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Recent AP poll says majority of Americans have some prejudice against blacks

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Recent AP poll says majority of Americans have some prejudice against blacks

Don’t hate the messenger, listen to the message. I came across this fascinating article AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks from the Associated Press on race relations in America. It is 2012, approximately 150 years since the abolition of slavery and a mere 50 years since The Civil Rights movement was successful in getting the Civil Rights Acts passed in the mid-1960s. Do the math: You can see how long it took America to legally admit all Americans weren’t benefiting from the Constitution.

But that was federal legality. This poll is about our reality as a people, as a nation. How far have we come in race relations? According to the poll, not far enough. On the surface it looks like we have healed, progressed, morphed into an accepting, tolerant, equality leaning “Republic,” but the simmering currents underneath is telling a different story.

According to the AP poll, 51 percent of Americans “now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared to 48 percent in a 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.”

A 2011 AP poll show that prejudice is also directed at the Hispanic population, with “52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressing anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test.” However it was noted that this data has no others to compare it to.

So, it appears like the election of the Barack Hussein Obama, the first “black” president of these United States, hasn’t brought us closer as one would have hoped; instead, it has brought some of the deeply rooted, previously covert bias to the surface. Now, even elected officials feel they have the right to disrespect the office of the presidency by shouting “you lie” at the president in the hallowed halls of power. Or send clearly racially charged emails, or constantly refer to him by his first name, or hang effegies of him on their front lawn. You know, the usual little prejudicial jabs we can recognize.

Code words like “communist,” "socialist,” “Nazi,” Kenyan Muslim” and “Un-American” are now used instead of “n**gger, which was the word of choice to express racial hate in the Jim Crow years. The brave ones actually do still use the N-word. “He doesn’t understand our values,” "He doesn’t understand our Anglo-Saxon world way of life,” “He has an anti-Colonial world view,” are phrases now used by high-ranking Republican officials, including Newt Gingrich and the GOP nominee Mitt Romney. If those at the top send out these coded messages, what do you expect from the poorly informed rabid racists in the lower ranks?

There are those who insist racism doesn’t exist, or if it does, it’s on a minimal scale. These types call any talk of addressing the divisive race baiting prevalent on our airwaves, at political rallies and beyond, playing “the race card.” There is no convincing the close-minded who will only see what they project as their reality. Attempting to do otherwise is akin to impossible. They ignore the fact that one cannot legislate morality, tolerance, acceptance, decency, intellect, sanity, hate, love. The federal government attempted to regulate laws to improve how society works which, unfortunately, cannot reach inside of us to rearrange our core beliefs and values. So why would they think racism has been eradicated?

Can this deepening racial divide hurt President Obama in this election? According to the AP, it can, and Obama may lose “five percent points off his share of the popular vote.”

To those who like to say race doesn’t matter, seems it still does, in a big way. But some of us already knew that, poll or no poll. We live it, breathe it, are affected daily by it, and that’s not “playing the race card” --it is called “America’s sobering reality.” So let’s get real for a minute, instead of getting defensive, loud, belligerent and acting ignorant. You will only prove my point.

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