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Racism on the rise among Americans, even though some don’t realize it

By Capitol Hill Blue
October 27, 2012

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A standard mantra from those who want President Barack Obama out of office states that the reasons are policy-driven, not racially-motivated.

But a new Associated Press polls suggests racism is still strong in America and attitudes towards blacks have not improved since the nation elected Obama.

According to the poll, a slight majority of Americans “express prejudice toward blacks” even though some don’t acknowledge their inherent racism.

In fact, racial prejudice in America has increased since 2008 and much of that prejudice is directed towards the man the nation sent to White House four years ago.

The AP used a survey that measures “explicit anti-black attitudes” and found that 51 percent of Americans now harbor such racism.  That’s a three point rise in the last four years.

When an “implicit racial attitudes” test is applied, the jump is more dramatic, from 29 percent in 2008 to 56 percent now.

“Having a black President has triggered the inherent racism that lies just below the surface with too many Americans,” psychologist Derek Ingram tells Capitol Hill Blue. “Unfortunately, too much of such bigotry is fueled by the intolerant rhetoric of the right wing in the nation.

Jelani Cobb, professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American studies at the University of Connecticut, told the AP:

We have this false idea that there is uniformity in progress and that things change in one big step. That is not the way history has worked. When we’ve seen progress, we’ve also seen backlash.

Adds Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University:

Part of it is growing polarization within American society. The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race. There’s been total silence around issues of race with this president. But, as you see, whether there is silence, or an elevation of the discussion of race, you still have polarization. It will take more generations, I suspect, before we eliminate these deep feelings.

The poll also found an increase in prejudice against Hispanics, rising from 52 percent to 57 percent in just the last year.

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5 Responses to Racism on the rise among Americans, even though some don’t realize it

  1. Sandy Price

    October 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Yes indeed, race is a major factor in the election on Nov.6th. It might even be a factor from Gov. Romney’s own church. The church denied people of color and women to be a part of the Priesthood for many years. This is the real truth about America and something should be done….I just don’t know what.

  2. Keith

    October 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Shouldn’t the headline read that racism is on the rise in America (vice “American”)?

    Come on, people….please proofread what you write!

  3. Steven Stoney Stoner

    October 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I also heard the predicial remarks when Obama was running& more after,from people in their 70’s & 50’s.
    I think he’s one of the smartest presidents we’ve ever had,right there with Bill Clinton.
    I live in NW Ohio though, small town,small ideas where their are as many angry white women,as men almost.The haters came out in the open.
    Bush had 8 years to mesh up everything &I think Obama shows ,he deserves 8 to staighten the mesh up! Thank you,

  4. greg

    October 28, 2012 at 12:27 am

    I have been pondering recently, if all other factors were equal, how would the poll differ right now if The president was not half black?

  5. Sherry

    October 28, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Personally. I’m so sick of the race card, race baiting I could scream. I have had several among the Obama koolaid crowd to tell me the only reason anyone would vote against Obama is if they are racist.
    I worked the Hillary campaign. Saw his thuggish tactics up close.
    This is a man who said if he didn’t turn the economy around in four years, he didn’t deceive to be re elected. Now that unemployment is exactly where it was when he took office, he is crowing his policies are successful. Our national debt is 16 trillion vs 12 when he assumed office. He brags about pulling out of Iraq, but withdrawal from Iraq had already begun. Then he expanded the war in Afghanistan. For a thousand days the democrats controlled both houses and never bothered to come up with a budget, but that was the GOP’s fault as well.
    Interestingly, Obama’s health care plan was passed without a single GOP vote. So much for obstructionism.
    Is Romney the answer? No. Just stop calling me a racist for not supporting your guy. This election is why we have third party candidates.
    As for Romney being called a bullshitter, sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. O dear. Was that racist ?