New Research Suggests Obama Supporters See Whiteness

New research suggests that people’s political views influence how they see biracial candidates (h/t Louise Seamster).   When it comes to President Obama (who is biracial), supporters tend to view him as ‘whiter’ than those who are not supporters.  The research, published in a recent issue of the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by Eugene M. Caruso, Nicole L. Mead, and Emily Balcetis.  The researchers used a series of experiments to demonstrate that political partisanship influences people’s visual representations of a biracial political candidate’s skin tone.

In the first experiment, participants rated photographs of a hypothetical biracial candidate.   In the second and third experiment, participants rated photographs Barack Obama. What the participants didn’t know was that researchers had altered the photographs to make the candidate’s skin tone either lighter or darker than it was in the original photograph.  This is, as Omar mentioned, a very cool study.

People in the study who shared the same political views as the candidate, consistently rated the lightened photographs as more representative of the candidate than the darkened photographs.  On the other hand, participants whose political views were at odds with the candidate, consistently rated the darkened photographs as more representative.  In other words, if they agreed with the candidate, they tended to see them as lighter-skinned, or”whiter”,  but if they disagreed, then the candidate was “darker.”

In the experiments where people were asked to rate photographs of Barack Obama, there was a positive correlation between having voted for Obama in the 2008 Presidential election and rating the lightened photos of him as more representative.   Obama supporters, in other words, see him as whiter than those who are not supporters.

These findings are interesting on a number of levels, but most of all the results suggest that our deeply held perceptions of race influence how we interpret visual information.  Often times, people talk about race as if it were self-evident, obvious way to categorize people.  In fact, race is malleable.   Who we see as “white” or not white is shaped by many things, including political views.    This is also another example of the kind of colorism that Adia and Ed have discussed here recently.   The misbegotten notion that “if you’re white, you’re alright,” is one that profoundly shapes how we see the world.

For more, there’s an interview with one of the researchers here.


  1. Joe

    Thanks, Jessie, great post. In our new book, Yes We Can? (routledge), Adia and I talk about how some of the white workers for the Obama presidential campaign would tell other whites that he was really “not like other blacks” because he had a white mother, was raised by white grandparents, did not grow up in a ‘ghetto’ and/or did not think like Jessie Jackson– in their attempts to get white voters to vote for him. They were trying to whiten him in numerous other ways to appeal to a ‘soft’ version of the white racial frame

  2. Kristen

    Jessie, do you know if they talked about the race of the raters in the study? I’m wondering if that had any effect. Did black raters also see Obama as “whiter,” or to the same extent as white raters?

    Gosh the more I think about this study, the more disturbing it is, on both sides – the whitening by Obama supporters and the darkening by the others.

  3. Illusions

    Very interesting post, Jessie. I wonder if it is similar to this phenomenon; (Pulled from the Wikipedia article on “Racism”)

    “Biologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmides were puzzled by the fact that race is one of the three characteristics most often used in brief descriptions of individuals (the others are age and sex). They reasoned that natural selection would not have favoured the evolution of an instinct for using race as a classification, because most of the earliest humans, who lived in Africa, would never have met a member of a different race. Tooby and Cosmides hypothesized that modern people use race as a proxy (rough-and-ready indicator) for coalition membership, since a better-than-random guess about “which side” another person is on will be helpful if one does not actually know in advance.

    Their colleague Robert Kurzban designed an experiment whose results appeared to support this hypothesis. Using the Memory confusion protocol, they presented subjects with pictures of individuals and sentences, allegedly spoken by these individuals, which presented two sides of a debate. The errors which the subjects made in recalling who said what indicated that they sometimes misattributed a statement to a speaker of the same race as the “correct” speaker, although they also sometimes misattributed a statement to a speaker “on the same side” as the “correct” speaker. In a second run of the experiment, the team also distinguished the “sides” in the debate by clothing of similar colors; and in this case the effect of racial similarity in causing mistakes almost vanished, being replaced by the color of their clothing. In other words, the first group of subjects, with no clues from clothing, used race as a visual guide to guessing who was on which side of the debate; the second group of subjects used the clothing color as their main visual clue, and the effect of race became very small.”

    So, in essence, I am wondering if it is that when people are in agreement, they tend to see the person as “more like me” (or more like my team,) and that this extends to visual clues, such as skin color) or if there is only ONE possible visual clue, (white skin) that makes the difference. It would be nice to see the experiment run with the subject of the experiment being assigned to a color team, (the Blue team for instance,and have them wear a blue T-shirt) and then perhaps show a photo of Obama with a blue or red background in the photo and NO difference in his skin tone to see if the subject responded in a similar way to the new visual cue.

    I like studies such as the one you report, but I also know that correlation is NOT causation, and I am always a little concerned when more is not done to really differentiate between the two.

    And in terms of Obama being perceived as white by some and black by others, how is there a right answer to that question? He is bi-racial. Equally both. Unless we are lending validity to the claim that “even a single drop of black blood makes you black.” (Not to give any credence to the idea that there is, “black blood” mind you.) Why would it be more racist for whites to claim him, than it would be for blacks to claim him? On what grounds would he be considered “more black than white?” It seems to me that it is the same phenomenon you see when someone from a town does well, and is lauded as “the favorite son of ……” when before the person made it big, 9/10 of the townsfolk didnt know the person at all. Or care where they were born. Dont humans in general try to find common bonds with the people they like and admire and highlight those bonds hoping some of the shine from that person rubs off onto us? And dont humans in general also try to distance themselves to some degree from those who we find repugnant in some way? I just wonder if this is really racism.

  4. No1KState

    Jessie, that’s an interesting study and I plan on reading the study in depth sometime later.

    Illusions, this is a case where the correlation IS the causation. I don’t think that skin color is the only cue that people use; but the question being asked had to do with skin color and that was the cue. To the issue of Obama being perceived as more white or more black: it was lighter or darker in comparison to his actual skin color, not just a light skinned person vs a dark skinned person. This question is relevant to the extent that media outlets that openly ID as conservative used darkened images of Obama on a number of occasions. And part of racism is colorism which in this case means something like all black people are dumber than white people, but lighter skinned black people are smarter than the rest. Darkening Obama’s image makes him more black, and to most whites, the darker or more black a person is, the more ghetto that person is. You have to keep in mind that in the US, race isn’t only a matter of skin color, but a matter of adherence to sorten cultural cues. That’s why there’re many, many studies (again, I’m not siting them because this is a forum where I don’t have to) that indicate job applicants with “white-sounding” names are more likely to receive further consideration at every level than job applicants with “black-sounding” names. And no, it’s not racist that I distance myself from, for example, any man who licks his lips and grabs himself suggestively. But if time and time again, white people (and others including blacks) are distancing themselves from black people because blackness is repugnant, then that’s racism. I hope that all makes sense. You seem to be asking sincere questions and being that commenting here requires less mental energy that writing a post for my own blog, I don’t mind attempting to walk you through the anti-racist facts. On the other hand, if you’re not asking these questions sincerely, I’ll probably use your comments as a case study.

  5. No1KState

    Black people knew the entire time that part of Obama’s appeal was the fact that he was light skinned and unthreatening. I’ve been in conversations with others who’ve theorized that a darker skinned person saying the same things as Obama wouldn’t have gotten as far. Also, we saw him time and time again distance himself from the worst of what people deem “black.” For example I can’t recall him admonishing any other group besides black fathers even though black fathers who’re outside the home spend much more time and effort on their kids than other groups. There’s even another study that found that black men with baby faces rose higher in corporate America than black men with more adult faces. While it’s teh inverse for white men. And large ears is an aspect of a “baby face.”

    So we see Obama, light skinned and big-earred admonishing black fathers and smiling brightly at every opportunity. When he did do “black” things, it was usually those “cool” things like the hand shake-hug. And we all remember the “terrorist fist jab.” Lots of white liberals complain that Obama isn’t showing enough “fight.” But black folks know he can’t show any fight and hope to maintain white support. Here, I remind you of the b;acklash, oh I mean BACKlash, he received for saying that Cambridge police had acted stupidly. So, I’m glad those who need it have something tangible to hold on to, but most black people already know this. I mean, when I’m in a situation where I need some service from a white person or persons, I do what Obama did. It’s no secret amongst black folks that we can get much further if we’re able to sound or act white.

    And to give more explanation to illustrations, has an article reviewing a study that finds the level of prejudice a person has impacts how they see minority groups ( and another that found that the more a poc identified with their racial group, the less likely white people were to feel they shared the same values. ( By the by, I only site these because I had to find them again to remember the specifics.

    Again, illusions, the point isn’t to say that only white people can be racist. But since by and large, minority groups experience much, much more discrimination than whites, we do have to combat anti-minority bias.

  6. Illusions

    No1KState says:
    “Also, we saw him time and time again distance himself from the worst of what people deem “black.” For example I can’t recall him admonishing any other group besides black fathers even though black fathers who’re outside the home spend much more time and effort on their kids than other groups.”

