Saturday, August 15, 2015

We still have work to do

We will always have more work to do.

From a recent Pew report entitled Across Racial Lines, More Say Nation Needs to Make Changes to Achieve Racial Equality, the percentage of Americans who feel more needs to be done to give blacks equal rights has gently increased over the course of the Obama presidency, and has abruptly spiked above and beyond that trend over the last year. In 2009, 43% said "our country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites". In 2011, the figure was 45%. It was 46% in 2014, and jumped to 59% in 2015 (because Dylann Roof and BlackLivesMatter, I guess).

What particular rights enjoyed by whites but denied to blacks isn't specified, of course, because outcomes rather than processes are what is really at issue here. When the premise is that there are no innate differences between groups of people, it becomes almost unavoidable to conclude that because outcomes are unequal, the processes must be unequal (though not innately so!). That this premise is self-evidently false is not of specific interest here, however.

Instead, a subtle but recurring sentiment in the data caught my eye. The Racism Narrative's grip on the minds younger people appears to be less firm than it is on their parents' and even grandparents' generations. This especially seems to be the case when we consider that whites are more skeptical of the Racism Narrative than non-whites are and that younger generations are less white than older generations, and also that younger people tend to become more politically and culturally conservative as they get older.

Pew asked respondents about how big a problem racism is in society today. The following table shows a simple index where 3 points are given for a "big problem" response, 1 point for a "somewhat" response, -1 point for a "small" response, and -3 points for "not a problem" response. Thus the higher the score, the larger the perceived societal problem of racism is. By age, the results shake out as follows:

AgeRacism
18-29158
30-44161
45-64164
65+157

The differences are modestl and the overwhelming majority of survey participants think it's either a "big" problem or "somewhat [of a]" problem. There's also the added difficulty of accurately interpreting the results since racism in this context putatively refers to white racism directed towards non-whites (and specifically blacks) even though it's not actually specified as such. Dissidents and apostates might interpret the question to be inquiring about the existence of any sort of racial animus, not just that of whites directed at non-whites, and consequently say that racism is a societal problem even if they don't think white racism towards non-whites is part of that problem.

Still, white guilt may have hit its high-water mark with the baby boomers. They were the last white American generation that could afford to indulge themselves in it. As the consequences of diversity continue to take their tolls on economic health, social cohesion, and (legitimate) equal protection under the law in the US, necessity will give fewer and fewer whites any time for it.

While 18-29 year-olds were more likely to have express having a "negative" reaction (30%) to seeing the Confederate flag than the 45-64 (26%) and 65+ (22%) age groups were (30-44 was the most negative, at 31%), they were noticeably less enthusiastic about South Carolina removing the flag from the statehouse grounds than their older cohorts. The percentages of respondents, by age, who called it the "wrong" decision:

AgeWrong
18-2940%
30-4431%
45-6434%
65+31%

These results are hardly earth-shaking in their ramifications. They're not even definitive. But other data show that younger whites are more identitarian than older whites are, and they're also more open to the idea of secession.

Coming of age in a society where everyone else has socially-sanctioned racial and ethnic interests of their own, it's not surprising that those of European descent, too, are increasingly coming to see themselves as whites rather than merely as non-non-whites.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

What can't go on forever, won't. Modern liberalism is an ideology of plenty. It is under threat.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Yunalesca: Racial inequality is an inevitable part of America's destiny. It is neverending.

Wakka: Neverending? But...but...if we atone for our crimes, racism will go away, ya? Someday it'll be gone, ya?

Yunalesca: Will Americans ever attain such purity?

Lulu: This...this cannot be! The teachings of progressivism state that we can exorcise racial inequality by electing a black president! It's been our only hope for all these years!

Yunalesca: Hope is...comforting.

Auron: Where is the sense in all this?

Audacious Epigone said...

Jokah,

Tell me that is an actual conversation in FFX with Sin being replaced by Racism. Please!

Jokah Macpherson said...

What can I say? It's a really deep game...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YSf43SH17k

Audacious Epigone said...

Wow, thanks man. Deeply appreciated.

Anonymous said...

@audacious

If you're such a racially aware White man, why do you even care to know about Japanese video games?

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume you're not just trolling. What do you mean? A healthy sense of identity doesn't preclude everything outside of that identity.

Anonymous said...

@audacious

Nope, not trolling. I have encountered many people on the internet who say that they are white nationalist/separatist/supremacist and invariably I find that 50% of them are being hypocritical in their beliefs. I once encountered a guy who openly stated his wish for the mass murder of non-Whites yet he openly admitted to watching anime and playing Japanese video games. There are other wns who, once I prod them for more information, admit that they have a non-White friend, or a non-White spouse, or a non-White ex-partner, or that their kids have non-White friends. I'm utterly baffled by it.