AP Survey: Majority Of Americans Are Racists “Whether They Recognize Those Feelings Or Not”
According to a new survey conducted by the Associated Press, perhaps as advanced groundwork for explaining why Barack Obama lost, more than half of Americans are racist whether they know it or not:
Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.
Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people’s more favorable views of blacks.
How did they reach this conclusion? They, uh, did this:
The same respondents were also administered a survey designed to measure implicit racism, in which a photo of a black, Hispanic or white male flashed on the screen before a neutral image of a Chinese character. The respondents were then asked to rate their feelings toward the Chinese character. Previous research has shown that people transfer their feelings about the photo onto the character, allowing researchers to measure racist feelings even if a respondent does not acknowledge them.
Keep in mind this is a nation where a majority of voters who cast ballots in 2008 elected a black man president. I’m not a scientist, but maybe a test which indicates that a majority of Americans in a nation that also voted a black man into its most powerful office isn’t a very good test?
How is one a racist and not know it? It seems to me that racism is a pretty active emotion that, in turn, governs what we do. If you’re a racist, you should know it. If you don’t know, you aren’t a racist.
In fact, I’d say that this study diminishes what the term “racism” means. As if these minute differences in reactions in the survey were somehow comparable to actual racism like, say, racial segregation. Or slavery.
Perhaps the reaction this survey is measuring is that people feel the most comfortable with other people like them. But that’s not racism, nor is it unique to whites. I suspect that Hispanics would have the most positive reaction to other Hispanics, and blacks the most positive reaction to other blacks.
The advertising folks know this, which is why when they’re targeting a certain racial demographic they tend to use spokespersons from that racial group.
That, again, isn’t racism. That’s human nature.Tags: Asshats, associated press, racism