    I suppose that could be the reason he would do that, simply to pander to his white voters. It could also be that he felt abandoned by his own father, and so it was a personal issue for him. His relationship with his father seems to have affected him quite a bit.

    • No1KState

      And still, when he commented on his white grandmother’s fear of stange black men, white conservatives accused him of throwing her under the bus.

      So to white conservatives, the issues he had with his father are okay, but the ones with his grandmother, not okay?

      Besides, Bill Clinton was abandoned by his father, too. I don’t recall any speaches Clinton made chastising absentee white fathers.

  7. marandaNJ

    @ Illusions:
    Agree! Or maybe Obama admonished black fathers because the black community Themselves persists in asking black fathers to be present in the raising of their kids. If black kids had a strong male role model, they would be more likely to stay in school and not feel the need to join the proverbial gang in the hood to prove their virility. Obama can be politically correct [since he’s black] by asking black men to be responsible parents. He’s obviously using his position to drive this point home.

  8. Joe

    One problem with Obama’s famous critique of black fathers is that he, like most white critics of black homes, never develop a similar critique of white fathers. We have far more white fathers who are problematical in the ways he and others accent, but who often get a ‘pass’ in these many discussions……Why not develop a critique that includes all problematical fathers, at least as often as the one criiquing black men. That is where the racist views from the old white racist frame often come in….

    • Illusions

      Joe, I considered your opinion, and since I had not really paid much attention during the campaign to his stand on family issues, I did a bunch of searches to read more about his position on fatherhood before writing this reply. One speech stood out above all others as the one that seemed to be the shining example of his admonition of black fathers, so forgive me if this is NOT the instance in which he is most specifically critical. I would welcome any pointer to a speech of his that I can hear with my own ears, or read with my own eyes, in which he makes it more clear he feels that this is a primarily black problem. I ask that I be able to hear or read his own words because people tend to remember the parts that support their own agenda, or that shore up their own biases and they may not remember the whole thing in context. I like to form my own judgment, and to form a judgment of someones opinion, it is best to get it from them first hand, rather than to rely on some other who may or may not be without motive or bias, to relay that opinion to me. So, the speech in which many of the critics or supporters of his stand on black fatherhood seemed to point out as definitive was the speech he gave at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. I always feel it is important to consider context, so for context, I will remark that from what I was able to see in the video, this is a primarily black congregation, and the speech was given on Fathers day.

      You can see the video here;

      The relevant portion of the speech, (as prepared) the only place he mentions that the problem is greater in the black community as opposed to the problem in general is here;

      “But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

      You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime;”

      What he says in the video is slightly different, and to save you watching the entire 24 minute speech, (although I recommend it in case I have missed something) begins at 1:03 on the counter, and ends around 1:40. The difference between what he says and what is written is, as it relates to the African American community specifically is;

      “you and I know this is true everywhere, but no where is it more true… than in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single parent households. Half. A number thats doubled since we were children.”

      So, in all fairness, although he does not directly say, “Asian fathers,” or “White fathers,” or “Hispanic fathers,” he acknowledges the problem is not limited to black males. He generalizes, “you and I know this is true everywhere,” and then he specifies, “but no where is this more true than in the African American community.” It seems to me, that this is a common political technique. To generalize a problem, and then to make it personal to the audience so that they feel you are connecting with them personally. That it is THEIR self interest that matters to you, and that although they care for everyone, YOU are special to them. Appeal to self interest works. And I also wonder how much of the error, the citing of a statistic, “more than half” when others have pointed out that you can adjust for this that and the other and come up with very different percentages, is simply due to the same thing I tend to complain about here, that statistics and studies can skew reality if designed poorly. And that too many people simply accept the results of a study without further inquiry. In some cases, because it does support their bias, or agenda. In some cases, because of misplaced faith in the art of statistics. (Not knowing that they need to question methodology)

      So, although I certainly cannot discount that there is the possibility that your opinion here is the correct one, Joe, I also cannot discount the other possibilities I have mentioned. (Personal reasons, political reasons, contextual reasons, and misplaced faith in the math) I do not think one should discount “misplaced faith in the math (or science)” too readily. Even if you avoid issues where race is a factor and there could be motive to skew the results, people bandy about bad statistics all the time, simply out of a lack of understanding of statistics itself, which leads to beliefs that may or may not reflect the truth. Such as painfully common belief (even among the well educated at times) that people at the turn of the century did not often live past their 40’s. Which is true on “average,” however that doesnt mean that people were likely to die at 40-something. In fact, if you survived early childhood, you were likely to die at an age very close to our current average.

      I guess like Maranda points out, I am also curious as to why his singling out black fathers specifically is perceived by so many as negative. Why can it not be demonstative of a bias towards the black community, in that he is more concerned that THEY overcome the challenges he outlines in the rest of the speech. Why isnt this perceived as an interest in their favor, bias for them, rather than an indication that white thinking about blacks has biased him to their detriment?

      • No1KState

        Obama didn’t go before any other group challenging them. And for it to be a “bias towards” black people, it sucks! Cause the canard of the absentee black father has been used against the black community. Moreover, even though it was a black audience there, he had to have knows that wider America was listening; and wider America hears what that want. For example, his speech to the NAACP. Even MSNBC covered the second portion of his speech, the personal responsibility portion, without contextualizing it within the entire speech to make the point that racism remains a significant barrier but it can be overcome.

        • Illusions

          Can Obama possibly predict how his speeches will be edited for television? Is there really, honestly now, anything Obama or any president could possibly say that will please everyone in America? As a human being, is he not allowed to say what he feels is important, to exercise his own conscience in a way that he sees fit? Even if some of us disagree with it, or are hurt by it, or take it and whip others with it? He is not spending public funds here, that we might have a right to criticize, he is speaking his mind.

          And although he may not have jumped on any other ethnic group about fatherhood specifically, he has criticized whites, or at least they felt criticized. As you yourself pointed out, he offended some whites when he mentioned his grandmothers racial bias. Maybe they had a reason to feel hurt, maybe it hit a little too close to home. Maybe they felt it was unjust. No matter, its his right as a human being and as an American to bring up the issues that matter to him. That must have affected him too, as a young intelligent man, to see the grandmother he loved, and who loved him, react with negative bias to someone who belonged to a category he also fit into. I dont feel offended that he said it, it wasnt a criticism of me. I am going to guess that not all blacks were equally opposed to his chastisement of absentee black fathers. In any case, what good is freedom of speech then, if our commander in chief cant speak his own mind? His own heart?

          The fact that MSNBC highlighted parts of his speech out of context doesnt surprise me at all. Which is why I took pains to provide context, and locate a copy I could see and hear for myself, rather than just read the commentaries on the blogs. Context matters. And you are right also that the majority of people in America DO tend to hear what they want to hear. But we all have a responsibility to take the time to source out the original, and examine it, and make a reasoned judgment on our own. It is easy to blame the media, and how it represents things, but the fact of the matter is that there are those of us who have the means (access to the internet for instance) to fact check ourselves and we choose not to. The media IS responsible for its actions, but it isnt responsible for our inaction.

          • No1KState

            I don’t mind him speaking from his heart. I have a problem when he promotes a myth and when he only does so to prove his “not that black” credentials.

            He doesn’t directly say “white people make bad [fill in the blank].” Even when he mentioned his grandmother, he wasn’t telling white people to stop their irrational fear of strange black men since they’re more likely to be victimized by other white people.

            So yeah, I got a problem with his chastising only 1 group. I read your entire response and you don’t demonstrate that he didn’t chastise only 1 group, you’re arguing for his right to do so. And sure, he has that right, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t trying to distance himself from the worst of black stereotypes. It was father’s day, for goodness sakes! While it’s true that the majority of black children live in homes without their fathers; it’s also true that black fathers who don’t live in the home ARE MORE INTERACTIVE AND SPEND MORE TIME WITH THEIR KIDS

          • No1KState

            The fact that Obama propogated a negative stereotype about black fathers in front of all of the US – I don’t care about his issues with his father, he was morally wrong whatever his Constitutional right.

            You haven’t shown that I was wrong in my analysis. If your point is just his “rights” that’s besides the point. No one’s arguing about his right to free speech. The discussion is whether he was using that speech to pander to a particular audience, white people, and he was.

  9. marandaNJ

    Since the Civil Rights Movement, many millions of blacks have benefited. These are the blacks that Wanted to Take Advantage of the Educational and Employment Opportunities available. Those blacks [including Obama] now live in comfortable middle-class homes. I know they experience occasional racism, and this Is Not Right. That said, they are still living a comfortable life [like my example of the black police officers] and really aren’t “just down and out” due to racism. Are they? Let’s be honest,no they are not.
    A very large segment of the black community just won’t do this. America sees this whether this suits your agenda or not. They give up before they start. Obama knows this.
    But it’s not a lost cause. Black people can help themselves. And white America adamantly Does Not desire to “keep blacks down” in the proverbial ghetto either cause the proverbial ghetto brings Crime and Misery to EVERYBODY. So why on earth would whites Not Want black people to be law-abiding citizens and live in nice neigborhoods?
    Do you think President Obama honestly just doesn’t care about the black community and was being [what, you tell me] vicious in advising blacks to try and help themselves? Insensitive? I agree with Illusions. Obama probably suffers terribly when he sees blacks destroying themselves. Black teenagers killing black teenagers. It’s horrible and tragic. Nobody wants this.

