Racial Resentment

tea-party-obama-jokerRegular reader and commenter Michael Reynolds forwarded me Arian Campo-FloresNewsweek article entitled “Are Tea Partiers Racist?”   It contains provocative new data:

Opponents have seized on these examples as proof that Tea Partiers are angry white folks who can’t abide having a black president. Supporters, on the other hand, claim that the hateful signs are the work of a small fringe and that they unfairly malign a movement that simply seeks to rein in big government. In the absence of empirical evidence to support either characterization, the debate has essentially deadlocked.

Until now, that is. A new survey by the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality offers fresh insight into the racial attitudes of Tea Party sympathizers. “The data suggests that people who are Tea Party supporters have a higher probability” – 25 percent, to be exact – “of being racially resentful than those who are not Tea Party supporters,” says Christopher Parker, who directed the study. “The Tea Party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race.”

Surveyers asked respondents in California and a half dozen battleground states (like Michigan and Ohio) a series of questions that political scientists typically use to measure racial hostility. On each one, Tea Party backers expressed more resentment than the rest of the population, even when controlling for partisanship and ideology. When read the statement that “if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites,” 73 percent of the movement’s supporters agreed, while only 33 percent of people who disapproved of the Tea Party agreed. Asked if blacks should work their way up “without special favors,” as the Irish, Italians, and other groups did, 88 percent of supporters agreed, compared to 56 percent of opponents. The study revealed that Tea Party enthusiasts were also more likely to have negative opinions of Latinos and immigrants.

These results are bolstered by a recent New York Times/CBS News survey finding that white Tea Party supporters were more likely to believe that “the Obama administration favors blacks over whites” and that “too much has been made of the problems facing black people.” The survey also showed that Tea Party sympathizers are whiter, older, wealthier, and more well-educated than the average American. They’re “just as likely to be employed, and more likely to describe their economic situation as very or fairly good,” according to a summary of the poll.

I’m not sure what to make of it.   As I emailed Michael after an initial scan of the piece, “I’m not sure if ‘racially resentful’ is the right characterization of the answers.  In theory at least, I tend to agree with the Yes answers to both questions.  But they’re so poorly worded that Yes/No doesn’t work.  Which, I guess, forces people to look through filters.”

Via Glenn Reynolds, I see that James Taranto had a similar reaction to the “WISER” study:

When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. A group whose purpose is to see the world in terms of race is going to collect and structure its data in such a way as to show that whatever it is studying is “about race.” And yet the claim of “racial resentment” turns out to be baseless.

The institute’s “2010 Multi-State Survey on Race and Politics” covers seven states. Survey participants were asked what they think of the tea-party movement; those who “strongly approve” were cast as “true believers”; those who “strongly disapprove,” as “true skeptics”; and those whose opinions were weak or neutral as “middle of the road.” To gauge their racial attitudes, they were asked whether they agree or disagree with the following statements:

• “Irish, Italians, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.”

• “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.”

• “Over the past few years blacks have gotten less than they deserve.”

• “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.”

“True believers” were most likely to agree with the first and last of these assertions and to disagree with the middle two. The opposite was true of “true skeptics,” with “middle of the road” indeed producing consistently middling results.

So what does this tell us? We’d say it’s fair to characterize the first and last assertions as representing politically conservative views about race and the middle two as expressing liberal ones. The more that one sympathizes with the tea parties, then, the more likely one is to assent to conservative views on race, and to reject liberal ones. Wow, stop the presses!As for the claim that conservative views on these questions reflect “racial resentment,” however, the survey provides no evidence one way or the other. It did not plumb the emotions of the participants, who were given a prepackaged assertion and permitted only a binary response. It’s possible that agreement with a statement like “Blacks should do the same without special favors” reflects a resentful spirit, but it could also reflect a respectful one–a confidence that blacks are as capable as anyone else.

When Parker asserts that tea-party sympathizers are “racially resentful,” then, he is imputing to them his own emotional reactions to the questions. The entire exercise illustrates only that political liberals are predisposed to believe that politically conservative views on racial matters are the product of resentment. It would not surprise us if this belief is true in some cases, but by conflating viewpoint and motive, this survey merely presupposes what it purports to prove.

