13 o’clock: racism in reverse?

Americans increasingly view traditional partisan issues, such as health care and taxes, through a racial lens. To the extent that some view Obama’s positions on these issues as racially motivated, disagreements with the president may stoke fears of racial competition.

RNC1.Screen-Shot-2013-12-03-at-2_08_07-PMEvery Black History Month, I put together some recent articles about race for the adult education class in my church, and how the reason we still have Black History Month is because there’s still weird stuff going on. This year was better/worse than ever, with items like the issue of some noted cases of Shopping While Black or even Working While Black.

Hey, that Duck Dynasty guy said HE never saw any racism when he was growing up with black people, so it’s a good chance that racism never really existed at all.

But this really bowled me over: Study Finds White Americans Believe They Experience More Racism Than African Americans.

There’s a saying that “the new racism is to deny that racism exists.” If that is the case, it may explain a study conducted by researchers from Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School. Their findings claim that self-described white Americans believe they have “replaced blacks” as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America.

The authors say that their study highlights how the expectations of a “post-racial” society, predicted or imagined in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidency, has far from been achieved.

The study finds that while both Caucasian and African Americans agree that anti-black racism has decreased over the last 60 years, whites believe that anti-white racism has increased. Moreover, the study finds that the majority of Caucasians believe that anti-white racism is a “bigger problem” than what African Americans face.

An astounding 11% of Caucasian respondents assigned the maximum rating of 10 to the seriousness of anti-white discrimination. Compare that with only 2% who reported the same of anti-black racism. Caucasians, the study found, often believe that racial equality is “a zero sum game,” where one group gains at the expense of others.

executive-orders
A white pastor friend of mine doesn’t understand this. She sounded like Deborah Foster, who wrote A Guide to White Privilege for White People Who Think They’ve Never Had Any. Foster, who is also white, wrote: “I say I experienced prejudice rather than racism, because I firmly believe that racism must be bigotry combined with institutional power.”

So what is THAT all about?

Here’s one of several examples: Rand Paul compares not getting his way to Jim Crow and internment camps.

Obama has also suggested in recent days that he might pursue more executive actions — changes made without Congress.
“The danger to majority rule — to him sort of thinking, well, the majority voted for me, now I’m the majority, I can do whatever I want, and that there are no rules that restrain me — that’s what gave us Jim Crow,” [Senator Rand] Paul [R-KY] said. “That’s what gave us the internment of the Japanese — that the majority said you don’t have individual rights, and individual rights don’t come from your creator, and they’re not guaranteed by the Constitution. It’s just whatever the majority wants.”

And the recent State of the Union, where President Obama noted that he would use executive orders when Congress failed to act launched a whole new wave of distress, though Jon Stewart eviscerated the mock distress of the Republicans in Congress.

Despite the fact that the number of executive orders by Obama is consistent with other Presidents, the NARRATIVE is quite different.

Want more “proof”? Obama Administration Mandates Racism in Schools. What’s THAT about? It’s about the Obama administration claim that:

that African-American and Hispanic students are more harshly disciplined than whites for the same infractions.. the guidelines… about school discipline will actually encourage racial discrimination, undermine the learning environments of classrooms and contribute to an unjust race-consciousness in meting out discipline.

Last year, in the Black History Month session at my church, I was finding EXACTLY that trend, with locale bringing criminal charges against (black) minors for things such as talking back in class, e.g.

The call by Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder, who is black, to end mandatory minimum sentences also fuels this narrative. Now the fact that there is a systemic racism in the US criminal justice system is obviously irrelevant to the discussion.

Indeed, according to conservative media darling Ted Nugent, Trayvon Martin [was] ‘emboldened’ by Obama, whatever the heck that means. Moreover, Obama did not show proper outrage when three kids, two of them black, killed a white Australian living in Oklahoma. Indeed, Pultizer Prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker suggested Obama’s utterly innocuous comments about Trayvon Martin [looking like his son, if he had had one] “nourished the killing passions” of the accused murderers of Chris Lane in the Sooner State. Or as the Daily Kos put it: Fox News bravely exposes President Obama’s blatant support for murdering white people.

The New York Times has a whole section called Racism in the Age of Obama. One article reads:

National survey evidence suggests that anti-black attitudes have largely persisted through the 2012 election and may even have become slightly worse. Attitudes about the president and his policies could be spilling over onto attitudes about blacks. Further, paradoxically, perceptions that American society has moved beyond race might also liberate prejudiced individuals to openly express their biases.