  10. marandaNJ

    Several years ago I read: Losing the Race: Self Sabotage in Black America written by a black linguistics professor John McWhorter. I’m sure he’s on your “Don’t Like The Guy” list. However, what he said rang true for alot of people.
    The back of the book states,”McWhorter dares to say the unsayable:racism’s ugliest legacy is the disease of defeatism that has infected black America. He explores three components of a cultural theme: victimology, separatism and anti-intellectualism that are making blacks their own worst enemies in the struggle for success.” He cares about the black community just as Obama does. If he had no feelings whatsoever for his own race, why write this volume?
    An excerpt: “In 1995 one in three black men in their twenties was either in jail, on probation, or on parole. Almost half of the United States prison population is black. This is generally interpreted as evidence that black people are arrested out of proportion to their numbers in society, since they constitute only 13% of the population. However, the figures must be seen light of the fact that as sad as it is, nationwide blacks commit not 13%, but 42% of the violent crimes in the country. The reason they commit more crimes is traceable to racism, which left a disenfranchised people on the margins of society and most vulnerable to antisocial behavior. However, this does not mean that the percentage of the black prison population above 13% were put behind bars for no reason.
    “Yet the general feeling is that even if blacks are arrested in proportion to the crimes they commit, that there is a bias in the severity of their sentences. However, one study after another, even by scholars expecting their results to reveal racism, show no such bias.When prior records, gravity of the crime, and use of weapons is taken into account, there is no sentencing bias against blacks.”
    McWhorter is not trying to be cruel. He’s attempting to get at the root of the problem why so many black people still live in the proverbial ghetto in post-racial America. He claims it’s no longer about the white man, but rather the reluctance of the black community [not the blacks aforementioned who took advantage of the post-racial opportunities] to address some of their own problems. Blacks giving other blacks advice is not being antagonistic. It’s compassion [maybe not in the form you’d like to hear it] but still indicates caring.

  11. marandaNJ

    Very importantly, President Obama specifically mentions in the above video:
    “We can’t write our problems off because of past injustice. We can’t keep using a tragic history as an excuse!” Exactly my beliefs. There’s hope that blacks in America’s inner cities can overcome the residual racism they still face, but not by consistently reiterating the Slavery meme. Victimology and defeatism can mentally enslave a man as much as iron chains can.

  12. No1KState

    1 – Not all blacks live in inner cities.
    2 – We ARE talking in terms of present racism, not slavery. The only people who mention slavery in discussions of present racism are white people, and their enablers of color, who want to either dismiss anti-racism.
    3 – However, being that the problem inner-city blacks face when it comes to things like the crime rate is more about socioeconomics than race. Once you hold for socioeconomic status, racial differences in crime rates all but disappear. And what remains is more about overcrowding than race. So one problem facing black America is our disproportionate rate of poverty which we knew as fact (you can look it up) is due in great part to historical racism and the inability of African Americans to accumulate and pass down wealth (and here I use wealth as anything about debt). So if the money plus interest were paid for the free labor during slavery, that would solve a huge chunk of inner city problems. If you don’t want to go that far back, just recouping the money blacks have lost due to discrimination since WWII would help. Some people calculate that black America loses hundreds of millions of dollar each year due to present discrimination.
    4 – Why are you using the social ills of the black underclass to charactarize all of black America, anyway? No one uses poor whites as representative of white culture. I don’t think the Italian or Russian mobs are accepted as representative of Italian and Russian Americans.
    5 – Certainly, I have to wonder why “defeatism” is being used. We know on the ground, that’s just not the case. As for victimology, to the extent that it applies, black America is victimized by racism. So I think that’s fair.

      • distance88

        Yeah, I’m finding this whole ‘liking/disliking of comments’ thing pretty strange (to put it mildly) and obnoxious. I can’t prove that this is what’s happening here, but on other sites that have this type of feature, sad people have been known to spam the results (i.e. one or two people creating multiple log in names so they can ‘vote’ on a comment multiple times).

  13. marandaNJ

    Please Re-Read my comments.
    1. Never said all blacks live in the inner city.
    2. This blog mentions slavery frequently.
    3. Holding for socioeconomic status skews results as socioeconomic status Is [ of course] influenced by crime rate. If you sell illegal substances [example] Instead of seeking to become employed in a profession that will gain you a life time of legitimate income, then you Remain in a low socioeconomic position. Millions of blacks have achieved middle income status without resorting to crime.
    4. Never used the social ills of the black underclass to characterize All Blacks. Read statement 3 please. Obviously, I am saying the black underclass commits a disproportionate amount of crime in relation to their numbers [see John McWhorter book I quoted from].
    5. Victimology applies when it sabatoges motivation. Blacks in inner cities have a choice: community college or crime. Why choose the seemingly “easy way out” like dropping out of high school and selling drugs?

    For one reason,lack of strong male role models due to This Same Mentality. Vicious cycle. Racism put blacks in the poor housing communities 100 years ago. From the 60’s its blacks who have kept themselves there. Nobody is “barring blacks” from going to a community college. The blacks who wanted out Are Already Out of the proverbial ghetto. The rest remain there because of a mind set of defeatism and victimology instead of one of drive and ambition.

    • Seattle in Texas

      In response to the last paragraph you wrote marandaNJ, you seriously believe that? So systemic and white racism has nothing to do with getting out of the “proverbial ghetto”? Poor schooling and housing? The 60’s fixed everything (it’s just many insist on staying)? Amazing.

      Black communities throughout the nation are disproportionately targeted for criminal surveillance, which leads to higher stops and arrests…and massive civil rights violations on a daily basis. Those in the “proverbial ghetto”…or in the lower SES often have to rely on poor legal representation (PD), which often leads to pleading guilty (bunk plea bargains) for both civil and criminal cases, which results in more convictions even when innocent, jail time, revolving debt that never ends from fines, etc. etc. etc. Down here in Texas not too long ago there was a 16 year old teenager who saw a cop in his housing project and began to run–they chased him down, cuffed him, and held a gun to his head and told him to calm down. He was crying and shaking more…could you calm down if a cop put a gun to aimed at your head and told you to calm down? 16 years old. He had nothing on him–he ran because his is just afraid of the cops–as many are and justifiably so. You should see the movie “American Violet” based on a true story that took place just a few years back down here in Texas. But that goes on beyond Texas and the South. Less fortunate Oscar Grant who got killed. But heh, glad to know the 60’s fixed it all for the Black communities. Nevermind job discrimination, credit reporting and discrimination, financial aid discrimination–yes that too with the drug conviction clause, etc., differential quality in education between schools and housing, and so on. And nevermind inherited wealth and the “who you know” socialization factor from birth that higher SES whites get–poor whites still get privileges above poor groups of color.

      Hmmmm. And I’m not going to address the lack of “drive and ambition”…. Good god.

        • distance88

          This could go on awhile…
          But to name a few..
          –Whites aren’t profiled by the police
          –Whites receive higher pay for the same job controlling for education and qualifications
          –White ex-cons find jobs more readily than black ex-cons (and whites in general)
          –Whites can find band-aids that match their skin tone (seems silly at first, but then again, I’m white and don’t really have to worry/think about this type of thing)
          –Whites receive more lenient sentences than blacks controlling for the type of crime
          –Whites are more likely to receive bank loans (and the most favorable type of loans)

          • Illusions

            Well, maybe it is just a function of where I grew up, and I will admit that I have spent my life in Hawaii and New Mexico, where whites are not a huge majority, but I have to say that hasnt been my experience. I have noticed that,

            1)People who drive crappy cars are profiled by police, as are people who drive “tricked out” cars, regardless of race where I have lived.
            2) The minimum wage is the minimum wage.
            3) Havent seen the stats, so I will not comment till I do.
            4) “Flesh” colored bandaids really dont match that well in the first place, and there is always clear, but who would use either when you can use a Scooby Soo BandAid.
            5) Cant comment.
            6) Know an awful lot of whites who cant even get a checking account or a loan for a car, but statistically perhaps you are right. Would have to see the stats adjusted for education and socio-economic level, etc.

            But thank you, there are a few for me to take note of.

            There are some cons to being poor and white too though, that blacks dont have to put up with.