The issues of reverse discrimination, special treatment, and the like have been conservative tropes at least as long as I’ve been actively following politics — some 30 years now.  While there’s doubtless some element of “racial resentment” in the mix, it’s also simply a matter of one’s sense of fairness.   Brown v. Board of Education was 56 years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was 46 years ago, and so on.  At some point, history becomes history.

Taking the WISER questions one by one:

“Irish, Italians, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.”

This is a truly shitty poll question.  It’s double barreled composition is the type of thing I taught undergraduates to avoid in the 30 minutes I spent teaching polling each semester in American Politics 101. Indeed, it’s much worse than double barreled, as it’s preceded by a leading distractor.

The first part is doubtless true:  Those groups faced tremendous prejudiced and yet managed, over time, to escape the stigma so much so that they’re mostly just thought of as “white people.”  Jews have maintained a distinctive cultural identity (as have, to a much lesser extent Irish and Italians) and presumably face some legacy anti-Semitism but they’ve assimilated and thrived.

After getting that planted in your mind, the second Yes is easier to come to.  But, of course, the situation for blacks is infinitely more complicated by the institution of slavery and the long legacy of Jim Crow.  But, again, slavery was ended a century and a half ago and de jure discrimination against blacks ended before I was born.  De facto discrimination, of course, remains alive and well but it’s been driven underground by social stigma and other pressures.

Should blacks “do the same”?  What does that mean?  Work their way up?  Overcome prejudice?  Yes and yes.

Should they do whatever it is they’re supposed to do “without special favors?”  Yes.  We’re supposed to be race-neutral on an institutional level, after all.

• “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.”

A no-brainer Yes.

• “Over the past few years blacks have gotten less than they deserve.”

I don’t know what the hell this means.   What is it that blacks deserve? Which blacks?

• “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.”

What’s the antecedent to “it’s”? Aside from that, this one is again complicated.  “Blacks” are an aggregate, as are “whites.”   But what groups can do versus what individuals within those groups can do is, again, complicated.  And it’s not clear which the question is talking about.

Do I think there are aggregate barriers to blacks “trying hard”?  Sure.

There are some extreme subcultural barriers, especially for black males who live in what we used to call ghettos and now refer to as “the inner city.”  Doing well in school, for example, is condemned as “acting white.” More importantly, these same communities face the problem of a dearth of positive male role models.  Success begats success and vice versa.  If dad is a stranger, incarcerated, or dead, it’s a problem.   Then there are the issues of gangs, drugs, violent crime, and so forth which make long-term planning decidedly more difficult.

Can blacks be “just as well off as whites”?  Sure.

Lots of blacks are better off than me, let alone most whites.  We’ve got a black president, black billionaires, black movie stars, black rock stars, black athletic stars, black doctors, black lawyers, black professors, black scientists, and so forth and so on.

Does that mean we expect blacks as an aggregate to do as well as whites as an aggregate any time soon?  Not at all.

If you’re black and my age or younger, you’ve largely been unaffected by institutional discrimination.  If anything, you’ve slightly benefited from institutional efforts to seek diversity.  But generations worth of institutional discrimination put blacks as a group well behind whites as a group and that doesn’t magically correct itself just because we’ve stopped doing it.

Does this justify institutional efforts to recognize the situation and work harder to reach out to groups who’ve been damaged by past wrongs?  Probably, although they tend to mostly benefit those who need the least help (the sons and daughters of wealthy blacks) and disadvantage the whites who’ve least benefited from a stacked system (sons and daughters of poor whites).

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, Race and Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Michael could have a field day with this sentence fragment:

    On each one, Tea Party backers expressed more resentment than the rest of the population, even when controlling for partisanship and ideology.

    LOL, such a correction should not really be necessary, should it?

  2. john personna says:

    BTW, good title, it is easy to take this article as as statement of racial resentment 😉

  3. James Joyner says:

    LOL, such a correction should not really be necessary, should it?

    Well, party and ideology overlap considerably and conservatives and liberals have different attitudes toward redistribution and individual/group treatment. Liberals and much more likely to support taking from achievers in order to balance inequities of distribution.

    What’s odd is that, reading through the WISER description of the methodology, it doesn’t appear that they’re controlling for either, anyway.

  4. arcs says:

    • “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.”

    A no-brainer Yes.

    How many generations have to pass before that particular survey question becomes laughably false? Or, is this an instance of “we’ll know it when we see it?”

