Here is the question. In this time of official 9% or higher unemployment, when Americans of all colors and creeds tell the pollsters that Unemployment is the country’s biggest problem, why do accusations of racism against the TEA Partiers, Republicans, conservatives, and other scapegoats defined mostly by the color of their skin rise to the top of the news cycle? Is this what people really want to know about, or are the gatekeepers in charge of the news deciding, JournOList like, to distract America from its real issues in favor of a side-show where a bull is baited by a cruel showman?
In January of this year, well into our recession, and well into the emergence of the tea-party movement, the Pew Research Center surveyed black attitudes.
In answer to the question, “When blacks don’t make progress, who or what is to blame?” 52 percent of blacks responded that “blacks” themselves are “mostly responsible,” and 34 percent said “racism.” This is the reverse of how blacks responded to this question just 15 years ago, when 56 percent said that racism was the impediment to black progress.
In the same survey, blacks responded almost identically as whites to the question of whether success in life is “determined by forces beyond one’s control” or whether “everyone has the power to succeed.”
Seventy-seven percent of blacks and 82 percent of whites said that “everyone has the power to succeed,” and 16 percent of blacks and 12 percent of whites said success is “determined by forces beyond one’s control.”
And when blacks were asked in this same survey about the main problems facing black families, the response was overwhelmingly exactly the same as the general result of the Gallup poll of last week: jobs.
Racism is about people being persecuted and endangered because of their color. It’s about not being treated equally under the law or denied access to public facilities or work because of one’s color.
Fortunately, those ugly days are behind us. And aside from the political and legal truths that verify this, black attitudes themselves, as the Pew data bear out, support it. And, if we need further verification, sitting in the White House is a black man who is there with the help of 43 percent of the votes of white Americans.