How Racism Works

Banned
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 120
McCain -- Service Academy graduate, career Naval Officer, fighter pilot, US Senator with a long and distinguished legislative record.

Obama -- Stayed in school instead of getting a real job, became a community rabble-rouser and race-baiter before launching undistinguished career in the Illinois legislature followed by a short stint as a US Senator where he racked up the most liberal voting record of all 100, further left than Teddy Kennedy.


See, we can all play the game.
Originally Posted by CurlyDad

You scare me CurlyDad... I've seen you in a few forums and on the abortion issue, you seem a little sexist. Now in this forum, you have nothing substantial to say and clearly you didn't understand the meaning of the post. Again, you should check into your values and ask yourself the real reason you're not voting for Obama. If you find that your reasons are legitimate, then fine. But if by chance you discover that you really don't know the reason and you're just pre-disposed to judging him more harshly, then maybe you've taken a page from Mr. William Lynch's book.

Look up a few threads and check out the article on white privilage. You'd probably never admit it, but it's true. The black man has to fly to get to what the white man can walk to.
Originally Posted by A_la_Nap-tural
I scare you? It seems to me you may want to examine your own values rather than direct me to question mine. I find many of the lefty posts here are rooted in uninformed opinion, feel good fantasy about the way the world should be, and outright emotion rather than cold hard assessment of facts and reality.

I don't give a damn about race -- Obama or otherwise. That's a pre-occupation of the left that most conservatives don't even understand, despite being accused of racism at every turn. My problem with Obama is that his background is rooted in political radicalism, racial grievences politics, and Marxist inspired ideology. His socialist vision for government, economy and society has been tried around the globe and has failed miserably again and again.

Why people continue to advocate for it demonstrates the lack of understand of economics and history that our politically correct eductation system has foisted on too many generations.

Your implication that my opposition to Obama is little more than knee-jerk racism is offensive on several levels.

1) Suggestions of racism are too often used to shut down legitimate debate and attack character when facts aren't available.
2) You have no reason to suspect race has any place in my thinking, but assume that is what drives it unless I specifiy otherwise. The idea that examination of my values will lead my away from my inherent racist view is despicable and makes me wonder if that is how other liberals view people that don't agree with them. What a sad way to view society.
3) It's a cop out to suggest it's all about race. There's no reason to believe that, except it absolves you from examining what's really happening.
First of all, I have no doubt that some people are racist. However, I am somewhat offended by the "white privilege" article. Why is it saying that white people can get away with anything without being questioned? They ARE being questioned- big time. By all races. I agree that all the things that are listed are wrong- and should definitely be questioned. I don't think that "whites" are privileged in that aspect. Plus I don't think all whites have a "deeply rooted slavery mentality". Most of us were born WAY after slaves were freed and I grew up with blacks being my equals. My best friend is black- we never looked at each other in terms of our skin color.

I am white and I am an Obama supporter. I am disgusted with some of the racist things that have been said about him. I just don't think black people should feel that they are so oppressed just because they are black. The majority of people have evolved past that.

I also disagree that "The black man has to fly to get to what the white man can walk to." In some cases, that might be true. But that is a very racist statement. Some white people have it worse than some black people and vice versa. Although I completely do not understand how McCain and Palin got this far in this campaign, I don't think that says that says that ALL white people can walk to where blacks have to fly to.

Plus, not everything is black and white, we are all human and we all have different perspectives no matter what race we are.
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Last edited by lacunaCoils; 10-17-2008 at 11:09 AM.
I am going to ask a question. I don't mean for it to sound racist; just a question. I am one of those western Pennsylvanians Murtha called racist. After a lot of soul searching and listening to the candidates and what some of their ideas are, I am voting for Obama. Race was never something I thought about. I am a registered Republican and have voted predominantly Republican for 40 years. This election I knew I had to look at the issues, the candidates and make an independent choice.

I have been very upset at people like Murtha who think so many of us "whites" are racist and that the reason we won't vote for Obama is because he is black.

My question is. . . how many black people are voting for Obama because he is black. . . and that being their main reason. That to me is just as racist.
Originally Posted by munchkin

I do not paint people with one swath. I look at individuals. That said:

I do not think your question is racist.