            1) No one cares.
            2) You have no one but yourself to blame. If a minority cant make it work, it is because “the white man” or his “system” is holding them down. If you are white, you just suck. But you suck anyway, because you are white. Duh.
            3)There are not as many special interest groups out there to help with scholarships, etc. You get access to the same thing everyone does, (Pell grants, etc.) but there arent many “Disadvantaged White child” scholarships.
            4)You get to listen to how white people suck, and if you protest, you are racist. If you agree, you get to listen to more about why you suck.
            5) Even if you personally have experienced more racial discrimination than most black people your age, you get to hear “you wouldnt understand, being WHITE and all.”
            6) You are supposed to feel guilty for stuff you didnt do, and if you dont, you suck.
            7)In fact, ALL the worlds ills are somehow your fault if you are white. Because your kind is an aberration, souless. And you cant dance or jump either, apparently.
            8) If you dont date people of other skin colors, youre racist, if you do, you have jungle fever.
            9) If you do manage to get out of the ghetto without any help from this secret white system that exists but you dont know how to access, totally by working your butt off, it isnt praiseworthy. Youre white. It was easier for you.
            10) No matter how many times you tell people who say that they dont want to “act white” to get a job, that there is no “Whiteland” and a lot of European peoples had to modify their language and culture too, they dont believe you. And you suck.

          • distance88

            Hmmm..that’s an awful lot of conjecture for someone who is supposedly objective and driven by the evidence…you remind me of someone who went by a different name who used to post here…hmmmm, what was that person’s name?

          • No1KState

            No one’s saying poor whites don’t lose out. There are some arguments that what poor whites gain by skin-color privilege is outweighed by class discrimination.

            But there is no credible argument that poor whites have it as hard or harder than poor blacks.

            People blame the poor for their poverty make no distinction for the race of the group. By are large, when it comes to receiving assistance, poor whites are thought of as more deserving. (I linked in another comment.)

            And let’s be clear, anti-racist blame racism for income discrimination and job discrimination. We don’t say that poor black people are poor because of racism as though if there were no racism, there would be no poor black people. I haven’t heard that argument made from an anti-racist. I will be honest that it’s my opinion that if reparations were paid and other discriminations ended, it would cut down on the number of poor. But as Jesus said, there will always be the poor.

            When it comes to groups speaking out for poor whites, you do have labor activists and even ACORN since ACORN doesn’t discriminate by race. People who speak out for the poor, like John Edwards don’t make distinctions for race. And there are tons of financial-need scholarships and grants and loans for collage. The idea that there’re more minority aimed moneys than poor white moneys is baseless.

            Though, poor whites should be receiving more assistance. Just like I feel poor blacks should be receiving more assistance. Our social safety net is less like what they use in the circus and more like skanky fish net stockings. And if poverty weren’t so racialized with myths of welfare queens and lazy black men, we could do more for poor whites.

            In fact, I remember years ago in one comment thread at HuffPo, a white guy said he supports black Dems and their policies because as a poor white, he realizes whatever helps that black poor will help all poor. By which I mean liberal and progressive black politicians don’t talk about programs that would help the poor based on race.

        • No1KState

          1 – the presumption of innocence
          2 – due to the discriminatory manner in which the GI Bill benefits were distributed, and the subsequent ability of whites to build and inherit wealth (wealth as anything more than debt), a white couple making less than $15k are more like to own a home than a black couple making more than $60k.
          3 – income, down payment, credit score/rating aside, poor whites are more likely to receive prime loans and middle class blacks and hispanics are more likely to receive sub-prime loans. Also, all things being equal, blacks are more likely to be foreclosed on
          4 – black children are more often and more harshly disciplined in school despite misbehaving at the same rate as white children
          5 – whites seeking welfare assistance are more likely to be approved even after having broken some rule
          6 – poor black mothers are more likely to lose their kids to the system than poor white mothers. This has nothing to do with crime, but social workers’ subjectivity. Where they give white mothers the benefit of the doubt, they remove black children. And even after black mothers have met the requirements to retain their kids, they still have difficulty getting them back.
          7 – attacks on ACORN, an organization primarily viewed as pro-black
          8 – blacks’ loss of potential earning due ot racism. Whites don’t face this.
          9 – poor white teens are more likely to have jobs, and those that have jobs LESS likely to work too much
          10 – even though numerically, there are far, FAR more poor whites than poor blacks, the category of “the poor” are represented in the media as black
          11 – remember the pictures from Katrina? Blacks were labeled as “looters” and whites as “survivors” even when both groups were getting food and water
          12 – white poor who receive welfare assistance are viewed as more deserving

          I’m sure I left something out.

  14. No1KState

    You’re wrong about black in the inner city. We know factually the socioeconomic status is due to past and present racism. Upward mobility hasn’t been the same for blacks as it has been for whites, and that has nothing to do with crime. Holding for socioeconomic status don’t skew results if you’re looking for what’s going on. It compares poor whites to poor blacks and finds their rate of crime is the same. So why should the black poor have to be any more virtuous than the white poor or any of the group’s poor? That’s a meme played against blacks since, you guessed it, slavery.

    As for community college, you know of community colleges in the inner city? And what difference does it make ultimately if everything else being the same, white men with criminal records are more likely to get these low-skilled jobs than black men without criminal records.

    Where is slavery mentioned in this post?

    John McWhorter is a linguist. He’s not a social scientist. He’s become well known for his commentary on race because he says the same things as most whites in general. He’s as ill-informed and biased as the average white person. The best and only real thing he has to offer to the discussion is that black English is not “lazy” English but a dialect just like California “Valley” English. Other than that, he doesn’t do the research or the studies that would put him on par with me, even, much less the admins of this blog.

  15. marandaNJ

    No1KState tells us:
    John McWhorter is a linguist. He’s not a social scientist. He’s become well known for his commentary on race because he says the same things as most whites in general. He’s as ill-informed and biased as the average white person.
    These statements regarding how ill-informed and biased the man is are Your Opinions. And that’s where the entire discussion regarding race breaks down. I think the man is extremely accurate in his analysis of why blacks are indeed losing the race.
    Another excerpt:”Do we ruefully still consider a home, a car, or a college education all but out of reach for the middle-class black people we know? Do all the black people we see at the movies, on planes, copping sports trophies, graduating from college, and eating in restaurants appear, even metaphorically, to have fire on their skin? Because black Americans have obviously made so very much progress since the Civil Rights Act, to adopt victimhood as an identity, a black person, unlike for example a Hutu refugee in Central Africa, must exaggerate the extent of his victimhood. The result is a Cult of Victimology, under which remnants of discrimination hold an obsessive, indignant fascination that allows only passing acknowledgment of any signs of progress.”
    It is this “We’re finished before we start. Let’s go the illegal route instead of the community college.” that is keeping the blacks in the inner city within the poverty level.
    Where was slavery mentioned? Joe wrote about slavery on the Glasgow thread. He was making the point that whites commit as many crimes as blacks, “not to mention slavery”. Not to mention it, but slavery is mentioned here ALOT.
    Since we are discussing stories of young black children being traumatized, I guess you all know about the beating death of an honor roll student by a group of black teenagers in Chicago September 29th? Derrion Albert was a 16 year old honor roll student and walking home from school when he happened to walk by two rival black teenage gangs fighting. 4 black teenagers are charged with beating him to death with a board. One of the teenagers charged is only 16 himself. Children killling children in black neighborhoods.
    The neighborhood black residents are shown pleading with the police to please monitor the neighborhood closer. Obama also stated in the above mentioned speech that black neighborhoods need “better policing”. Law abiding black people openly ask the police for help.
    Once again, white people do not use the lack of ambition of black people Still living at the Poverty Line to justify racism. It’s not about “We don’t like you cause your skin is black or your hair is curly” in 2009. Yes, there are some white supremacists, but they are few and far between. They’re misguided sick people and do not represent the majority of whites. This is So Obvious!
    Whites and other American races want black people to please get jobs, stop perpetrating crime, stop selling illegal drugs and stop the street gangs. Why would any sane person want anything else? If victimology impedes this process [and I personally think it does] then let’s put an end to the victimology thing.

  16. marandaNJ

    @ Illusions:
    That was Too Funny! Ha-ha-ha! You’re right though. If the white man goofs up he gets stuck holding the stinky bag. Nobody to blame but ol’ whitey.
    Further disadvantages of Being White:
    1. You can’t brown bag it for lunch without feeling Left Out. I think white bags are in order. It’s only Fair.
    2. Telephone solicitors repeatedly drive you crazy cause they think you have money cause you’re white!
    3. All your neighbors expect you to keep your house up so their dumb ol’ property values won’t plummet. So, you’re out there busting your butt on the weekends mowing, trimming, seeding, pressure washing the driveway, and putting up brick design thingies around flower bed areas!
    4. When you can’t understand a black person speaking in the vernacular, you get really embarrassed and feel silly about telling them you don’t speak Black Vernacular.
    5. You’re afraid to tell black teenagers who are trying to sell you stuff at your front door that you don’t want any, thanks. So you buy something anyway out of sheer terror!
    And you think you got problems!