An additional development since 2008 also portends poorly for race relations. Americans increasingly view traditional partisan issues, such as health care and taxes, through a racial lens. To the extent that some view Obama’s positions on these issues as racially motivated, disagreements with the president may stoke fears of racial competition. This too has the potential to make racial issues more salient for a segment of the public.

The term “backlash”, or in the alternative, “blacklash, has often been used to describe race relations in the US since the election of this President. From another Times article:

Both the word “Obama” and the president’s image have become tools for harassing and otherwise discriminating, in the workplace and in places of public accommodation, against blacks and against whites in romantic relationships with blacks.

Add to this the well-documented overreach by the National Security Agency, non-racial in my mind, but perhaps not in others’, and there’s your perfect storm.

Thus, a retired general is willing to lead a coup against Obama.

In any case, if blacks are less well off, it must be self-inflicted; after all, Oprah’s a billionaire. One Colorado legislator suggested that poverty rates among blacks is higher because they eat too much chicken.
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To prove that we are post-racial, here are 19 things conservatives insist on comparing to slavery
The national debt
Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare
Abortion! Abortion!
Gay marriage
Fair Housing Act
Food stamps
Public education
Social Security
Income tax
Medicare
Contraception
FEMA
Affirmative action (e.g., by SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas)
Illegal immigration
Climate change
Gun control
The TSA
Public employee unions
Any and all Great Society programs

The Daily Kos sarcastically put it like this:

For five long, hard years, not a single day has passed without former “Choom Gang” member Barack Hussein Obama rubbing his blackness in America’s (white) face.
So, it wasn’t all that surprising when he blackened Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—the GOP’s most celebrated holiday—by hanging around a soup kitchen, getting people hooked on government cheese.

No doubt, President Obama is living the dream—the dream of his Kenyan anti-colonialist father; meanwhile, the rest of us are stuck (enslaved) in a nightmare.

It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

Jay Smooth did a great video about the difference between individualized and systemic racism, how we focus too much on what Paula Deen might have said, and too little about incarceration rates among blacks.

That said: Top 10 Myths About Black America – A Must Read include
1 There are more Black men in prison than in college.
2 Black people, particularly Black men are lazy
3 Black people abuse the Welfare system and are swelling it beyond capacity…

21 Things You Can’t Do While Black

27 Things You Had To Deal With As The Only Black Kid In Your Class:
Since I WAS the only black kid my my class for most of K-9, (a total of two other black kids for a total of a year and a half), I did hear these:
People told you you “sounded white.”
People asked you things like: “Do black people tan?”
“You know, I don’t even really see you as black.”

But it’s not all bad. I was touched by this story about a racially diverse church in South Los Angeles, despite, the fact that: “It is estimated that in 9 out of 10 U.S. congregations, more than 80% of the parishioners represent one racial group. And about half of all churches are racially homogeneous.”

Finally, I recommend to you the video Reverse racism by Aamer Rahman. It’s not very long, but I thought, spoke the truth.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “13 o’clock: racism in reverse?”

  1. The Deborah Foster article is a must-read, but don’t try and read the comments on it…

    My wife and I were talking about this yesterday in regards to the Dunn trial in Florida. I saw people encounter racism and racist attitudes as a kid, and it’s absolutely sickening to see. Some white people are so enamored of the idea that they’re the REAL victims of racism, and I’ve seen people I’m RELATED to say it with a straight face, and it just confuses me.

  2. This is the stuff that exasperates me to no end. People who can’t see their own privilege, but who act from a sense of entitlement. As you know, I’ve written a lot about how fundamentalist Christians claim they’re being “oppressed” and suffering from “religious discrimination” because increasingly they’re not allowed to force their beliefs on everyone or to demand that everyone live their lives as the fundamentalists dictate. In my mind, this all part of the same mindset, that their sense of entitlement means they’re convinced that they alone should call the shots—always and in all things—or else they’re “victims” of some sort of “discrimination”.

    I think the evidence is pretty clear that this virus started among conservatives, where it’s still virulent, but it’s spread among the general population, too. This would explain why not all the people we see affected by it are what we’d think of as conservatives.

    Your post made me wonder something: You mentioned that in most US churches, 80% of the congregation is of one race. Is that true for your church, too?

  3. Some white people think they are experiencing racism? Sounds like some white people have been evicted from their protective bubbles and are wandering around lost. What do we do now? Will someone please tell us what we should think?

    As for denying that racism exists, for at least the last thirty years the white Baby Boomers denied that economic classes existed. I heard it constantly. Lately they’ve been forced to grudgingly acknowledge that bit of reality. Let’s hope that this denial of racism by certain white people means that they are starting to wake up about racism.

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