I do not think it was right for Murtha tosay that whites from your part of PA are racist. Some may be. Others will be open minded. You are a perfect case.

I am voting for Obama. I am black but I am not voting for him because he's black. I weighed all my options. In the primaries, I didn't make up my mind until the end. I liked Obama and thought it would be nice to see someone in office who looked like me. BUT - I liked Edwards; I liked Biden; I liked the NM governor (name slips); I even liked Hillary until she got nasty.



I know some blacks who did go for Obama from day one. Again, I don't think they were racist. They saw something in him that they liked and could relate to. My dad is one of them. In his 60's, part of the struggle in the 60-70's, he never thought he'd see the day when a viable black candidate could do this. He's ecstatic and has been a supporter from jump. But he wouldn't have been a supporter if he thought Obama was not smart or unqualified.

Further, most people won't vote for someone just because they look like them. Women, men, black, white...I never voted for Sharpton and Jesse gets on my nerves. There are black candidates on the ballot here locally that I would never vote for.There are women candidates that scare me. I vote for the right person, for the right time, for me. And this year, that's Obama.

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First of all, I have no doubt that some people are racist. However, I am somewhat offended by the "white privilege" article. Why is it saying that white people can get away with anything without being questioned? They ARE being questioned- big time. By all races. I agree that all the things that are listed are wrong- and should definitely be questioned. I don't think that "whites" are privileged in that aspect. Plus I don't think all whites have a "deeply rooted slavery mentality". Most of us were born WAY after slaves were freed and I grew up with blacks being my equals. My best friend is black- we never looked at each other in terms of our skin color.

I am white and I am an Obama supporter. I am disgusted with some of the racist things that have been said about him. I just don't think black people should feel that they are so oppressed just because they are black. The majority of people have evolved past that.

I also disagree that "The black man has to fly to get to what the white man can walk to." In some cases, that might be true. But that is a very racist statement. Some white people have it worse than some black people and vice versa. Although I completely do not understand how McCain and Palin got this far in this campaign, I don't think that says that says that ALL white people can walk to where blacks have to fly to.

Plus, not everything is black and white, we are all human and we all have different perspectives no matter what race we are.
Originally Posted by lacunaCoils
You don't see that, all other things being equal, a black person has it harder than a white person in our society? Come on. It's well documented that when two people have the same resumes, for example, the white person is hired more often. A black woman is 4 times as likely to die in childbirth in America than a white woman is--I highly doubt that is just pure biology.

.....
I also disagree that "The black man has to fly to get to what the white man can walk to." In some cases, that might be true. But that is a very racist statement. Some white people have it worse than some black people and vice versa. Although I completely do not understand how McCain and Palin got this far in this campaign, I don't think that says that says that ALL white people can walk to where blacks have to fly to.

Plus, not everything is black and white, we are all human and we all have different perspectives no matter what race we are.
Originally Posted by lacunaCoils

I agree with you on the we're all human part. But really, the world isn't as cookie cutter as we'd like. The truth is ugly. Don't take my general statement of "the black man has to fly..." as a racist comment. To my defense, I'm from the south. My family believes that love is love, and when my 2 uncles came home with white women we welcomed them with open arms. Do you think my uncles had the same reception from their white in-laws? No ma'am. Quite the contrary. In fact, my uncles were not accepted or allowed into the homes of their white in-laws until they had children. How could you deny something that is part of you? For them, that was the kicker. I will speak from my own experience though....

My first name is quite ethnic. I am educated and very efficient in my work. I have nothing but good references. However, when I listed my full name on top of my resume, I didn't get one single call for the jobs I applied for. When I listed my first initial and my full middle name and last name (you wouldn't be able to tell my race), and applied for those same positions, I interviewed and received 3 offers. For some odd reason, my first name scares people and conjures up images of a loud talking, angry black woman. And I'm the opposite....