  17. Illusions

    distance88 says:
    December 6, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Hmmm..that’s an awful lot of conjecture for someone who is supposedly objective and driven by the evidence…you remind me of someone who went by a different name who used to post here…hmmmm, what was that person’s name?

    No idea. And that is my personal experience. I have the best evidence for it. I lived it. What goes on in Hawaii is kept hush hush, we dont want to affect the tourism industry, now do we? But it is there if anyone cared to look. The simple fact is, no one does care to look. It doesnt support the agenda of most anti-racism groups. The only ones who are interested in it are the white racist groups, and anything they report loses credibility, and so that help you dont want in addressing the problem.

    Racism does not only affect minorities. And when you only look at statistics, you forget that there are individual people within those groups. To say “on average” blacks face more discrimination is little comfort to a white person being beaten to death because they are white. It seems to me that the point of “anti-racism” is to get people to look to people as individuals, and consider them based upon their personal merits, or failings as the case may be. Not to create excuses for whole groups of people, or to lay blame on whole groups of people. I would be the last person to deny racism. I know it as well as anyone. But it isnt all directed against PoC. And there is little being done to quantify racism against whites. So when we experience it, no matter how extreme, it is all conjecture. Or racism on our parts.

  18. No1KState

    If John McWhorter doesn’t have the credentials. Period. You just think he’s accurate cause what he says mirrors what you think. He’s a fellow for a conservative think tank. And even his bio there only says he COMMENTS on race. He doesn’t study race issues, he only comments on them. Big difference.

    As funny as you think illusion’s list is, it’s a lot of inaccuracies and also, it’s well established (as in google it on your own time) that whites don’t have an accurate perception of race. As for your personal experience, I’m not sure what happened. But they may have disregarded your assertions because you’re white without knowing your personal experiences. And whites often downplay anti-poc racism. Even if what they’re doing amounts to anti-poc racism to the extent that they know more about the black experience than black people.

    No one denies that racism happens to whites. What I reject is that notion that anti-white racism is having as much impact as anti-poc racism. I don’t have a problem addressing all of racism, but the fact remains our culture promotes whiteness and shames blackness.

    We don’t blame white people for what happened in the pass. I blame white people for what’s happening now. So this whole meme of white guilt is baseless and insulting. Whites complain about the inability to change the past while blithely ignoring present day racism and reparations.

    Everyone is teased about “jungle fever.” That’s not limited to whites.

    The point of white-skin privilege is that you don’t know when it’s at work. Taking the example of a white person who pulls themselves up, no one questions white people, especially white men’s, qualifications for college or jobs. If an interviewer gave you the benefit of the doubt, which is 99.99999% probably, you wouldn’t know. If a coworker of color is making less than you, you wouldn’t know. Robert Jenson, a white anti-racist talks about it. I ‘ll try to find the particular essay later. Acknowledging that you probably received undue privileges doesn’t mean that you haven’t worked hard. Acknowledging that there may be a person of color who’s qualified but passed over because of their race to be where you are doesn’t mean you aren’t incredibly gifted at your job.

    Seattle, I think you’re thinking of Darin Johnson.

    • Illusions

      No1KState says:

      “What I reject is that notion that anti-white racism is having as much impact as anti-poc racism. I don’t have a problem addressing all of racism, but the fact remains our culture promotes whiteness and shames blackness.”

      On whom No1? On individuals, it has the same impact. You seem to be making arguments that suggest that number matters exclusively. “Well more white do this than blacks.” Would it be “ok” racism if we only had 10% of black people treated unjustly? Or 5%? What is the percentage of a population at which we decide that racial violence, discrimination, or hostility is ok? Or is it a problem wherever it is?

      No1KState says:
      “We don’t blame white people for what happened in the pass. I blame white people for what’s happening now. So this whole meme of white guilt is baseless and insulting. Whites complain about the inability to change the past while blithely ignoring present day racism and reparations.”

      I think thats disingenuous of you to say that the idea of a meme of white guilt is baseless. No matter how insulted you may be. And I dont think whites are “blithely ignoring” anything. Some are. But what do you expect? There is variation in every group. But to say that “whites in general are doing nothing to end racism against PoC in America,” is simply untrue. Not everyone is the rally attending type. But you cant honestly say that whites are doing nothing to try to equalize things, that would be to say that all the progress we have made in this country is the result of only the PoC. So none of the studies you love to cite have been designed by white people? None of the books on racism written by whites? Really? C’mon. Just because some whites arent part of the solution is no more reason say “Whites” are doing nothing, than the fact that some blacks are criminals gives us the right to say “Blacks are criminal.” You know thats not true.

      No1KState says:
      “The point of white-skin privilege is that you don’t know when it’s at work.”

      You know, for years, it was almost impossible for women to be hired in symphonies. There were always good reasons given, that their playing just didnt cut it. So, eventually, someone got the idea to make auditions “blind.” The musician and the board were not allowed to see one another, they musician played behind a screen or a curtain, and was hired on merit alone. I dont disagree that there are things that make it hard to tell when someone is, or is not being discriminated against. Though clothes, height and weight, age, gender, attractiveness, etc. all fall into that too. So lets address that. Lets see about promoting legislation to make hiring practices “blind.” No name, no information about age, no gender, no color. And interview blind too. By computer if need be to eliminate language bias. I am all for anything that promotes people being evaluated based on merit rather than superficial qualities. I would rally for that.

      • No1KState

        Yes, on the individual level it can be the same. But from what I could quickly gather, is not as though whites in Hawaii are being made to feel inferior to ethnic Hawaians. I don’t get the sense that anti-white racism affects whites Hawaians self-esteem. That said, even conceding that racism can have the same impact on the individual level, I’m talking in terms of it’s impact on the group.

        If whites as a group were doing a lot to end racism, there would be an end to racism. Instead, we have the anti-immigration activists; anti-affirmative action activists; rationalizing and complaints of political correctness. Anti-poc racism has a longer history than the 50 years that Hawaii has been a state. It permeates just about every corner of society. It manifests in ways besides physical violence or denial to a private school that was endowed by the last princess of Hawaii. Yeah, there’s a lot to unwind especially since racism has become such a national habit. Work has to be done on individuals’ brain pathways, ie – the image of a black men should not stir up fear. Racism is such a mental impact that no one has to say “black” anymore, just the image of a black person rings the bell like Pavlov’s dogs. But if whites would stop demanding to be the center of attention, stop demanding to determine the conversation and what others mean, we could get somewhere.

        Honestly, isn’t Hawaii to whites what Ireland is to anglos?

        And stop with the “self-righteous” accusations. I asked the question because of my short patience. And to the extent that I’m confident about what I’m saying, I know I have the facts on my side.

  19. No1KState

    Kill haole day? I just checked and it seems that anti-white racism isn’t the only racism; and personally, well, it can be argued that Hawaii is illegally occupied by the US.

    So do we really have to address the comparatively few incidents of anti-white discrimination before we can get at anti-black and Hispanic structural, institutional, and cultural racism? Being beating is terror no matter who’s doing it and why. And if you’re being beating solely because you’re a haole, and you are, that’s a hate crime plain and simple. But from what I gather, Hawaii also has the same anti-poc racism and bias as every other state.

    When anti-racist talk about racism, we’re not talking about simply the incidents that happen between individuals as individuals. We’re talking about an accumulations of millions of incidents perpetrated each day by one group towards others; we’re talking about the unearned privileges of whiteness.

    What I don’t get is why, after seeing the name of the blog and the content, anyone not interested in discussing the permeations of racism would come here in the first place. What’s your angle? Are you for equal opportunity for all or not? Do you think all people are created equal and have equal rights, are don’t you?

    I’m certainly not the traffic cop. I got my own blog for that. I just need to know whether or not any good is to be gained by interacting with you, illusions and marandaNJ.

    Here’s the essay by Robert Jensen I promised:

    • Illusions

      No1KState says:
      December 7, 2009 at 1:11 am

      “I’m certainly not the traffic cop. I got my own blog for that. I just need to know whether or not any good is to be gained by interacting with you, illusions and marandaNJ.”

      Thats certainly your call to make, but I could ask myself the same question about you. You seem to have an agenda that I would deem racist. You seem less interested in addressing the underlying issue, of exploitation of the weak no matter how it is rationalized, than you are in gaining ground for a group you personally seem to identify with, PoC. In my mind, fighting for the benefit of one group, or to end racism for one group, is racist itself. Its just self interest. Nothing noble going on there. And forgive me if that is not my own goal. I loathe racism. I loathe sexism. I loathe classism. I believe with all my heart and soul that the only way to create a society in which people have a real chance at self actualizing is to end discrimination by broad categories. And that the way to do that is to stop making broad generalizations, and to look at people individually. However, I do feel I have something to gain from interacting with you. You are a racist, but you are an intelligent one, and at the very least I can hear your rationalizations for it.