  5. Maxwell James says:

    Speaking as someone on the left side of the coin, I agree with you that the methodology of this survey is clunky at best. It’s basically just testing for conservative viewpoints on race using resentful language, which is not at all a scientific approach. To be fair, I’d also characterize their chosen liberal language as “whiny.”

    It’s better to measure for ethnocentrism separately, then look for correlations to political attitudes. That approach probably doesn’t lead to such “clean” results, but is certainly more accurate.

  6. john personna says:

    What’s odd is that, reading through the WISER description of the methodology, it doesn’t appear that they’re controlling for either, anyway.

    Well, I think the logical error in your attack on the survey is that the same questions were asked of both groups, all political parties.

    It doesn’t matter if the question is “bad” when you are looking at not the absolute result, but the divergence and correlation between groups.

    An apology for one group’s divergent result is just that.

  7. john personna says:

    BTW, I’d imagine the makers of this poll knew that these two questions would split the respondents two different ways:

    • “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.”

    • “Over the past few years blacks have gotten less than they deserve.”

    If you say yes to the first and no to the second, you might have a more moderate position than someone who says no to both, and yes to the third:

    • “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.”

    That’s the kind of divergence these questions are designed to find.

  8. floyd says:

    Everybody who disagrees with Michael is a racist, just ask the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality,surely an unbiased Institute with no ax to grind.[lol]
    This reminiscent of the old ads in the back of 60’s magazines… “I can Prove…”

    Hey! Do think the John Birch Society could find us a Commie?
    How about an equally credible unbiased article from “The New American”.

  9. James Joyner says:

    It doesn’t matter if the question is “bad” when you are looking at not the absolute result, but the divergence and correlation between groups.

    An apology for one group’s divergent result is just that.

    But we would expect divergence on answers to charged ideological question between a charged, ideological group and non-members of that group. But a divergent result that can be explained in a dozen different ways isn’t evidence of a specific thing that the researchers were trying to prove.

  10. Franklin says:

    How many generations have to pass before that particular survey question becomes laughably false?

    Not sure if you’re serious, but it is actually a good question. One way to look at it would be to guess at a roughly asymptotic decay, so theoretically the answer is never. Another way to look at it is to say the damage is done, again leading to the answer of never. But reasonably, we have to let it go at some point.

  11. john personna says:

    But we would expect divergence on answers to charged ideological question between a charged, ideological group and non-members of that group. But a divergent result that can be explained in a dozen different ways isn’t evidence of a specific thing that the researchers were trying to prove.

    I don’t think you should really accept that these questions are “ideologically charged.”

    That’s a bad road to go down, when what, conservatives think “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.”

    It’s better for conservatives, I’d think, if they accept that there are remaining problems, but that a level playing field and a public commitment to equality can solve things.

    You may be on board with that last paragraph, but IMO your posts today are a defensive work for those who do not, for those who answer “yes” and “no” to the wrong questions.

  12. Dave Schuler says:

    One way to look at it would be to guess at a roughly asymptotic decay, so theoretically the answer is never. Another way to look at it is to say the damage is done, again leading to the answer of never.

    I think the actual problem is somewhat different than this answer might lead one to think. To date policies intended to remediate the problems of African Americans, descendants of slaves and people who were subjected to Jim Crow laws and continuing to be adversely affected by that, have disproportionately helped African Americans who don’t operate under the same handicaps.

    Consider President Obama. He’s the son of a Kenyan raised primarily by white people in Hawaii at a time when African Americans were rare there. The notion that he bears the vestigial effects of slavery is laughable and not borne out by his history and experience other than the way in which he’s internalized it. I suspect that no program will do much about how people internalize experiences.

    Gen. Colin Powell? The son of Jamaican immigrants. The list goes on and on—the rule rather than the exception. There is a marked, non-trivial difference beyond the margin of error between the unemployment rate for native-born African Americans and non-native-born at every level of educational attainment.

    I think the question is how do racial preferences deal with a problem that isn’t simply racial but cultural as well? By giving recent immigrants with college educations and British-sounding accents a helping hand? How does that help a kid who grew up in a shack in the Carolina tidewater?

    Consequently, if we are unable to think beyond race to extend our consideration to those within a race who are actually experiencing the problems more worthy of our attention,I think that from a policy standpoint we’d be better off concentrating our attentions on poverty rather than on race.

  13. At what point will poll responses based upon leading questions and false dichotomies cease to be taken seriously? It certainly seems that the pollsters are the biggest racists here.