CurlyDad, I commend you for making your decisions based on the platform. I encourage more people to do as you've done. But the truth is, a lot won't. No it's not all race based and everything isn't black and white, but you could never know my reality or what I've been subjected to unless you've lived in this skin.
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You might be right about it being more about political party. However, I must add that the OP made me have to think about my own racism. I don't consider myself a racist. I believe in equality no matter the race or gender. However, the OP did make me stop and think. Had the races been reversed...I really can see myself saying that this black man McCain ranked that low in his class, that the black woman Palin took a long time to finish college, etc. I think I would've looked at their negatives more harshly. I would've seen white Obama as very qualified.
Instead, I look at McCain's accomplishments and overlook his negatives...I don't ignore Obama's accomplishments but I still somehow question if he's qualified.
Just so you know, I'm voting for Obama, but it took a lot of soul searching. It took more than this simplistic analysis that I unfortunately would've probably done had the races been reversed.
Knowing that, and knowing I don't want to be a racist, I'm going to be more aware of how I judge people.
I am disgusted by my bias. Again, to be clear, I value equality. I don't think white people are superior to black people...but somewhere I guess in my subconscious, maybe in being raised in this society...I don't know...I have to admit I was guilty of what the OP suggested.

Thanks for posting this. I am all for self-improvement, admitting my mistakes, and learning from it. I know I'm not perfect and have made some errors in judgment. This opens my eyes to how much work I need to do in getting rid of my own insidious racism.

I've been aware for quite a long time of how sexism is similar. How judgments are often made more harshly against women. HOw there is a higher standard in judging women. And I knew racism still existed and that there are different standards. What I didn't know is that I was implementing the very same double standard.
Originally Posted by Boomygrrl
What a great, honest post. Good for you. I think racism is so entrenched in the very fabric of our society that we all internalize it to some degree. I think we all have to look inward sometimes and question our own thoughts and beliefs.

Thank you for everyone who responded to my question because you took it the way it was meant. I do know there are many intelligent educated black people who are for Obama for the right reasons; just as there are white people. But I am sure there are just as many black people voting for him because he is black as there are whites voting for McCain because he is white, which definitely is not the reason to support either candidate.
3b/c
First of all, I have no doubt that some people are racist. However, I am somewhat offended by the "white privilege" article. Why is it saying that white people can get away with anything without being questioned? They ARE being questioned- big time. By all races. I agree that all the things that are listed are wrong- and should definitely be questioned. I don't think that "whites" are privileged in that aspect. Plus I don't think all whites have a "deeply rooted slavery mentality". Most of us were born WAY after slaves were freed and I grew up with blacks being my equals. My best friend is black- we never looked at each other in terms of our skin color.

I am white and I am an Obama supporter. I am disgusted with some of the racist things that have been said about him. I just don't think black people should feel that they are so oppressed just because they are black. The majority of people have evolved past that.

I also disagree that "The black man has to fly to get to what the white man can walk to." In some cases, that might be true. But that is a very racist statement. Some white people have it worse than some black people and vice versa. Although I completely do not understand how McCain and Palin got this far in this campaign, I don't think that says that says that ALL white people can walk to where blacks have to fly to.

Plus, not everything is black and white, we are all human and we all have different perspectives no matter what race we are.
Originally Posted by lacunaCoils
You don't see that, all other things being equal, a black person has it harder than a white person in our society? Come on. It's well documented that when two people have the same resumes, for example, the white person is hired more often. A black woman is 4 times as likely to die in childbirth in America than a white woman is--I highly doubt that is just pure biology.
Originally Posted by iris427
Is it well-documented? I thought they would be more likely to hire a minority since some companies have to hire a certain percentage of minorites. If they don't, it's considered discrimination. That's what I've heard, correct me if I am wrong.
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.....
I also disagree that "The black man has to fly to get to what the white man can walk to." In some cases, that might be true. But that is a very racist statement. Some white people have it worse than some black people and vice versa. Although I completely do not understand how McCain and Palin got this far in this campaign, I don't think that says that says that ALL white people can walk to where blacks have to fly to.

Plus, not everything is black and white, we are all human and we all have different perspectives no matter what race we are.
Originally Posted by lacunaCoils

I agree with you on the we're all human part. But really, the world isn't as cookie cutter as we'd like. The truth is ugly. Don't take my general statement of "the black man has to fly..." as a racist comment. To my defense, I'm from the south. My family believes that love is love, and when my 2 uncles came home with white women we welcomed them with open arms. Do you think my uncles had the same reception from their white in-laws? No ma'am. Quite the contrary. In fact, my uncles were not accepted or allowed into the homes of their white in-laws until they had children. How could you deny something that is part of you? For them, that was the kicker. I will speak from my own experience though....

