Due to the recent fervor over the Paula Deen verbal boo boo and her resulting tremulous fall from grace and the mixed bag of racially motivated comments made by both sides of the George Zimmerman trial.  I decided to voice my own personal perspective of race in America.

I grew up in a town where there were about 99 % white or Caucasian and the 1 % was Native American.  There were zero Black Americans and my first experience with a Black American was at college.  Some of those early encounters with Black Americans were good, but most and those that stand out in my mind 46 years later, were not good and it was my first exposure to racism.  At the time, I thought that it was the middle 1960’s and most Black college students were opposed to anything or anybody who was white.

One of my fellow Black students told me to my face that I could be his friend…as long as other Blacks were not around.  My responding comment was, “either you are my friend all the time or not at all.”  We never spoke to each other again.

My next exposure to racism was during my many years in corrections.  It was almost standard practice that White staff would be accused of racism by Non- Caucasian inmates, most times, that they were involved with them during an altercation.  This occasionally occurred when dealing with Black Americans or Hispanics, but by far the worst offenders were Native Americans.

I once had a Black American inmate tell me that he could not be a racist, because he was Black.  My response to him is anyone who judge’s people based on the color of their skin, is a racist.

I grew up being picked on because of a physical disability and I learned very early to be open, friendly, and not to judge people by how they look.  I am not a racist and I do not appreciate being judged by my appearance.  That being said, there are people that I do not like and have no time for them.  They can be of any race including many Whites, but my dislike is based on how they treat me and how they treat others.  I will always attempt to protect those people who are unable to protect themselves.

So, if you base your personal beliefs of racism on positive experiences or negative ones, I thought that you might be interested in a recent poll results that were the result of a 1000 American adults by the Rasmussen Reports.  The survey was conducted on July 1-2, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports.  The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

 

Americans consider blacks more likely to be racist than whites and Hispanics in this country.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults think most black Americans are racist, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.  Just 15% consider most white Americans racist, while 18% say the same of most Hispanic Americans.

There is a huge ideological difference on this topic.  Among conservative Americans, 49% consider most blacks racist, and only 12% see most whites that way.  Among liberal voters, 27% see most white Americans as racist, and 21% say the same about black Americans.

From a partisan perspective, 49% of Republicans see most black Americans as racist, along with 36% of unaffiliated adults and 29% of Democrats.

Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.

Among white adults, 10% think most white Americans are racist; 38% believe most blacks are racist, and 17% say most Hispanics are racist.

Overall, just 30% of all Americans now rate race relations in the United States as good or excellent. Fourteen percent (14%) describe them as poor.  Twenty-nine percent (29%) think race relations are getting better, while 32% believe they are getting worse.  Thirty-five percent (35%) feel they are staying about the same.

These figures reflect more pessimism than was found in April 2013, when 42% gave race relations positive marks and 39% said race relations were improving.   However, the April number reflected all-time highs while the current numbers are more consistent with the general attitudes of recent years.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently killed a key portion of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional and sent a lawsuit challenging the University of Texas’ use of race as a factor in admissions back to the appellate court level for further review. Most Americans believe affirmative action admissions policies discriminate against whites, as the lawsuit argues, and think it’s better for colleges and universities to accept the most qualified students.

This is consistent with public resistance to all special preferences. Only 30% think it’s fair for colleges and universities to give preferences to children of large donors.  Just 38% think it is fair for the children of previous students to have a special advantage in the admissions process.

Following those decisions and a big ruling on same-sex marriage, public approval of the U.S. Supreme Court has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded in more than nine years of polling.

Blacks are slightly more optimistic about the current state of race relations in American than whites and Hispanics are.  But 37% of blacks and 38% of Hispanics believe those relations are getting worse, compared to 29% of whites.

Liberals are more confident than conservatives that race relations are getting better.

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters believe the U.S. justice system is fair to most Americans, but just 34% think it is fair to poor Americans.  Forty-five percent (45%) consider the justice system fair to black and Hispanic Americans.

Most voters continue to believe the U.S. economy is fair to women, blacks and Hispanics but are now evenly divided when asked if it’s fair to lower-income Americans.  However, they still think all four groups are treated better than the middle class.

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