  14. george says:

    I’ve no idea if the Tea Party is racist or not, but that poll is absolutely useless for determining anything except the poor training of the pollsters. Those questions would get you a failing mark even in a high school social studies class … its hard to take any institution which used them seriously.

  15. john personna says:

    charles and george, questions that normal people think are crazy are what you want, if you are trying to get people on the fringe to say yes to something outrageous and to identify themselves.

    The question below is like that because it makes “overcoming” the minority’s responsibility:

    “Irish, Italians, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.”

    Without “any” special favors, not even say a public commitment to equality.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    I agree with a lot of what James wrote and a lot of the subsequent comments. Were the questions badly worded? Yes. Is this a very difficult subject to poll, yes, because an obvious question elicits a “proper” response. The number of people who admit to being racists is far smaller than the number who actually are.

    But I think John P. makes the salient point: it’s the difference between groups asked the same poorly-worded questions that give us the clue.

    What is there about conservatism that needs to deny that African-Americans are historically disadvantaged and that this persists to some degree today? There’s nothing anti-conservative in that, it’s a simple statement of historical fact. Denial is not a necessary component of conservatism.

    In fact in just about any context other than race, conservatives would tout the importance of history, the ways in which history shapes culture, and in which culture shapes present reality.

    Would a conservative deny that the history of westward migration in this country, the settling of lands, the carving out of a civilization from wilderness has an effect on, say, a modern-day Utahan? No. Never. Quite the contrary.

    But when the history we’re talking about is African-American history we find that the flow of history, the interaction of history and culture suddenly has no relevance. History justifies the desire of a Texan to have a gun, but doesn’t justify a black man feeling that he’s been to some degree hobbled by history.

    It’s a selective use of history. Cowboys? Yes. Genocide of the Indians? No. Pearl Harbor? Yes. Jim Crow? No. Every part of history that flatters white people is part of a vital thread, and every part that challenges that narrative is dismissed as irrelevant, unimportant, some dusty old artifact.

    This steady determination to embrace all the good history and deny all the bad is dishonest. And it is a legacy of racism. We honor the Germans for being honest about their 20th century history, and we hold the Japanese in some contempt for covering up theirs. Conservatives are much closer to the Japanese approach than to the German.

  17. Franklin says:

    There is a marked, non-trivial difference beyond the margin of error between the unemployment rate for native-born African Americans and non-native-born at every level of educational attainment.

    This is a good point, and my own anecdotal experiences back it up. While in a relatively prestigious engineering program, there were indeed a few blacks (both students and one well-known professor), but I’m not aware of any of them that were actually native-born.

  18. Wayne says:

    So people who think blacks are just as capable as whites are racist?

  19. john personna says:

    This is a good point, and my own anecdotal experiences back it up. While in a relatively prestigious engineering program, there were indeed a few blacks (both students and one well-known professor), but I’m not aware of any of them that were actually native-born.

    There are probably some selection effects in that, with the most driven making it into the US and then the program. And one tragedy might be that natives have a harder time believing they can.

    So people who think blacks are just as capable as whites are racist?

    Not at all. In fact I think saying you believe in equal capability is a big part of the solution, see above.

  20. john personna – Why not just ask them if they have stopped burning crosses yet since you are so interested in trying to use fringe group responses to generalize for much larger populations. God, you suck as a pollster.

    Michael Reynolds – Get a grip and grow up. I grow weary of your accusing me and others of being a racist because, well, because we don’t agree with you apparently.

    It is damned clear to me that I am much closer to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideal of a color blind society than either of you can even dream of. john personna advocates a level playing field then proceeds to undercut that concept for the intentionally vague intellectual fuzziness of equal outcomes. Micheal Reynolds’ obsessive compulsive disorder requires him to consign everyone to the right of center to one of Dante’s Circles of Hell.

    I feel like Jeff Goldblum in the remake of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers — “Was I talking to you?”

  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    Charles:

    1) I didn’t address you at all. I almost never do. Nor did I accuse you of anything.

    2) Racism has nothing to do with disagreeing with me. I don’t think Joyner’s a racist, and he’s to my right on many issues.

    3) Why don’t you try addressing my point directly rather than deciding to take offense personally? Explain why history matters sometimes and doesn’t other times.

  22. Drew says:

    Another sad day for OTB.