My first name is quite ethnic. I am educated and very efficient in my work. I have nothing but good references. However, when I listed my full name on top of my resume, I didn't get one single call for the jobs I applied for. When I listed my first initial and my full middle name and last name (you wouldn't be able to tell my race), and applied for those same positions, I interviewed and received 3 offers. For some odd reason, my first name scares people and conjures up images of a loud talking, angry black woman. And I'm the opposite....

CurlyDad, I commend you for making your decisions based on the platform. I encourage more people to do as you've done. But the truth is, a lot won't. No it's not all race based and everything isn't black and white, but you could never know my reality or what I've been subjected to unless you've lived in this skin.
Originally Posted by A_la_Nap-tural
It may be that I don't understand so much because I come from the north. That's terrible about your uncles not being accepted and the fact that you weren't getting interviews because of your name. I really do hate to admit that the world is so ugly. If only we could all live peacefully with love and compassion for all...but yeah, sad but true, only some of us are capable of that.
2b/2c Henndigo curls
Currently using: Deva low-poo and OC, KCKT/KCCC, JCCC, & BRHG. + Curlease towel
Also have had success with: CK, FSG, KBB, AOHR, Nature's Gate Conditioner.

pw: curlygirl

First of all, I have no doubt that some people are racist. However, I am somewhat offended by the "white privilege" article. Why is it saying that white people can get away with anything without being questioned? They ARE being questioned- big time. By all races. I agree that all the things that are listed are wrong- and should definitely be questioned. I don't think that "whites" are privileged in that aspect. Plus I don't think all whites have a "deeply rooted slavery mentality". Most of us were born WAY after slaves were freed and I grew up with blacks being my equals. My best friend is black- we never looked at each other in terms of our skin color.

I am white and I am an Obama supporter. I am disgusted with some of the racist things that have been said about him. I just don't think black people should feel that they are so oppressed just because they are black. The majority of people have evolved past that.

I also disagree that "The black man has to fly to get to what the white man can walk to." In some cases, that might be true. But that is a very racist statement. Some white people have it worse than some black people and vice versa. Although I completely do not understand how McCain and Palin got this far in this campaign, I don't think that says that says that ALL white people can walk to where blacks have to fly to.

Plus, not everything is black and white, we are all human and we all have different perspectives no matter what race we are.
Originally Posted by lacunaCoils
You don't see that, all other things being equal, a black person has it harder than a white person in our society? Come on. It's well documented that when two people have the same resumes, for example, the white person is hired more often. A black woman is 4 times as likely to die in childbirth in America than a white woman is--I highly doubt that is just pure biology.
Originally Posted by iris427
Is it well-documented? I thought they would be more likely to hire a minority since some companies have to hire a certain percentage of minorites. If they don't, it's considered discrimination. That's what I've heard, correct me if I am wrong.
Originally Posted by lacunaCoils
There are tons of scientific and unscientific studies.

To the bolded: That is a misconception. There is no quota system. If you are talking about affirmative action, white women benefit the most. That is also documented.

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An aside: I have not been in this country long and I can see the inequality (I live in the north). It amazes me that people who lived here all their lives cannot see the inequality and disparity between ethnic groups or walk around with misconceptions about how their country works.
Thank you for everyone who responded to my question because you took it the way it was meant. I do know there are many intelligent educated black people who are for Obama for the right reasons; just as there are white people. But I am sure there are just as many black people voting for him because he is black as there are whites voting for McCain because he is white, which definitely is not the reason to support either candidate.
Originally Posted by munchkin
Oh Munchkin, you're no racist. I think you're far from it. You're very open and accommodating to others views. Beautiful soul...

