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Harrison, your post is just loaded with problems.

True.  Thank you.  "Fear is the mind-killer".

 

---Edit:  A lot of my reasoning was drawn from the fact that the area I live in (St. Paul, Minnesota) has seen a lot of people immigrating from Chicago and Detroit recently, and also subjectively seems to be getting much more dangerous than it ever was when I was a kid.

You're right, though; I was thinking about it in nonessentials.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold

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I've lived around black people all my life ... ... I've seen them work just as hard as many of my white friends though, and end up half as far.

Could you flesh this out? I understand what you're saying about getting stopped by police, perhaps being watched more closely if they are in certain stores, etc. However, in what sense have they ended up half as far?

I'm guessing you're still in college, so if you think about a pair of black and white classmates from high-school who are similar in terms of ability, personality, family wealth, attitude toward academics and work etc., family connections, do you find that the black one of the pair has ended up in a worse college? Or, if the pair did not go to college, did the black one end up in a significantly worse job? And, if you were to make your best guess, do you think the black one of the pair is going to end up significantly poorer than the other (even if not half as poor, say 75%)? If so, do you think -- in this concrete case -- the racism of others is going to make the critical difference?

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Could you flesh this out? I understand what you're saying about getting stopped by police, perhaps being watched more closely if they are in certain stores, etc. However, in what sense have they ended up half as far?

I'm guessing you're still in college, so if you think about a pair of black and white classmates from high-school who are similar in terms of ability, personality, family wealth, attitude toward academics and work etc., family connections, do you find that the black one of the pair has ended up in a worse college? Or, if the pair did not go to college, did the black one end up in a significantly worse job? And, if you were to make your best guess, do you think the black one of the pair is going to end up significantly poorer than the other (even if not half as poor, say 75%)? If so, do you think -- in this concrete case -- the racism of others is going to make the critical difference?

 

A lot of it comes down to opportunities. A large part of doing well - in college, before college, after college - from my experience seems to be being able to find opportunities for yourself. All of the black classmates and friends I've had I've never seen work any less hard than my white classmates and friends - what I have seen is them getting fewer opportunities. Considering their work ethic with regards to other things, I doubt that that's for want of trying. So, for example, a lot of my friends have ended up in pretty decent internships over the years while in college. I've seen much less of a trend for that among the black students I've been friends with. Fewer connections - especially fewer family connections - and, I think, a subtle preference for white people are both large parts of that. 

 

A few studies have pointed to a statistical backing to this anecdotal trend. Forbes reported on a pretty damning trend now to long ago: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/06/27/white-high-school-drop-outs-are-as-likely-to-land-jobs-as-black-college-students/

 

Similar stats here: http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/education/african-americans-with-college-degrees-are-twice-as-likely-to-be-unemployed-as-other-graduates-20140527

 

And here: http://college.usatoday.com/2014/05/29/study-african-american-college-grads-face-disproportionately-high-unemployment-rates/

 

 

 

I can only speculate the answer for a lot of your questions. Despite growing up in some predominantly black situations, I'm now around a lot more white people than black. I certainly wouldn't chalk all of the problem up to racism. I know a lot of the black kids I've known in college keep to themselves a lot more than I do and many of my white friends do. From what I've been told and what I've seen, I imagine that to be the result of previous experiences and upbringing. Certainly, a prevailing culture in the black community has had an effect on the success of black students - but that prevailing culture exists for a reason, and it's not the only cause of these problems. 

 

I think we tend to forget that we really aren't that far removed from widespread racism, and even slavery. Most white people are born into families with a little bit of money. As a white person, you are far more likely to grow up with opportunities than a black person. This isn't even necessarily a racism thing - it could very well be a math thing. Family money simply hasn't had the time to build up in black communities, because families have only had a few generations to build up wealth, whereas most white people come from many, many generations that have had the time and opportunity to build up money and establish roots. But in my experience, this is also a certain, underlying mindset that a lot of people still have - especially people who grew up in predominantly white communities and didn't have the opportunity to be exposed to black people and their communities - that causes them to react differently to black people than they would white people. The fact that a white person crossing the stress to avoid a black person is still a common cultural trope kinda speaks to this fact. 

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In my understanding, it is still a huge problem overcoming racial prejudices, in part due to a lack of scientific statistical evidence. The inherited opportunity gap you describe makes it very difficult to scientifically demonstrate racial equality of intelligence, so even with many things being equal among the groups tested, experiments are not guaranteed to arrive at clarifying results in support of such equality.

Trying to make the scientific point, one could also look at the original intellectual proponents of racism and try to debunk them, such as Gobineau and Hans F. K. Günther that through their disciples have found their way into America. Note that works such as those by Günther have been picked up by American policy makers to justify segregation, and had it not been for the horrors of Nazi Germany that strongly discredited racism as a moral option, things might have very well remained the way it used to be. Which brings me to my question, i.e. whether someone here could tell me some of the main scientific works against racial supremacist arguments. I am familiar with the UNESCO's statement on the Race Question (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001282/128291eo.pdf), but rather than just looking at some general assertions, it would help to know particular scientific works that directly confront and take on the very arguments put forward by race researchers and take them apart.

Edited by DiscoveryJoy

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