      You may protest my calling you a racist, of course, but look at the arguments you use. You have used the “Well its over now,” argument for the Irish. Above, you are arguing that all whites deserve to suffer for overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani. I have heard from you virtually every argument that you say is wrong when used by whites. So what are you promoting that is better than the status quo that you claim you dislike? Many of those who engage in anti-white racism in Hawaii arent even Native Hawaiians. Nothing was taken from them, their country is not occupied illegally, they are part of the illegal occupation as much as any white person is. You can make excuses for the behavior, but it doesnt justify it. Nothing that has happened to you will ever justify your own becoming a racist. Thats all you. And of course, that same statement is true for anyone who feels “victimized.”

      Understanding the genesis of someones racist behavior does not excuse it. If some white was beaten, say, by a black person as a child, that may explain why that white person is prejudiced, but do we then say that all acts of racism by the white person are justified? Does it make every act of violence or retaliation against other blacks, who had nothing to do with the original incident just? Of course not. We all know that. That same principle holds true everywhere. Personal suffering does not justify one in extending outward onto all other people one can creatively categorize as the “same,” and that is easy to see when we examine it, and even more so, historical suffering is not justified in being used as an excuse to victimize others. I as a female would not be justified by anyones standards if I were to take it upon myself to go commit violence physical or verbal upon men as a class. Nor would I be considered justified as someone of Irish ancestry if I picked some random person of English ancestry and victimized them. We all know that isnt ok. One may be able to say, “well, I can see where they got the idea that they had a right to do that,” but we would also say, “But it was a very wrong minded idea.”

      I understand that you as a self interested human tend to care more about what happens to a group you identify with than to a group you do not identify with. But lets not pretend that that is any different in principle from any other self interested person promoting their own self interest with little concern for what it costs others. You have argued, that if you are not anti-racist, if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. I agree. But I disagree that to be anti-racist is to promote the self interest of PoC exclusively, or to deny the racism they promote. Thats just another kind of racism, one clothed in the justification of self-righteousness.

      And just as a personal note, you are not incorrect when you say that there is racism of all kinds in Hawaii. Anywhere there are people there is racism. So you do get all different varieties there as well. But we are talking the difference between taunting and teasing, and poking fun at other peoples cultures, and randomly being beaten, killed, spit on, etc. But you would be wrong if you were to say that whites were not targeted particularly. The anti-white racism in Hawaii can be extreme, and very physical. The fact that you dont have statistics on it is because it is in no one who has power’s self interest to illuminate the problem. Not the military’s, not the economic interests, not the anti-racism groups. No one really has anything to gain from reporting or tracking anti-white racism there. But there were places where even though no one would say, “You will be a victim of racism” tourists and the military were just told, “just dont go there.” It is worse in some areas than others. There are places in Hawaii where whites are sheltered from a lot of it, (on base, tourist areas) and there are places, the richer areas, where most of the people of all ethnicities tend to have less racist attitudes. Not all PoC in Hawaii are racist against whites. And it has gotten significantly better there than when I was growing up, for sure.

      So I hope that answers your question. Your “why would I come here” question. I have a very strong interest in addressing ALL the permeation’s of racism. I am for equal opportunity for all. I do not believe that it is fair to say that all people are created equal, because clearly we have some people who from birth have handicaps others do not, and to say that they have an “equal shot” at life to me is clearly not true, but I am for equal rights, and equal respect. Their human value is equal.

      I could turn the question around and ask, why do you come here if all you are promoting is another form of racism?

      • No1KState

        You’re completely misunderstanding and distorting my views.

        I didn’t say what’s happening to the Irish is okay.

        I didn’t say violence against whites because they’re whites is okay.

        When it comes to what’s happening in Hawaii, I can sympathize with their anger at what some feel is illegal occupation. And I can imagine that some of teh violence against whites is in reaction to widespread racism and oppression against people of color. That doesn’t mean I think it’s okay.

        To say that people are all created equal because of handicaps is to inject a fallacy of semantics. Being created equal has nothing to do with individual physical abilities but individual worth. And to that point, all people have equal worth and value as people.

        It’s not so much that I protest your calling me racist as much as you haven’t demonstrated how I’m racist. You haven’t used what I’ve written to establity a pattern of racism, only what you imagine me to imply. You, on the other hand, rationalize the negative stereotyping of black fathers and bring up problems that have little to nothing to do with the main point. For example, even if the ancient Greeks went on some racialized subjegation of everyone with blue eyes and blond hair, what do that have to do with the disproportionate unemployment rate black people and other people of color face today?

        And to talk about anti-white violence without talking about the roots of the resentment is to 1) miss the point and 2) refocus the conversation on whites, which is something we already do! Native Hawaiins have a better collective memory than they’re given credit for; I guess a substantial number still view whites as oppressors. Especially white tourist. And to be honest, no, I don’t blame them at all. I hate that it comes to violence and people who’re otherwise innocent are being hurt. But the US has no legal claim, I feel, to Hawaii; and I view the US in Hawaii much like I view Israel in Palestine.

        And even still, when it comes to the whole picture, whites have a lower rate of poverty. Only Asians have a lower rate of employment. From what I can gather, whites have the upper hand even in terms of incarceration. So it’s not like Hawaii is for whites what the continental 48 is for blacks. Not even close. And by the way, a good bit of what I found was at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

        So to be clear, I’m against all injustices of all kinds. To inject some argument about numbers is a bit of a logical fallacy. Whites is South Africa were a numerical minority, yet that built apartheid. What I’m saying is that the racism whites face, and the impact of that racism, is miniscule in comparison to the racism people of color face and its impact. If you like, you can imagine this as a treage – you deal with the sickest first, right? And whites in Hawaii or anywhere else are far from dying.

  20. Jessie Author

    @Kristen wrote: Jessie, do you know if they talked about the race of the raters in the study? I’m wondering if that had any effect. Did black raters also see Obama as “whiter,” or to the same extent as white raters?
    The researchers don’t mention the race of the study participants, but they do say: “This effect persisted when controlling for political ideology and racial attitudes.” Attitudes are not the same as r/e identity, but it comes the closest to answering your question.

  21. marandaNJ

    No1KState tells us:We don’t blame white people for what happened in the pass. I blame white people for what’s happening now. So this whole meme of white guilt is baseless and insulting. Whites complain about the inability to change the past while blithely ignoring present day racism and reparations.
    First of all, you never acknowledged my comment that indeed slavery is mentioned here Quite Frequently. White people today never owned slaves, but we are condemned because Some of our ancestors did. It’s a fact that most people living in the South before the Civil War couldn’t afford slaves. Look it up please.
    Plus, “reparations” implies payment for Past injustice, am I right? So in the same breath that you say you don’t blame white people today for what white people did in the past, you assign blame to whites for not handing out reparations For the Past?
    Also, nobody ever said racism against blacks doesn’t exist. But not nearly, as McWhorter says, on the scale that it did in the America before the Civil Rights Movement. Most whites living today were raised in an entirely different environment than those before Martin Luther King. Whites today see blacks in all professions, enjoying the same benefits whites do.

    What I’m saying is that the true scourge within the black community Today is black crime on black crime. Young black people are killing themselves off, and the white man Doesn’t Have Anything to Do With This.

    I stated several times that the black people who have taken advantage of the benefits in post-racial America did so a long time ago. Those blacks have already seen their children graduate from college and are living a comfortable middle class life. Like I stated before, you make it sound like every black in America is standing on a street corner with a coffee can begging for food.
    However, to achieve this comfortable middle class life, somewhere in that black family’s history someone had to Work Hard to break the cycle of poverty! Someone had to say “No” to welfare, crime, drugs,lack of motivation, and the idea that education and intellectualism was a “white thing.”
    McWhorter points this out. He says that many young black students still perceive intellectualism [knowledge for the sake of knowledge alone and not merely as a means to employment] as a waste of time. They do just enough to get a degree, but seldom stay after class and ask questions, or take information a step further and extrapolate on it. This is actually not really an important point; at least they’re getting a degree. But McWhorter believes blacks would greatly benefit if they saw education and theoretical thinking as more enjoyable and beneficial than just a means to an end.
    Asians will positively not allow anything to stop their success. Do you think they don’t experience discrimination? I know one Asian man who can hardly speak English. His son is a doctor. It’s incredible! But all it took was an Attitude of “Work and study. Work and study. Work and study!” And with that meme, there’s just no time for self pity because everyone is too busy learning physics. Again, you can’t filter what America sees. You can’t tell America “Studies have shown etc” and then ask them to ignore what they see every day on the news and witness around them.
    Why do I comment here? Because I think anti-racist whites and blacks would better serve the black population by asking blacks who still complain about racism and are still struggling with poverty to get ahead in America in the same manner the Asians have done so: work and study, work and study, work and study. Instead, you concentrate on Changing how White People Perceive Blacks who haven’t internalized this meme of Hard Work since 50 years ago.
    Your goal is to reconstruct how the rest of America sees black crime and ghetto life. You want white America to blame themselves for black crime and residual black poverty. But America, as they work their butt off driving back and forth to work [white and black America] will never buy this. Even successful blacks don’t buy it. Cause they know how hard their families and themselves had to work to become successful. They don’t want Anything to do with black ghetto life. They escaped with a determined mind set to succeed, and have no wish to return.
    In the movie Precious, we witness first hand a black mother who refuses to take responsibility for her daughter’s pain and lack of self-esteem. “Ain’t nobody want you, ain’t nobody need you!” It’s other Successful well-meaning blacks who pull Precious out of her well of misery and into the realm of hope.