  23. James Joyner says:

    It’s a selective use of history. Cowboys? Yes. Genocide of the Indians? No. Pearl Harbor? Yes. Jim Crow? No. Every part of history that flatters white people is part of a vital thread, and every part that challenges that narrative is dismissed as irrelevant, unimportant, some dusty old artifact.

    There’s something to that. And some of it is doubtless plain, old fashioned racism. More of it, I think, is a belief in American Exceptionalism and a knee-jerk defensiveness when historical faults are pointed to. “My country: Love it or leave it,” and all that.

    The same resentment of “hippies,” “the counter-culture,” and “Coastal elites” exists as does this defensiveness against the vestiges of racism.

  24. TangoMan says:

    Dave raises some interesting points. Let me add one more: 75% of blacks admitted to Harvard under its Affirmative Action policy are immigrants, children of immigrants or bi-racial. How is the application of Harvard’s policy actually helping to remedy the “centuries of discrimination” heaped upon the black citizens of America?

    As for the original “study” I’d find it interesting if the researchers had collected social mobility data for the respondents and then controlled for this against the answers given. Did respondents own climb up the mobility ladder influence their belief that others too should be able to climb up the mobility ladder.

  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    James:

    I agree, but it seems to me you’re making the argument that people have a whole host of resentments not just racism. Of course that’s correct.

    History is written by the victors (feel free to quote me, I just made that up,) so we have a history written as narrative that excludes a lot of people. I think the left is too quick to dismiss the glories of American history, and the right is too quick to dismiss the failures.

    But it seems to me what we all should be able to agree on is that history cannot be chopped off arbitrarily in the case of African-Americans. Even though I’m about as secular as a Jew can be, all of that long history, particularly the Holocaust, shaped who I am, how I see the world, and how I react to others.

    Many whites deny that a history of racism which goes back to the early 17th century in this country and includes slavery, lynching, murder, rape, torture, humiliation, an entire very large Civil War, riots and terrorism, affects them or and their attitudes, or should affect African-Americans.

    We benefit from history, we are shaped by it, we profit from it, and sometimes we pay for it.

  26. James Joyner says:

    Many whites deny that a history of racism which goes back to the early 17th century in this country and includes slavery, lynching, murder, rape, torture, humiliation, an entire very large Civil War, riots and terrorism, affects them or and their attitudes, or should affect African-Americans.

    We benefit from history, we are shaped by it, we profit from it, and sometimes we pay for it.

    Agreed. Many overcome the disadvantages of their history — or squander its advantages — but there’s no denying that some have a head start over others in life’s race.

    I’ve got ideological concerns about government trying to pick winners and losers to begin with and am especially queasy when it’s done on the basis of race. Much less so when it’s done on the basis of poverty or other better criteria that happen to correlate strongly with race.

  27. TangoMan says:

    At what point will poll responses based upon leading questions and false dichotomies cease to be taken seriously? It certainly seems that the pollsters are the biggest racists here.

    A related question is “when will Newsweek no longer be taken seriously?”

    So people who think blacks are just as capable as whites are racist?

    Welcome to the world of liberalism. A whole world view built on racism and where charges of racism are used as a weapon against opponents in order to make the accuser feel more virtuous about themselves.

    Taranto was right about the researchers imputing their own reactions to the questions as the basis for determining the level of racism inherent in the response. I’m surprised that Taranto didn’t reference this study which appeared in one of his columns:

    As Iyengar and his colleagues subsequently dug deeper into these data, another finding emerged: Republicans consistently gave less aid, and gave over a shorter period of time, to victims regardless of race.

    Democrats and independents were far more generous; on average, they gave Katrina victims on average more than $1,500 a month, compared with $1,200 for Republicans, and for 13 months instead of nine.

    But for Democrats, race mattered–and in a disturbing way. Overall, Democrats were willing to give whites about $1,500 more than they chose to give to a black or other minority. (Even with this race penalty, Democrats still were willing to give more to blacks than those principled Republicans.) “Republicans are likely to be more stringent, both in terms of money and time, Iyengar said. “However, their position is ‘principled’ in the sense that it stems from a strong belief in individualism (as opposed to handouts). Thus their responses to the assistance questions are relatively invariant across the different media conditions. Independents and Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely to be affected by racial cues.” . . .