I agree with the bolded... What can you do? Unfortunately ignorance isn't illegal! Truly, it's up to each individual to start within themselves and be an example for others, since we can't force people to expand their minds. I think a lot of society's opinions of race stems from a hurt past and long practiced traditions. Whatever the reason, it's not an excuse to hold on to it, and refusing to recognize ones biased views only perpetuates the problem. It certainly goes across all races. No one race can blamelessly point fingers at another...
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Ever since I was in third grade, my dad always told me I have to make much better grades than a white person to get the same or close amount of success later in life. He wasn't lyin.
:
An aside: I have not been in this country long and I can see the inequality (I live in the north). It amazes me that people who lived here all their lives cannot see the inequality and disparity between ethnic groups or walk around with misconceptions about how their country works.
Originally Posted by iara
I think it's easier for someone from another country to see. We are so used to it because we grew up with it, that we don't question it. It's just normal to us. So many people think that since blatant racism a la Jim Crow has been outlawed, that racism is gone completely. They don't see it even if it's right in front of them.

To me, the original article that Iris posted speaks more to blind loyalty to a political party and the hypocrisy that goes with it. I think if the article was able to draw comparisons between Obama and Hilary Clinton (ie. same ideology, different race) then it would make a stronger case.

I find the second article about white priviledge is much more compelling.


For the record, I understand that racism can be much more hurtful than sexism (in short of rape and battered women)...but as far as everyday life, I know that although sexism effects me (job pay, males looking down on me literally and figuratively), I've heard much more horror stores of racism. The fact is I do benefit from white privilege. Being raised in an upper middle class family, I had privileges that many people in this country and definitely in this world do not get. So, I don't want to minimize racism when I say I understand one one level because of sexism.
However, I used to get very angry that some of my female friends had been sexually assaulted, that some had been in physically abusive relationships...and I still get angry when I see how certain males get more promotions and are talked to more respectfully as customers, for instance. I used to obsess about the inequities of the genders and it would depress me.

My point is this...I do have a point.
Even though I know I haven't suffered the level of oppression as many people of color have suffered...and believe me, I know that, I feel like this discussion not only opened my eyes to my own racism but it makes me understand how not only "how racism works" but "how sexism works" as well. I know most people who hold sexist views aren't woman-haters, just like most people who hold racist views aren't doing it out of hatred. Sure, some are. But I think a lot really is ignorance.

I still hate racism and sexism, but it helps me to feel less pissed off by it. I think a little anger is good as it can motivate us to fight for our rights...but the kind of anger that makes you hold a grudge and turns into depression is just not a good thing.
This gives me hope...as more and more people become open to listening to each other, listening to people's experiences...I think there will be more changes in the years ahead of us.
I'd like to see equality here and now, and that used to piss me off that we didn't have equality yesterday...but seeing improvement in people's minds gives me a sense of hope and I can live with that.

I like what one poster said on another thread...we are just waiting for the racist old white men to die off. I think as newer generations gain power and status, there really will be a paradigm shift. At least that's my optimism.
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Very interesting! I liked how they flipped it on us in the first email, I didn't even see the contrast as being as stark as it is when presented as succintly as that.

I also find Tim Wise's writing very insightful and intriguing. I saw footage of him speaking and the cold truths and analysis of his work came across even more compellingly live.

It's cool how honest and clear on this topic most people have been because it's such a subtle and shameful issue most people don't want to hear about it far less understand it.

There is an article posted on another site that really made me think. It relates to the psychology behind the polls, as discussed on this thread. Here's an excerpt from it, but it's certainly worth a read in its complete form:

The Last Three Weeks: Anxiety about the Economy vs. Anxiety about Race

by Drew Westen

. . . [It' s]hard to imagine they [McCain & team] weren't well aware of the research by Harvard social psychologist Mazarin Banaji and her colleagues showing that unconsciously Americans (particularly white Americans) associate "American" with "white," so they went directly for Obama's Americanism and patriotism, as conservative press outlets joined in (e.g., the National Review asking for his birth certificate). . .

And those are just McCain's negative ads. As I laid out over three months ago, McCain's first "positive" ads of the general election were already playing on unconscious racial attitudes and the theme of "who's the real American?" much as Bob Corker used the theme of "who's the real Tennessean?" (i.e., who's "one of us"?) to win his Senate race against Harold Ford, Jr. in 2006. McCain's first ad, "The American President," ended with the words, "John McCain: The American President Americans have been waiting for." Not too subtle--what does that make Barack Obama? Un-American? Anti-American? African-American?--but the usual room for plausible deniability that could allow him to charge "black man crying racism" if Obama were to challenge it in a way that was not carefully crafted to prevent that move.

