Not So Subconscious White Racism

An article in the Washington Post earlier this week asked “Does your subconscious think Obama is foreign?” (Hat tip to HarlemWriter via Twitter and Light-Skinned Girl).  Shankar Vedantam, the author of that piece, went on to cite the work of Mahzarin Banaji at Harvard, one of the developers of the Implicit Association Test, which we’ve written about here before.   Vedantam has a provocative interview quote from Banaji in which she says: “African Americans in their [own] minds are fully American, but not in the minds of whites.” And, indeed, this seems clear in this short video clip (2:08) that includes interviews with white Ohio voters:

In these interviews, reporter Casey Kauffman reveals the misconceptions, racism, and just plain foolishness of these white people (to me via Alternet).  It would be funny if it weren’t so scary.


  1. Seattle in Texas

    (voting stuff–off topic a bit…)Misinformation has been an issue perhaps all over the nation in politics…but this is another one of those things I just wanted to throw up for voters in Texas and wasn’t quite sure where to put it—so, off topic of course (but could be tied…)…important nonetheless and spreading the word where I can…(I’m sure many are already aware of this…but early voting begins Monday so it is important to spread it anyway with hopes others will do the same…and, I’m sure others may want to check for the same potential problems in others states as well…so it’s worthwhile for anybody who cares about this election). The first person from a progressive group said (and asked that the word be spread):

    For those who normally vote ‘Straight Democratic’, please pay close

    I was informed this weekend by a group of Obama volunteers that when voting for the presidential candidate this November, you have to make
    sure you punch Barack’s name first, then proceed to punch ‘Straight Democratic’ or else the vote for the president won’t count. I’m not sure if
    any of you are aware of this, but we know they won’t tell us this at the poles. Please make sure you inform others.

    Response 1: This is false. You will cancel your vote for Barack if you do this. Do not vote a straight ticket and then go back and emphasize your vote for any Democratic candidate. You will cancel out a vote for that person. Be sure you check the screen at the end carefully to be sure you have voted for the right people. If you notice irregularties tell the election judge immediately before you hit cast ballot. This will also happen to Rs who vote a straight ticket and emphasize their vote for their presidential candidate.

    Response 2: Correct way to cast your ballot…Vote a straight ticket and then vote for individuals of other parties. Do not go back and vote for someone that is on that straight ticket. For instance.. When you vote straight Democratic don’t go and vote for Obama. You will cancel your vote. Two yes votes makes a no vote. Always check the final screen to be sure you have voted for the correct people. After you have checked the screen then hit cast ballot. You must check.

    In short—it might be wise for anybody who votes with the machines to ask questions, vote carefully, and try to confirm the votes are correct, be mindful not to cancel anything out, etc….

    In terms of the video…uhhh, yeah…. No comment…but Obama supporters vote and vote correctly!!! 🙂


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