    Iyengar said he’s not surprised by the latest findings: “This pattern of results matches perfectly an earlier study I did on race and crime” with Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. of UCLA. “Republicans supported tough treatment of criminals no matter what they encountered in the news. Others were more elastic in their position, coming to support more harsh measures when the criminal suspect they encountered was non-white.” . . . . . .

    Also, we take issue with the characterization of Democrats as “generous” because they are willing to “give” more money to the hypothetical victims. Participants were not asked how much of their own money they were willing to contribute, but rather how much “government aid” they thought the victims should receive.

    If Democrats are more eager to spend “government” money than Republicans are–and, with the possible exception of members of Congress, it is a commonplace that they are–does this mean that Democrats are more “generous”? Or does it mean that Republicans are more apt to think of government as spending their money, while Democrats think of it as other people’s?

    What Liberals fail to understand when they see Conservatives is that most Conservatives look at the world through a filter of race-neutrality. Many Liberals see the world in terms of race and so when they see Conservatives not viewing the world on Liberal terms they jump to the conclusion, based on their own race-fixation, that Conservatives have come to this position because they hate people of certain races.

  28. john personna says:

    Charles,

    It is damned clear to me that I am much closer to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideal of a color blind society than either of you can even dream of. john personna advocates a level playing field then proceeds to undercut that concept for the intentionally vague intellectual fuzziness of equal outcomes. Micheal Reynolds’ obsessive compulsive disorder requires him to consign everyone to the right of center to one of Dante’s Circles of Hell.

    I never said outcomes, you big fat emotional liar.

  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve got ideological concerns about government trying to pick winners and losers to begin with and am especially queasy when it’s done on the basis of race. Much less so when it’s done on the basis of poverty or other better criteria that happen to correlate strongly with race.

    I agree. It is not the job of government to create an egalitarian utopia, even setting aside the practical impossibility. I have always opposed affirmative action — though it’s a close call for me — because it diminishes its recipients as well as penalizing innocent individuals for a history they themselves did not form. Life is unfair. LIfe is imperfect.

    Institutional racism is a job for government. Laws have to be color blind, and we have a right to demand that racism not play a role in hiring, housing, etc…

    Individual racism is for us to deal with as human beings — challenging it, calling it what it is, opposing it wherever it rears its nasty little head.

  30. TangoMan says:

    I have always opposed affirmative action — though it’s a close call for me — because it diminishes its recipients as well as penalizing innocent individuals for a history they themselves did not form.

    You surprise me by making a statement I agree with. There is a first time for everything, I suppose.

  31. The Q says:

    Ok, Ok, Charles Austin, Tangoboy and all you Republicans and Tea Baggers, we get it, you all are not racist…

    Its just that you are/were against the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, desegregation, anti apartheid legislation, Martin Luther King Day, Obama’s “illegitimate” Presidency etc.

    And when was the last time a Democratic President visited Philadelphia Mississippi and declared their candidacy for President there a la Reagan in 1980? BTW, thats where Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman were killed by the Klan in 1964.

    And when was the last time a Democrat gave a speech at Bob Jones University, which until this century, forbade inter-racial marriages?

    Give me a friggin’ break you hypocritical aholes.

    Let me explain. I remember growing up in LA during the 60s in Playa del Rey, a beach community which was destroyed by the LAX expansion in the mid 60s. 80% of PDR was annihilated to make way for the North runway.

    Our neighborhood was 99% white, but school officials told us that unless we bused in “other” kids, the local elementary schools would have to be closed/merged because of the declining population.

    So, for the next three years, my elementary school went from lily white to a 60/40 mix of white/black.

    This was 1966. LA at the time was over 80% white, in fact whiter then than OC is today.

    Needless to say, our school was really one of the first in the nation to have busing, not by design, but by necessity.

    Also, needless to say, the word NIG%GER was used thousands of times during this time…not much by us students, but by parents in this solid, upper middle class, white Republican bastion.

    I remember asking Keith Morgan in third grade if I could touch his hair since really the only African Americans I was familiar with were either athletes or Bill Cosby, then starring in I Spy.

    No blacks lived in my hood, and there wasn’t much interaction with them.

    Instead of kicking my ass right there, Keith bent over and let me touch his ‘Fro.

    We became the best of friends in this apartheid system LA was at the time – I went to school with black kids during the day, fully integrated, but at 3 PM, they got on the bus and went home and so did we….back to our segregated neighborhoods.