    Once again, blacks need other blacks to help them, but it’s not about changing the perception of white America to pity and excuse crime and illegal drug usage and chalk it up to Racism. As Precious indicates, a large portion of the problem is about the black community [who never took advantage By Choice of the opportunities available in post-racial America and is steeped in the victimology mentality] and how it is failing many of its young people.
    Most whites are more than willing to meet blacks half way and to acknowledge how hard it’s been to break the poverty cycle. But the black population that remains marginalized must want to change from Within. You are trying to change White Behavior, to over-haul the white population to do what exactly? See black rap music that talks about killing whites as “just part of a culture”? To chalk up blacks falling behind whites academically to “teachers treat blacks differently”. To blacks living in ghettos as “they try to get jobs and go to community colleges, but whites won’t let them”. So what now? The compass keeps pointing at residual unmotivated blacks but you just won’t go there.

    • Illusions


      Well, I think this takes the issue of “unmotived” just a tad too far. There is more going on here in the US than just unmotivated people, regardless of color, wallowing in self pity and refusing to step up. That is a factor, I will agree. There are indeed people of every ethnicity who have figured out how to meet their own needs by playing the victim. But I think it is unfair to say that is the whole problem, or even the bulk of the problem.

      There is a broader issue here, which is one of my motivations to get people to stop bickering over which group or race is to blame. And that is that those who are best at the game of exploitation, (regardless of ethnicity) have a vested interest in keeping us busy pointing fingers at one another. While we are bickering about “who mom likes best” they are busy exploiting us all. And because we are attributing this to race, we are failing to recognize that there is a percentage of humans that are willing to do just about anything to get “more.” A type of self interest that goes beyond the normal portion of self interest all living creatures have. I just disagree with some that it is a “white” characteristic. I think you can look into any ethnic group in any point in history, and find the approximate same percentage of people willing to throw others under the bus to get “more.” They could care less if it is “their own kind” or if it is “other.”

      And this system that many are attributing to “whites” and which “whites” do participate in gleefully is a system that operates on exploitation. If we are not willing to examine the fundamental workings of the game, all we will do is what we have been doing, figuring out new ways to justify that exploitation. The poor in America are not wholly responsible for their circumstances. Our economic system is not set up for full employment, for one thing, because supply and demand sets price. Economic interests have a strong motive to keep a certain percentage, (5% is ideal) unemployed and desperate, so that the cost of labor stays at a level that benefits those economic interests.

      So, while I can see that there are those who are not taking advantage of the opportunities they do have, and that familial attitudes towards education, crime, cooperation with neighbors, etc., do have an impact on their socio-economic status and overall well being, I think it is to miss the broader picture to say that that is the problem.

      I just firmly believe that to get to the point where we can actually address the problem, we have got to quit bickering amongst ourselves. And placing blame. We have a problem here, in the US, and everywhere. We have some people benefiting enormously from exploitation, and others not so much. We need to ask ourselves if there is a better, more just, game we could be playing rather than simply change the actors for another round of the same game.

    • No1KState

      I did acknowledge that you said it’s mentioned quite a bit. I think I asked you for examples.

      As for reparations, if we wanna start with the money owed since WW2, that’s fine. But think of it like this – Would Bernie Madoff’s descendents be entitled to the money he stole from people? No one would blame his great-grandchildren for his ponzi scheme; but at the same time, those great-grandchildren may have to pony up money they inherited that was illegally gained. So yeah, there’s a bit of a contradiction. Sure. But is it illogical or unjust? No. You’re right, the majority of whites couldn’t afford slaves. But after slavery, even poor whites could victimize blacks with impunity. And for the antebellum whites who couldn’t afford slaves, if they had any part in the economy, where do you think that money came from? Everyone North and South is implicated in slavery, whatever their ownership status. If they worked in textile mills, where do you think the cotton came from? If they sold surplus produce, who do you think bought it? And the sad thing is that poor whites were being victimized by the system as well. But because they saw themselves first as white, they didn’t do anything to change the system.

      So what, it’s better now than before the Civil Rights Movement? You want a cookie because we finally get to vote, a right we had since 1867 (or there abouts) and 1920?

      To the extent that whites played a part in creating “ghettos” and the government played a part in moving jobs to the suburbs, yeah, whites can be blamed for black poverty. Especially to the extent that it’s generational, and there would be less poverty is blacks had been able to accumulate and pass down wealth since WW2.

      But if you don’t wanna address those issues, then you still have to explain the difference in employment, income, lending, housing, healthcare between whites and blacks who aren’t in the ghetto.

      And I repeat, the crime rate among poor blacks is the same as among poor whites. Why do our poor have to have a better crime rate than poor whites before all of us can see justice?

      So in short, what I would say is let us deal with intraracial crime and social ills, whites just stop being racist.

    • No1KState

      Oh, and citing John McWhorter doesn’t help your argument. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he doesn’t go into great depth when addressing the issues facing black America. He focuses on poor blacks; and to bring up the social ills that face poor blacks in a discussion about racism which faces ALL blacks is just to ignore the issue.

      And I reject the notion of “white guilt” to the extent that it’s talked about as though whites aren’t in a position to change things. They are.

  22. marandaNJ

    I can’t disagree with you Illusions. Of course you’re correct. History has shown that the strong exploit the weak in all cultures. A great book on the True and Exposed History of man was written by C.V. Wedgwood called The Spoils of Time. I own this volume and it opened my eyes 20 years ago.
    “Carefully selecting material that most aptly enlightens a time, illuminates a place, clarifies a thought, an action or philosophy, Wedgwood leads us like Ariadne’s thread through the magnificent and appalling history of mankind.”
    I was especially impressed with her illustrations that China had Hundreds of different dynasties that rose and fell, rose and fell over thousands of years. Usually, westerners focus on western civilization, but this woman shows us that an entire Eastern world was functioning pretty much like the western one. Civilizations rise, dominate for awhile, then fall only to be replaced by another. Everything that is happening today Has Happened Before in History 1,000 times over: the rebellion of youth, corrupt governments manipulating the country’s fiscal resources, the subjugation of one group to another, kings and heads of state removed from office due to misconduct, democratic governments that were merely democratic facades, etc. Nothing new under the sun folks!
    An excerpt: “The court of the Emperor Hsuan Tsung (reigned 713-56) was probably the most brilliant in Chinese history. The brilliant imperial court survived the decay of T’ang power but not for long. Desolation came from below. At last the conscripted peasants broke down under the burden of frontier warfare. The poet Tu Fu lamented the fate of country boys recruited at fifteen and still in service on The Wall when their hair was gray, while their women strove in vain to cultivate the land and meet the taxes.”
    I have read accounts of the “theory” that the entire western hemisphere is dominated and controlled by select, very powerful and wealthy individuals. Like the puppet masters, they regulate and watch us dance while they chuckle at our distress. As we hop from one foot to the other they are piling up currency like Midas. Very possibly so. I know the American Rockefellers invested heavily in a German arms company named Krupp during both World Wars. They also invested in Our arms factories, so if either side won they’d still come out ahead! Unbelievable.
    At any rate, yes I believe we are all pawns in a much more massive game we can’t even imagine. And as long as us puppets keep bickering amongst ourselves, we won’t look behind the curtain and see The Great Oz who is pulling all the strings.

    But you are bringing this discussion to a higher level, Illusions. I just don’t think anyone wants to go there. I don’t think that’s what this blog was designed for. I am speaking at Level 5 and you are suggesting we discuss Level 9. See my point? You’re accurate in your analysis of course, but this blog is not really about International and Historical Political Science and The Way Man’s Mind Has Always Worked. It’s about racism in America. That’s it. But thanks for the great comment. I am impressed by your insight and intelligence!

  23. Joe

    Illusions, the creators of the US system of racial oppression are self-defined whites, who created slavery (for about 246 years of our 402 years), and then followed that with about 90 years of Jim Crow segregation. This accounts for about 85 percent of our history. Whites are almost entirely responsible for this iceberg beneath the few recent years we have had without this extreme, legalized oppression. The current effects of about 336 years of extreme oppression do not go away quickly. This iceberg beneath us accounts for much everyday discrimination, and also much white rationalizing, stereotyping, and extensive discrimination today. Whites also gained huge economic and social wealth over the extreme oppression centuries, an unjust enrichment that enables their descendants to dominate today. This is not about a ‘blame game,’ but about understanding our history and structural realities. ‘Racism’ as a modern term was created by Hirschfield as a systemic term, for systemic oppression. It is far more than prejudice– it is part of the deep structural realities of US society.