McCain's second set of "positive ads"--and the theme of his campaign ever since, from the convention to the signs at the dais and in the background at his rallies and stump speeches--is "Country First." So what is that saying about Obama? Who would he put first? Terrorists? Maybe. Black people. Without a doubt. No one ever challenged McCain on what contrast that slogan was intended to make with Barack Obama (although he started the "celebrity" charge at the same time, also allowing plausible deniability--that Obama is an opportunist who puts his own political ambition first).

So what's happening when voters say they are "uneasy" with Obama and then offer one seemingly thin rationalization or another for what they are feeling (e.g., maybe it's really true that he's a Muslim, maybe he doesn't really love his country, maybe he'll put black people first)?

We greatly oversimplify the race issue when we describe people as either racist or not racist. Years of research in psychology and neuroscience suggest that you can only understand the concept of prejudice if you add the qualifier "conscious" or "unconscious." Most Americans are not consciously racist.

In Georgia, we polled voters months ago as to whether they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who explicitly said that in this country we don't discriminate against people on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Even including sexual orientation in that statement in a conservative Southern state, fully 85 percent of voters indicated that they would be more likely to vote for that candidate--including the majority of Republicans.

They weren't lying. Nor are the millions of Americans who deny negative feelings toward black people (and may even consider themselves liberal or progressive) but for whom brain scans suggest fear responses when they are presented with subliminal imaged of black men (i.e., images presented too rapidly to be seen consciously but slowly enough--in hundredths of a second--for their brains to process). Although some of the "Bradley effect" reflects what psychologists call "social desirability effects"--the desire, in this case, not to seem prejudiced (particularly if people intuit that the pollster on the other end of the line is black)--the fact that prejudice is socially undesirable and something people would want to hide speaks volumes about how far our conscious values have changed over the last 40 years.

What's far more dangerous to Obama in the polling booth--unlike the caucus, where discussion and eye-to-eye contact activate people's conscious values--are unconscious associations to race of which people are largely unaware. It isn't surprising that the voters most likely to express "unease" with Obama are over 50 or Southern. Anyone over 50 in this country (particularly but certainly not exclusively in the South) grew up in the days of explicit, unabashed racism. But at least as importantly, the templates voters who are now over 50 formed in their minds of "how things are"--and by extension, how things "ought to be"--is that black people were virtually always subordinate (and in the South, if they weren't, they were "uppity").

The idea of a black president unconsciously rubs those old neural networks the wrong way, even for many whose conscious values lead them in the opposite direction. Add to that the fact that anyone who has driven by any of our inner cities has seen the squalor, the drug deals, the working-age men hanging out during the day, the teenage mothers--and the young black men hauled away in handcuffs every night on the local news.

Now add to the unconscious residues of 300 years of overt racism, the early templates of racial hierarchy laid down in our neural networks, the images white people regularly see of black inner city culture (or that they move to the far suburbs to avoid, and then become even more removed from their shared humanity with the people who live downtown), personal experiences--having been or felt passed over for a job to make way for a person of color, having been mugged by a young black man, or having had one of your children bused to a scary part of town--and you have a wealth of negative associations most white people harbor toward black people, even if they wish they didn't.

You can ask people all you want with conscious polling questions, and you can get creative by asking what "their neighbors" think and feel. But fundamentally, you're asking people conscious questions about unconscious processes, and they are as capable of reporting what's happening in the unconscious circuitry of their brain as they are of what's going on in their liver.

So what are those weak Obama "leaners," including union members who should be overwhelmingly supporting Obama based on their interests, doing when they generate seemingly ad hoc explanations for their gut level unease? They are doing exactly that: trying to come up with conscious ideas to explain their unconscious sentiments. It's a phenomenon social psychologists call "self-attribution"--the attempt to explain our own thoughts, feelings, gut-level reactions, and behaviors.

