Racial Prejudice

(Community Matters) The poll’s finding of conscious & unconscious prejudice against Blacks and Hispanics (51% of Americans express some level of prejudice against Blacks) is no surprise, and it is almost unproductive to consider when reconciling political positions. There are real philosophical differences in play in most people’s presidential political decisions.

Yet, the willingness to believe a life long Christian with mostly moderate, even pro business views is “socialist”, a “Muslim”, even questioning his American birth is probably influenced by racism. I doubt the same people willing to make these allegations against their president would against a powerful white man.

Assuming Pres. Obama’s reelection, I hope we’re able to have candid conversations about race. Friends know I’m a big believer in stirring the pot – I detest lingering, unspoken, unsettled issues floating just beneath the surface. And, I acknowledge, it’s chaotic, threatening and risky when we do stir them to the top – it’s not easy wading through the nasty swamp. There’s a huge payoff assuming reconciliation is facilitated.

Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).

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