  24. No1KState

    At the risk of starting another round of back and forth –

    What does historic China have to do with the barriers people of color face in present-day US? Even in Hawaii, white people aren’t being exploited. I find the attempt to change the conversation from the racially based exploitation a very tried and tired ruse of racism deniers, rationalists, and enthusiasts alike. Whether they openly admit it or not, they’re perfectly okay with the status quo.

  25. marandaNJ

    No1KState tells us:So what, it’s better now than before the Civil Rights Movement? You want a cookie because we finally get to vote, a right we had since 1867 (or there abouts) and 1920?
    1. If you’re handing out ccckies, don’t pass one to me. I wasn’t even alive during the Civil Rights Movement. Give the cookie to Martin Luther King.
    2. It’s exactly this type of caustic remark that fuels the victimology meme that McWhorter speaks about. The attitude is, “You whites put us here! You get us out!” like you are hopeless non-citizens with 2 digit IQ’s. And I thought you said you didn’t “blame” today’s whites for transgressions of historic whites.
    3. If you really want to know what I want, it’s not a cookie, but some cessation to black crime so I can drive through a black neighborhood without being nervous. I want black people who have chosen to sell drugs for a living to Please Get a Job or Go to a Community College. Maybe if you did that you could end up President of the United States.
    4. Also, your remark sounds pretty racist to me, as in “you white idiot!” And I thought you were fighting racism. So it’s OK for you to be racist in regards to whites, but whites aren’t supposed to “notice” black crime and lack of ambition in the housing projects.
    5. I have a question for you. Do you think the movie Precious is an accurate portrayal of the poor black community? You don’t have to see the whole movie. You can watch previews and scenes on It was directed by a black man and Oprah Winfrey highly recommended it. What was the purpose of creating this movie for the American public to see? [I want your honest opinion.] Was it assigning blame to the white man? Click the link to see the preview.'push'-by-sapphire/

  26. No1KState

    Again, marandaNJ, you’re just seeing what you want to see. How does that comment equal racism? And here’s what you and McWhorter both blithely overlook:

    1 – once you hold for socioeconomic status, crime is the same across all races. The black poor have the same crime rate as the white poor.
    2 – So that can’t explain the job discrimination, income discrimination, lending discrimination, housing discrimination, voting discrimination, discrimination is healthcare and education, and disparity in health and healthcare that all blacks face regardless of the crime rate of their particular neighborhood. We know from studies (you can read the post on this blog) that doctors don’t give black patients and white patients with heart disease the same medical treatment. Is that because of crime in poor communities? Poor whites can get a better loan than middle class blacks. Is that because so many poor blacks don’t go to community college? And how many community colleges do you know of that are in the ghetto?
    3 – And for folks who keep touting education (not that I don’t agree that education is an equalizer), you’re blissfully ignoring that for every dollar spent on educating a white child in a public school, only $.82 cents are spent on a black child. You’re ignoring that black children are punished more often and more harshly in schools even though they don’t misbehave at a higher rate. Also, children of color are regular placed on academic tracks that belie their scores on standardized tests.,0,7975055.story
    4 – If you can’t drive through certain neighborhoods without being afraid, just don’t drive through those neighborhoods.
    5 – I won’t put words like “stupid, lazy negros” in your mouth. But I do know that McWhorter seems to want to blame the ills of the poor and the poor and dismiss the cumulative impact of the different discriminations faced by ALL blacks.

    And please, give up the victimology theme. It only works if their really was no racism, and even the UN has sited the US for it’s racism against people of color, including by not limited to Aboriginal Americans like the Creek, the Soiux, and ethnic Hawaians. Not even McWhorter denies racism; he just makes like it shouldn’t matter. So please stop quoting McWhorter. He’s just not credible. He hasn’t studied the sociology or history of racism. He doesn’t do research or surveys or interviews. He just comments. He’s like an old man sitting on his stoop telling people that since it’s cloudy, they don’t need sunscreen.

    What black people want is justice. Give us justice and we’ll handle everything else ourselves. The strides we’ve made since the CRM, we made on our own. All white people did was ease up on the racism and do justice. Keep easing up on the racism and doing justice, and all will be well.

    As for PRECIOUS, which I have neither seen nor read (the book PUSH), I’m not sure it’s representative of all black poor or why Sapphire wanted to put that picture forward. But I’m sure it’s representative of lots of people’s experience regardless of race and class.

  27. Joe

    It is more than annoying for commenters to cite scholars who do NO significant research on racial and ethnic matters, like McWhorter, as sources. That means you are not serious about data. McWhorter is a linguistics expert, not an expert on black college or high school students and their attitudes toward education and “intellectualism.” Research on black attitudes toward education show high levels of commitment to getting more education. And why not check out the research of Prof. Sandy Darity showing that much of the ‘acting white’ stuff slammed on black students, male and female, is white mythology or gross exaggeration…..and/or the result of white-imposed educational structures.

  28. Joe

    Obgu is a problematical figure. Sometimes he paid attention to structure and context, as with Mexican Am kids, but at other times got off in this white-stereotyped stuff on supposed black youth culture. Here is what I wrote in a law journal article with Bernice Barnett a couple of years back:

    “Some researchers, such as the John Ogbu, have viewed achievement differences between black and white children as more likely the result of negative black school cultures than of problems with institutionalized racism in schools. That is, academically successful black students are put down so much by their black peers that they cannot achieve as well as whites. Ogbu gathered ethnographic data supposedly showing the severe effects of being put-down for “acting white,” as well as showing that black students and parents do not put as much emphasis on education as whites. This is a fallacious notion that African Americans do not value education as much as whites, but should note here that much research contradicts the notion that pressure from other students has severe and lasting effects on achievement of talented students. For example, Cook and Ludwig summarize the research: “Black high school students are not particularly alienated from school. They are as likely as whites to expect to enter and complete college, and their actual rate of high school completion is as high as that among whites from the same socioeconomic background. Also, black and white students report that they spend about the same amount of time on homework and have similar rates of absenteeism.” And the research of Karolyn Tyson and Sandy Darity (see further brings into question the rather stereotyped “acting white” mythology.

    • No1KState

      Really great. Thanks bunches, Joe. I’m building a library of sorts of books I plan to read, so I’m trying to get a sense of who to read and who to shy away from for now. I searched Sandy Darity in Amazon, and several of Ogbu’s books came up. He seemed pretty okay until the comments made clear the thesis of his books.

  29. Joe

    I think Karolyn Tyson has led in some of the fine work done with Darity. Check them both out. Very important findings in their work about differences in mostly black and mostly white schools. Black high achieving students in their studies do not get flack , but indeed are honored, in mostly black high schools. Only in integrated schools with relatively few black students, and even fewer black high achieving students, do the latter get some criticism from the few other black students for supposedly ‘acting white.’

    And apparently almost no students anywhere have been significantly slowed down by such teasing or mocking, including the many white “better” students who get much mocking too.

  30. marandaNJ

    Well obviously you guys want me to reply, right?’s the scoop on Ogbu. He was from Africa and Asked and Paid by an American upper middle class suburban group of black parents to objectively analyze why their kids were getting the grades white kids got in the same upper middle class schools. Because he was black and from Africa, and paid by black Americans, why would his results be evidence of racism on his part? There’s no way.
    He found that black students all said [when asked] that they valued education and wanted to go to college. However, when asked how long they studied each night Ogbu Consistently found they said they studied for less periods of time than the when he asked the white students how long they studied. So these Studies are Very open to interpretation! He did not find that “blacks valued education less than whites” as you suggested Joe. He found that blacks students gave their studies less attention than whites.
    He also found that the attitude of the well-meaning professional blacks who were their parents did, in fact, help less with homework and expected the school system to be almost exclusively responsible for getting their kids into college. These professionals were doctors, attorneys, bank presidents, very successful.
    This is Not an Indictment against the Black Community! I think the black community was Not Aware that schools alone can’t carry the burden of student achievement. The black parents said they worked hard to live in a nice neighborhood so their kids could attend good schools. So it’s not that they didn’t care!
    Also, Ogbu asked the black children if they felt discriminated against in their schools by white teachers. They replied ‘No’ they didn’t.
    It all boils down to the black community Helping Themselves a bit more than previously thought. Society can’t do it all. Other ethnic groups know that Life is Tough and to make it, you have to push harder than the next guy. This is not, again, something blacks can’t change. It’s a habit of depending on the external forces that work around them rather than internal force to equalize race achievement.
    It’s not a reflection of black IQ either! Blacks have just as much smarts as whites. It’s a question of infrastructure effort.


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