When we don't have privileged access to processes in our own minds that we think we have, we use our intuitive theories of ourselves to explain what we're feeling. And more often than not, those explanations are wrong, particularly when they lead to an attribution that would offend our conscious sensibilities, in this case, the attribution that perhaps we're more prejudiced than we'd like to believe.

So what is the best way to respond to voters who are not overtly racist, do not want to be prejudiced, but could be swayed by unconscious attitudes or stealth attacks to veer off from pushing "Obama" to pushing "McCain" when they pull the curtains in the voting booth? The last thing you want to do is to call them racist. That will evoke defensiveness and anger, and for good reason: They are not, in fact, consciously racist. They simply have a gut-level unease brought on by months of racial stealth attacks against Obama and years of unconscious associations to African-Americans.



Drew Westen, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Emory University, founder of Westen Strategies, LLC, and author of "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation," recently released in paperback with a new postscript on the 2008 election.
I am going to ask a question. I don't mean for it to sound racist; just a question. I am one of those western Pennsylvanians Murtha called racist. After a lot of soul searching and listening to the candidates and what some of their ideas are, I am voting for Obama. Race was never something I thought about. I am a registered Republican and have voted predominantly Republican for 40 years. This election I knew I had to look at the issues, the candidates and make an independent choice.

I have been very upset at people like Murtha who think so many of us "whites" are racist and that the reason we won't vote for Obama is because he is black.

My question is. . . how many black people are voting for Obama because he is black. . . and that being their main reason. That to me is just as racist.
Originally Posted by munchkin
I don't think your question is racist, just a question!
I disagree with saying that every white person, or every white person in a certain region is racist. While we are all influenced by the racism in our society, there are people who think above and beyond this and people who don't. I would never judge you one way or the other without talking to you first!

The other thing I'd like to say is, black people voted 90% for Kerry and Gore, and are voting 90% for Obama...it doesn't really have to do with race (although it is amazing and inspiring what Obama has accomplished!) It has everything to do with how the Republican party treats minorities. There are many example of this, especially racist imagery and language that has come from McCain supporters.

But even before this--I remember in the primaries, the NAACP held their own debate. All of the main democrat contenders attended, but only one republican candidate did. (It was not McCain; it was one of the nobody candidates that wasn't going to win anyway.) This is a classic example of how blacks and other groups are snubbed by the Republican party. Why should I vote for someone who isn't going to reach out to me? If they aren't going to work for my vote, they aren't going to get it. Of course other black people will have different opinions, but that's mine.
Is it well-documented? I thought they would be more likely to hire a minority since some companies have to hire a certain percentage of minorites. If they don't, it's considered discrimination. That's what I've heard, correct me if I am wrong.
Originally Posted by lacunaCoils
That is a misconception. There was never a quota system. And white women do benefit the most from affirmative action. AA aims to make schools/businesses more diverse, which can work both ways as well. At times during the 80's top schools like Yale and Harvard were admitting fewer Asian students so that white people could attend.
I agree that racism is hardly blatant and acceptable as it once was. I think that it has become more subconscious and subtle. Some people still think that in order to be racist you have to have a white hood in the closet, which I think is a bit silly. It's more about attitudes and preconceptions.

The Wise bit about having a pregnant, teenage daughter with a gun-toting son in law...I'm sorry if this was Barack Obama's black daughter and black son in law to be this would be viewed much differently. People would be much more frightened and put-off. But they wouldn't be old-school racist for lack of a better word.
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Just wanted to say that Bobby Jindal is about as dark as my sister, but I still wouldn't vote for him. I don't agree with him on much of anything. It's nice having a non-white be governor and all, but he's politically against my values.

And if Alan Keyes ran for president, I wouldn't vote for him. Or Al Sharpoton, or Jesse Jackson.

I was initially in support of Clinton, but I was swayed to Obama. Not because he's black either. It annoys me that people think as a black person I voted for Clinton because "Bill is the first black president," or I would vote for Obama to "get one of OUR OWN in office."

I just don't think that way. Most people I associate with don't think that way either.

And the truth is if you held up a cracker to a white, adult person, more than likely they'd do anything from laugh in your face to spit on you and move on. Because whites undeniably have the bulk of the power in this country. And racism is all about power. Without power it's "simply" bitter hate.

I agree on the article about conscious and unconscious racism also.

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