Saturday, July 19, 2008

The problem with a "post-racial" world

Now for a brief news break in our regularly scheduled sports programming.

Maybe you all have heard the scuttlebutt that if, say, Obama defeats McCain in November, that it will be ironclad evidence that we Americans truly live in a post-racial world (good piece by Lawrence Bobo, btw).

Mularkey, I say.

According to the results from the 2004 American National Election Study, about half of white people think that black folks are lazier than whites, about 40 percent believe blacks are less intelligent than whites and another 40 percent consider blacks to be less trustworthy than whites. The percentages for blacks and Hispanics weren't too far off though Hispanics scored significantly better on the hard-working question among whites.

Keep in mind, that's just the people in the study who were actually willing to cop to those beliefs.

Though premier right-wing minds like Dinesh D'Souza, Geraldine Ferraro and Elisabeth Hasselback might have you believe different, racial attitudes and prejudice toward blacks remains a very serious problem in America.

No. Really.

Consider the implications of the above study for those of us in a struggling job market, or seeking loans, or simply trying to make it safely along Interstate 20 on a weekend? Those numbers indicate "significant (and probably deep-seated) racist stereotyping," according to Stephen Medvic.

No matter what Barack might (or might not) accomplish in this run to the White House, it's important to ignore the hype about this so-called post-racial America. It's clearly a figment of the conservative imagination.

UPDATE: On second and third thoughts, I came up with another name for this entry. The other one just didn't make me comfortable and I thought it distracted from the actual point.

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