race

This Oughta Sober Up Some People, Racial Problems Still Exist

From the NY Times, talking about the same old perceptions living today — whites think things have changed when they haven’t, but whites don’t see it ’cause they’re generally way the hell away from everything:

Nearly 60 percent of black respondents said that race relations are generally bad, compared with 34 percent of whites. Four in 10 blacks say that there has been no progress in recent years in eliminating racial discrimination; fewer than 2 in 10 whites say the same thing. And about one-quarter of white respondents said they thought that too much had been made of racial barriers facing black people, while one-half of black respondents said not enough had been made of racial impediments faced by black people.

The survey suggests that even as the nation crosses a racial threshold when it comes to politics — Mr. Obama, a Democrat, is the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas — many of the racial patterns in society remain unchanged in recent years.

Indeed, the poll showed markedly little change in the racial components of people’s daily lives since 2000, when the Times examined race relations in an extensive series of stories called “How Race is Lived in America.”

As it was eight years ago, few Americans have regular contact with people of other races, and few say their own workplace or their own neighborhoods are integrated. In this latest poll, more than 40 percent of blacks said they believed they had been stopped by the police because of their racial background, the same figure as eight years ago; 7 percent of whites said the same thing.

Nearly 70 percent of blacks said they had encountered a specific instance of discrimination based on their race, compared with 62 percent in 2000; 26 percent of whites said they had been the victim of racial discrimination. (More than 50 percent of Hispanic respondents said they had been the victim of racial discrimination.)

And when asked whether blacks or whites have a better chance of getting ahead in today’s society, 64 percent of black respondents said that whites did. That figure was slightly higher even than the 57 percent of blacks who said so in a 2000 poll by the Times. And the number of black respondents who described racial conditions as generally bad in this survey was almost identical to poll responses in 2000 and 1990.

“Basically it’s the same old problem, the desire for power,” Macie Mitchell, a Democrat from Erie County, who is black, said in a follow-up interview after participating in the poll. “People get so obsessed with power and don’t want to share it. There are people who are not used to blacks being on top.”

White perceptions, by contrast, improved markedly between 1990 and 2000, but have remained steady since. This month’s poll found that 55 percent of whites said race relations were good, almost double the figure for blacks.

The astute reader may see that I have an understanding that what happens in the culture happens in the church, especially around race in America. This survey is another case in point. Perhaps this will help sober some people up. Things must change. Radicalism is a necessity.

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