Worries have grown around why are some black people racist towards white people in modern American society. Historically, it can be boldly said that the American white are guilty of the existent discrimination that characterized their dealing with the black as victims of racial oppression, emasculation, and of course marginalization. But today, it seems the story is different!
Whites in America believe that they have replaced blacks as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America, according to a new study from researchers at Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School. The findings, say the authors, show that America has not achieved the “post-racial” society that some predicted in the wake of Barack Obama’s election.
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Both whites and blacks agree that anti-black racism has decreased over the last 60 years, according to the study. However, whites believe that anti-white racism has increased and is now a bigger problem than anti-black racism. It’s a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health, and employment.
White and black estimates of bias in the 1950s were similar. Both groups acknowledged little racism against whites at that time but substantial racism against blacks. Respondents also generally agreed that racism against blacks has decreased over time, although whites believed it has declined faster than blacks do.
Why Are Some Black People Racist Towards White People
The white now believe that racism against whites has increased significantly as racism against blacks has decreased. On average, whites rated anti-white bias as more prevalent in the 2000s than anti-black bias by more than a full point on the 10-point scale.
Moreover, some 11% of whites gave anti-white bias the maximum rating of 10 compared with only 2% of whites who rated anti-black bias a 10. Blacks, however, reported only a modest increase in their perceptions of “reverse racism.”
Hence, the question is, why are some black people racist towards white people?
White Discriminatory Policies
Policies that discriminate by race reinforce racist beliefs. It sends a message to society that certain people, simply because of their race, don’t deserve the same treatment or opportunities as everyone else. Governments use a variety of justifications, such as natural security or public health, that many won’t ever question. It rarely matters if those justifications are at all based in reality.
Housing laws are a prime example of this. In the United States, regulations kept Black people from owning houses in certain neighborhoods for decades, relegating them to lower-quality housing and preventing them from accumulating wealth. This alone is puffs the question, why are some black people racist towards white people?
Overdue Silence of Black Quislings
Racist ideas flourish when “good” people refuse to talk about them. While many people don’t agree with racism, they fail to confront it head-on, which makes them ill-equipped to recognize all the forms of racism.
This problem has a long history in the United States. White abolitionists may have fought to abolish slavery, but they did not go after the laws and beliefs that kept Black people from being full, equal citizens in America.
Many even ended up contributing to racism as they still saw Black people as inferior, though not so inhuman as to deserve slavery. The North, which liked to see itself as progressive compared to the South, was home to numerous hate crimes.
Misrepresentation of Blacks in Media
How the media represents people of different races in books, TV, movies, and music has a big impact on how society views race. While the media reflects cultural views, it also shapes culture and implants racist beliefs into young people and those new to a country.
As an example, on a 2020 panel about the media’s influence on views about racism, a UNLV graduate student studying social work and journalism discussed how new immigrants are often first introduced to Black people as either criminals or police abuse victims. This negative media representation can convince immigrants they should stay away from Black people if they want to be safe.
Racism in the media is not always malicious, but it has incredibly negative effects regardless of intent. As an example, Black people are over-represented in media stories about poverty and welfare. This affects Black people’s view of themselves as well as society’s perception of Black people.
The Unjust Attitudes of the White
People are quick to judge others based on their appearance, clothing, how they talk, and other physical traits. This isn’t something necessarily shameful as humans are wired to make fast judgments on our surroundings so we can stay safe. Our brains also use judgments as “shortcuts,” because it’s very difficult to gather a ton of information before making a decision.
However, humans aren’t making judgments in a vacuum. Things like unconscious bias, our upbringings, the kind of media we consume, and more all factor into what we think of others.
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