Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's The " There is a Problem, But I Am Not Part of The Problem" Mentality

Poll: Most Americans see lingering racism -- in others

(CNN) -- Most Americans, white and black, see racism as a lingering problem in the United States, and many say they know people who are racist, according to a new poll.

But few Americans of either race -- about one out of eight -- consider themselves racist.

And experts say racism has evolved from the days of Jim Crow to the point that people may not even recognize it in themselves. (Watch how many blacks are still afraid to stop in a Texas town Video)

A poll conducted last week by Opinion Research Corp. for CNN indicates that whites and blacks disagree on how serious a problem racial bias is in the United States.

Almost half of black respondents -- 49 percent -- said racism is a "very serious" problem, while 18 percent of whites shared that view. Forty-eight percent of whites and 35 percent of blacks chose the description "somewhat serious." (See the poll results)

Asked if they know someone they consider racist, 43 percent of whites and 48 percent of blacks said yes.

But just 13 percent of whites and 12 percent of blacks consider themselves racially biased.

The poll was based on phone interviews conducted December 5 through Thursday with 1,207 Americans, including 328 blacks and 703 non-Hispanic whites.
Blind to bias?

University of Connecticut professor Jack Dovidio, who has researched racism for more than 30 years, estimates up to 80 percent of white Americans have racist feelings they may not even recognize.

"We've reached a point that racism is like a virus that has mutated into a new form that we don't recognize," Dovidio said.

He added that 21st-century racism is different from that of the past.

"Contemporary racism is not conscious, and it is not accompanied by dislike, so it gets expressed in indirect, subtle ways," he said.

That "stealth" discrimination reveals itself in many different situations.

A three-year undercover investigation by the National Fair Housing Alliance found that real estate agents steered whites away from integrated neighborhoods and steered blacks toward predominantly black neighborhoods.

"Racism here is quite subtle," e-mailed CNN.com reader Blair William, originally from Trinidad, who now lives in Lexington, South Carolina. "I think that the issue is twofold. I believe that white America's perception of blacks is still generally negative based on their limited interaction with blacks, whether this is via the media or in person. ...

"On the other hand, black Americans need to stop devaluing themselves and their people," he added. "Another race can only respect you if you respect yourself and currently, I find that blacks still devalue and disgrace each other and themselves."

Read the full story at http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/12/racism.poll/index.html

Well I guess that it is kinda good that people acknowledge that racism is a problem, but very sad that the same people do not see themselves as contributing to the problem. I think, as I have said before, that the poll shows the varied views different races have concerning racism. I would have liked to have known how other races viewed the situation, but I guess I'll just have to do my own poll. Hopefully people will start the realize their roles in societal problems and then true change can begin. I do agree with the quote from Blair Williams in the article in saying that I do believe that a person, or group of people, do need to have respect for themselves for others to see them in the same light. I am always amazed at those who commonly make fun of themselves and wonder how they can think so lowly of their own persona. Life is too short and there are far too many people that will make fun of you for whatever reason. The best thing you can do is make yourself the best person you can and show them they are wrong by example. When you respect yourself it is much easier to have respect for others and live a better life.

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