During the Cold War, the American liberal state was forced to confront the hypocrisies of American-bred racial apartheid from a new vantage, as Communist critics assailed the backward state of race relations at the heart of the self-styled Free World. It thus became urgent for conservative thinkers seeking to reaffirm traditional prerogatives of white majority rule to recast their commitments on a new intellectual footing. Buchanan—a longtime fixture in the Mason economics program—came in.
How nice it would be if white Americans would exercise a similar restraint when it comes to the topic of racism and discrimination in America. To wit, a just-released poll from CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation, which finds that white Americans are far less likely than persons of color to believe that racism remains a serious problem in the U.
While roughly two-thirds of blacks and Latinos believe racism is a big problem in America today, only about four in ten whites agree.
Even a simple recognition of ongoing racial inequities in life chances differs markedly across racial lines, with clear majorities of African Americans perceiving that the typical black person is worse off than the typical white person in terms of income, education and housing, but most whites being evenly divided on the question, with about half of us failing to perceive such well-documented inequalities of condition.
So despite the fact that African Americans are worse off than whites in every single category of well-being, and despite the research indicating that these disparities owe significantly to discrimination both past and present, most whites believe there are few if any ongoing inequities in need of being addressed.
According to the survey, whites are also far less likely than blacks to believe the Voting Rights Act is still needed, even as several states have moved to create impediments to voting that will disproportionately affect voters of color.
And while overwhelming majorities of African Americans and a clear majority of Latinos see biases in the justice system, only about half of whites agree; this, despite the racial disproportionality of police-involved shootingsand the blatant disparities within the so-called war on drugswhereby blacks, for instance, are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana, even as rates of usage and dealing are virtually identical.
Likewise, it fails to give us much pause that there are also aboutwhites who would be arrested for possession each year if arrest rates actually mirrored rates of drug law violations.
When more than half of Blacks two-thirds between and a third of Hispanics report that they have experienced unfair treatment in public places at some point just in the last month because of their race, for whites to deny the seriousness of racism in America is to say, in effect, that folks of color are hallucinating, irrational, or ignorant about their own lived experience.
It is to say that we white folks know black and brown reality better than those who live it—perhaps because we are more intelligent or level-headed which arguments would be inherently racist of course. Sadly, white denial of this sort has a long and ignoble pedigree.
Though civil rights icons like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Infor instance, more than six in ten whites told Gallup pollsters that blacks were treated equally with whites in their communities, a number that grew to seventy-five percent the year before Dr.
Even more tellingly, infully eighty-five percent of whites told Gallup that black children had the same chance as white children to obtain a high quality education.
Unless we believe that white Americans have somehow become amazingly attuned to the experiences of persons of color in the last half-century and more so than those people of color are, with regard to their own experiences — even as our parents and grandparents clearly failed to discern truth from fiction — it seems that we should probably think twice before trusting white perceptions when it comes to the state of racial discrimination in this country.
Today, it is not just that whites fail to see the obstacles still faced by persons of color; rather, too many of us apparently believe the tables have turned and now it is we who face those obstacles.
Denial mixed with perceived victimhood and an unhealthy dose of nostalgia is far worse than denial of a purely ignorant type. For whites to not know black and brown reality is bad enough; but for us to literally invert black and brown reality with our own, and to believe that we are the ones who are being victimized, is a recipe for increased tension and acrimony.
It is certainly no way to build multiracial democracy. Only by challenging white denial — and that means we white folks challenging our own — can we turn back the rising tide of white anxiety, which has manifested most recently in the campaign of Donald Trump, the backlash against Syrian refugees, and the growing hostility to Black Lives Matter protesters, the latter of which culminated recently in the shooting of five BLM activists by whites in Minneapolis.
We must proclaim not only that black and brown lives matter, despite a society that has rarely acted as such, but that facts matter too; and as always, the facts suggest that white America still has some waking up to do.Gary Foley's personal Koori History page, with monthly special features on aspects of the Aboriginal struggle, photos, essays, and action.
Andrew Hartman teaches history at Illinois State University and is the author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars. Israel's Global Role: Weapons for Repression [Israel Shahak] on heartoftexashop.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
A path breaking study of the relations of the . The word apartheid comes in two forms, one being the system of racial segregation in South Africa, and the other form is the form that only those who were affected by apartheid can relate to, the deeper, truer, more horrifying, saddening and realistic form.
Born 11 January Pietermaritzburg, Natal: Died: 12 April (aged 85) Durban, South Africa: Occupation. The British Council Allied Centre in Liverpool, in operation from to This was the first Allied Centre in the city, and was bombed two weeks after opening.