    Tom Bradley ran for mayor against Sam yorty in 1969…oh the horror, Nig%ger Tom this, Ni%gger Tom that, of course he lost.

    Even LA wasn’t ready for a Nig%ger Mayor.

    The parents who were the racists, undoubtedly didn’t think they were…they just hated Nig%gers.

    In 1975, one of the first blacks moved into the area, right next door – of course the obligatory cross was burned into his grass lawn, and the windows on his Cadillac were broken many times…

    He lasted less than a year. I had a good idea of who was behind it, but couldn’t prove anything.

    I think back on those days now as I have bought a house not far from where I grew up…

    As I was sitting in a restaurant the other day, I noticed the integration, now the hood is about 65% white, but the business district is majority black patrons, shopping at the same stores and eating at the same restaurants as I had done in my youth.

    And my thoughts were simple, this would have blown the minds of all those Republican racists of my youth to see, gasp, black folk in such numbers not rioting, but shopping, not causing the home values to crumble (median house price where I live is $800k and thats after the housing crunch)

    And all this would have been FUC*&KING IMPOSSIBLE had all you “non racist” Republicans been in charge.

    The hard struggle I witnessed first hand, up close, for blacks would have been 10 times harder if charles austin, tangoboy, Wayne et al. views held sway back then.

    The Democrats paid a horrible price for this proactive approach and I have spent the last 40 years watching the “we aren’t racists” crowd of Republican shitheads try and turn the clock back.

    Mike Reynolds has it exactly right in his tireless attempts to call it as he sees it.

    In conclusion, my opinion, is rather straightforward based on my own experience:

    “There is a lot MORE racism in America than white people think, and there is a lot LESS racism in America than black people think.”

    I have seen the charles austins and the tangos and the waynes of this world profess since i was in friggin grade school their meek whiney voices of “but I am not a racist”, but I know better, they are racists, not the “Klan” racists, but the Reagan racists, the ones who start their presidential campaign in one of the birthplaces of the Klan, giving all you closet racists the subtle message that “bottom line – I hate Nig%gers just like you do…I just can’t come out and admit it or say it, but I will stand up for the confederate flag, oppose affirmative actions, say the civil war was about “states rights”, vow to cut food stamps to the Nig%ger welfare queens who drive cadillacs to the store and have color tvs….but of course I am not racist.”

    To all of you “non racist” conservatives, and I quote dick cheney:

    Go fu*7ck yourselves.

  32. TangoMan says:

    “There is a lot MORE racism in America than white people think, and there is a lot LESS racism in America than black people think.”

    That’s right and if we could just rid ourselves of all of the race-based policies that liberals advocate, which view people as tokens for their group rather than as individuals, then the nation would benefit from dealing with less racism in the public sphere.

  33. floyd says:

    The Q;
    So your point is, Some of your best friends are black. Right?

  34. The Q says:

    Mr. Tangoman,

    I agree with you that we should get rid of some of these programs, but not quite yet.

    It is on the horizon however. And yes, the libs tend to overstate racism.

    But, it is disingenuous of conservatives who believe these programs are/were the problems.

    Tom Bradley went to UCLA, had a masters degree, but could rise no further than sergeant in the LAPD because of institutional racism there.

    The conservatives’ solution? he should have tried harder. this is Bulshitt and you know it.

    I will unequivocally state again, that had the republicans/dixiecrat racists been in charge during the 50s and 60s and early 70s, this nation would be a cesspool of racial animus, that minorities gains would be nowhere near what they are now and overt racism would flourish because of the absence of “it being driven underground by social stigma and other pressures.” as Mr. Joyner pointed out.

    And this is the crux of my argument, who exactly is responsible for “it’s been driven underground by social stigma and other pressures.”

    It certainly wasn’t you guys Charles austin, wayne, tango and fellow conservatives.

    It was by the liberals and liberal northern republicans who hammered through some of the most gut wrenching, controversial morally correct legislation in our nations history, with the concomitant fear and sky is falling bulsshit of the white rednecks who still believe this.

    And that is Mr. Reynolds point. This hysteria is being deliberately whipped up for cheap political ends by the right wing kooks who realize its red meat to all the ignorant clowns who have a legitimate beef about the problems of this country, but who are scapegoating the wrong causes.

  35. The Q says:

    No floyd, my point is subtle, unconscious racists like you are the problem.

