Thursday, October 9, 2014

Discriminating Tastes

The adage that "Since President Obama was elected, white people think discrimination against black people is over" is pretty much exactly the case, as evidenced by new research from Harvard.

Work by Harvard University professor Michael I. Norton, who examined data from a series of polls through the years, found in 2011 that although both blacks and whites believe anti-black racism has diminished through the decades, whites tend to think it has been all but eliminated. 
In many cases, he found, white perceptions of racial disparities diverge far from reality.
For instance, two-thirds of blacks think that African Americans earn make less money than whites, a view in line with official statistics. But just 37 percent of whites believe that blacks make less money than whites, and a narrow majority think black and white’ incomes are about the same. Also, although many objective health measures suggest blacks are in worse overall health than whites, a majority of whites think blacks and whites are equally healthy. 
So it is no surprise that just 16 percent of whites believe that there is “a lot” of discrimination in America today, a view held by 56 percent of blacks. What may be surprising is that the polls found that white perceptions of anti-black bias have diminished to the point where they are more now likely to think anti-white discrimination is a bigger problem than bias against blacks. The chart below is from Norton's work.

In other words, since about 1998 or so, there are more white Americans who believe white people are discriminated against than they believe black people are discriminated against.  The data doesn't come anywhere near to this, but that's where we are today.

You know, people like Chief Justice John Roberts.  "Racism is over" is reality to a lot of white America in 2014.  Judging by the trajectory, we're soon going to arrive at the point where white people believe anti-white discrimination is worse than black people believe anti-black discrimination is.

Hell, if you ask me, we've reached that point now.

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