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November 20th, 2010


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01:03 am - Baffled and Horrified – Beliefs About Discrimination Against White People
This NYT article about racism has a number of excellent points, but what utterly floored me was the attached data from the poll data the article has a link to:
The poll found that 62 percent of whites who identified as Tea Party members, 56 percent of white Republicans, and even 53 percent of white independents said that today discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Only 30 percent of white Democrats agreed with that statement.
OK, so nothing all that unexpected from the tea-baggers – racist bigots think like racist bigots. But on the other side of things we have 30% of white Democrats, 28% of self-described liberals, and 26% of people with post graduate degrees, and those are the lowest numbers on the poll. So, even among the most liberal groups, more than one in four people think that discrimination against white people is as big a problem as other race-based discrimination and 44% of the general population believe this. Disproving this takes no more than a few minutes of simple research, and from my PoV, believing it is true borders on being delusional. I personally would not consider anyone who believes such utter nonsense to be anything remotely like a liberal. Wow.
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:autopope
Date:November 20th, 2010 09:45 am (UTC)
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I personally would not consider anyone who believes such utter nonsense to be anything remotely like a liberal.

You seem to be confusing "Democrat voter" with "liberal". It might be more accurate to say that Democrat voters aren't obviously right-wing lunatics; it's not a liberal party, it's just a right wing party with room for some left-wing dissidents (unlike the Republicans, who range from right wingers to barking neo-fascists).
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From:heron61
Date:November 20th, 2010 09:57 am (UTC)
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I completely agree, but the poll also said that 28% of people who described themselves as liberals (as opposed to being conservatives or moderates) also believed this.
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From:autopope
Date:November 20th, 2010 11:59 am (UTC)
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Ugh.

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From:kadath
Date:November 20th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
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"Liberal" in the US means "anything to the left of the Pope."
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From:alobar
Date:November 20th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
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I see one form of discrimination against whites. I do not know how common it is these days as I have not been in the job market in decades. I have known people who did not get a position because a less qualified black person was given the job so the company could improve its ration of white & black in middle management. To me, racial profiling is racism, no matter what the race or the reasons for doing the profiling.

But as I said above, I have no idea how serious the problem is.
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From:heron61
Date:November 20th, 2010 10:40 am (UTC)
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In pretty much every case I've heard about such claims have turned out to be false. From what I've seen, it's claimed mostly be white people who are jealous that someone else, or perhaps that someone non-white got promoted instead of them. If someone could prove this, then they have a solid discrimination case and could get a fair amount of money. Other than Allan Bakke, whose case about racial quotas ended up in the Supreme Court in 1978, I know of no such cases that have been won.
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From:bruceb
Date:November 20th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
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Also, someone (Ta-Nahesi Coates, maybe?) made the excellent point that crony hiring and promotion, legacy admissions, and the like are de facto instances of discrimination in favor of whites but seldom treated that way. But after all, white bosses tend to have white relatives and buddies, and this is worth considering.
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From:kitten_goddess
Date:November 20th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
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When was the last time a white person got stopped and harassed by a cop for driving through the "wrong" neighborhood? When was the last time a white person was stopped in Arizona for not having papers?

This poll offers yet more proof the stupidity is boundless.
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From:sola
Date:November 21st, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
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What's funny is that G has been made to feel uncomfortable in our (black/italian) neighborhood for being white, and has been ranted toward in the subway once he gets to our neighborhood for the same reason. There is, indeed, some backblow even here in NYC.


I wonder if that segment that feels "discriminated against" isn't just feeling the racial tension that still exists and is taking it personally and assuming it must be discrimination, and thus responding to the poll that way. I'd also be interested in seeing the actual poll questions and setup.
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From:anomali
Date:November 21st, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
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Yes, the numbers for those who consider themselves liberal disturb me far more than those of the Palin followers. I am curious as to what form of discrimination they believe themselves to be subjected.





[User Picture]
From:krinndnz
Date:November 21st, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
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I chalk it up to this: to white people with no experience of discrimination, any ol' incident feels tremendous, feels like it's huge magnitude, feels threatening and order-of-the-world-upsetting. If your life is saturated with discrimination, letting every incident get to that level is sanity-threatening. So self-reporting this is not going to produce useful results, because the white people I describe are going to self-report as hideously discriminated against, without any consciousness of how that's different from how the victims of chronic and systemic discrimination experience life.
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From:heron61
Date:November 21st, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
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You are almost certainly correct, and that's deeply pathetic. I suppose that the recent elections aren't particularly surprising considering how utterly clueless & ignorant most people seem to be.
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From:krinndnz
Date:November 21st, 2010 04:55 am (UTC)
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I should add two corollaries.

One is that I'm white, and I did the exact thing I'm criticizing before I got a clue, and I still do it when I'm not thinking rigorously (often). It stems from cognitive biases, like a lot of problematic behavior, and we all have that legacy.

The other is much less serious: I first came up with this hypothesis observing the furry subculture. It happens, more than a little, that furries feel discriminated against, and the dynamic is just the same. I just generalized from that, since most furries are white. I think I might know all three black furries, is a joke I sometimes make.
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From:syna
Date:November 21st, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
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This. Absolutely this. They experience some small amount of discrimination because they're white and blow it out of proportion because it's the first time it's ever happened.
From:losrpg
Date:November 21st, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
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Interesting take. Other than that, what John said.
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From:sara_super_id
Date:November 21st, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
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I think all of them must live in Vancouver. Because pretty much everyone I know here believes that. I feel like I am in the twilight zone here sometimes--as though I am on another planet, or in Texas.
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From:syna
Date:November 21st, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
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Where I am in Texas no one thinks that, largely we have to share our space with every other race, and because you can't escape the fact that without Hispanics doing menial labor all the businesses would shut down. :)
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From:sara_super_id
Date:November 22nd, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
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Lol, I was just riffing on the "like a whole different country" slogan. No actual insult to Texans :)
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From:innocent_man
Date:November 21st, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
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Interestingly, Michelle has been discovering exactly how deep white privilege goes in her grad program. (I got to see the same thing a few years ago in grad school.)

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