  36. floyd says:

    TheQ;
    You are demonstrating ignorant bigotry with every vitriolic phrase. Your “point” is ANYTHING but subtle…. But maybe if you comb your hair to one side, nobody will notice… much.

  37. The Q says:

    You misread my point:

    It is the subtle, unconscious racists which are the problem.

    And yes, there is some vitriol in my writings to wake up the indolent.

    And please don’t give me that “ignorant bigotry” screed, I friggin watched this racial drama play out decades before you other white boys in the sheltered hinterlands got the message.

  38. TangoMan says:

    I agree with you that we should get rid of some of these programs, but not quite yet.

    Look, why don’t liberals just own it, and admit that the time for getting rid of their race-based policies will never arrive in that a.) this would deprive them of constituencies to which they can pander, b.) the rational for the polices changed after the Bakke decision (“diversity” now is the goal as a stand-alone principle and the quasi-reparations aspect is not legally valid) and c.) so long as there is inequality of outcomes liberals will presume that this results from “discrimination.”

    This is a self-perpetuating machine which, if removed, would decimate the reason for being of the liberal political class. What on earth could they stand for in the absence of grievance and identity politics?

  39. The Q says:

    Floyd et. al,

    Just for the record:

    Do blacks play the race card too often?

    Of course.

    Is Al Sharpton an ahole?

    Of course.

    Should affirmative action be more income based than race based?

    Of course.

    Is it offensive to me that dem libs have a quota system in place to be a delegate to the Dem. convention?

    Of course.

    But does this mitigate against the racism and petty bigotry that I have witnessed and which is responsible for the vast majority of the problems we have?

    Of course not.

    Do I think that a huge slice of the t baggers/conservative Repubs are subtly racist?

    Of course.

    But one thing above all since I’ve grown up in a city which is “post racial” (and by the way, I worked for the South African government during apartheid just to blow your mind), the policies of the rightwing when it comes to race would have been an absolute disaster.

  40. The Q says:

    Mr. Tangoman,

    You make some good points. But, just as David Duke was a conservative Republican, I wouldn’t lump you in with this racist scumbag.

    I am liberal…more a New Deal economic liberal than a social issues liberal.

    Just as on the right, there are some left wing loons out there who exploit the racial issue as you noted.

    However, the racial divide has not yet been breached and as Mike Reynolds points out, is used as a cultural wedge issue to bolster the right wing agenda.

  41. Dan Andrews says:
  42. The Q says:

    Mr. Andrews,

    “Every soul on this earth is racist.”

    True to a certain extent.

    Do you really think then, in your little world, that tom bradley could only rise to the position of sergeant in the LAPD because he wasn’t smart enough or because there was blatant,institutional racism?

    And why on my ancient deed to my property does it state clearly, “sale to non Caucasians prohibited”.

    Of course such covenants were ruled illegal back in the medieval ages…err, 1968 you pious clown.

    Look white folk, give it the fu*ck up.

    We are not talking ancient friggin’ history here.

    You guys make it sound like, just after breaking your leg and rehabing for a week, that you should be ready to run an Olympic marathon.

    The crux of the problem is that people like you and the Tbaggers, like the 3 monkeys, see,hear and speak no racism…like it didn’t and doesn’t exist and all these uppity negroes should shut the f*uck up and quit their complainin’.

    The world is a little more complicated and complex than that and unfortunately you guys are checkers players in a chess playing world.

    According to you, lets all sing Kumbaya and sit around the table of racial brotherhood and laugh at the old days of lynchings and Jim Crow and all celebrate the wholesome character of all those well meaning rednecks who have seen the light and are ready for nirvana as they all have repented their past racist ways.

    Please, no wonder we are a dysfunctional democracy. People are idiots.

    And I dare say, comments like yours Mr. Andrews belie the racism in your own heart.

  43. floyd says:

    “before you other white boys in the sheltered hinterlands got the message.”

    So… just where and when was the inspiration for that piece of ersatz prose?[lol]
    [It was good though]

    BTW; a detached observer would surely report that race is not exclusively, but more commonly, used as a cultural wedge issue to bolster the left wing agenda.
    If you can’t see that, it must be hysterical political blindness.
    It appears that you are doing just that here, with your name calling and your view of a world where all wisdom and righteousness is the purview of the left.
    [or should that have read “lefteousness”][lol]

  44. Dan Andrews says: