January 14, 2010, - 12:08 pm
We’re dealing with an upbeat sense of perception . . . at variance with reality.
— Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center and co-author of a survey and study of Black Americans, who think their lives are better despite facts that say otherwise.
It’s one thing to have a giant voting bloc that is ignorant. They can be educated and if they are, they might change their ways. It’s entirely another to have a giant voting bloc that is living in fantasy and refuses to wake up.
To me, racism and bigotry is most illustrated when the possessor of it is willing to stick to race- and ethnic-based discrimination, even when it hurts them personally, whether economically or in some other significant, costly way. The Pew survey referenced above shows that Black Americans continue to live in a fantasy over the color of the man in the White House, to their own detriment. Yes, that’s the real racism.
Despite high unemployment and shrinking incomes, black Americans are more satisfied with their situation than at any time in the past 25 years, and more than half say life will get better for them.
A poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, which studies American attitudes and trends, found that 39 percent of blacks say things are better for them than they were five years ago – almost twice the percentage that said that in 2007. Twelve percent said things are worse.
The last time black opinion was as positive was in 1984, when 37 percent said things were better than five years earlier.
Please. He’s no Reagan. Not even close.
More than half of blacks surveyed, 53 percent, say they think life will get better, compared with 44 percent two years ago.
The reason: the “halo effect” of electing the first black president, says Paul Taylor, the Pew center’s executive vice president, a co-author of the study.
“We’re dealing with an upbeat sense of perception . . . at variance with reality,” he says. “We’re in tough economic times, and it’s been especially tough on blacks.” . . . .
The unemployment rate for black people rose from 9 percent in December 2007 to 16 percent in December 2009, while the rate for whites increased from 4 percent to 9 percent.
Median black household income dropped 2.8 percent from $35,219 in 2007 to $34,218 in 2008, according to the most recent Census data available. Median white household income decreased 2.6 percent from $57,030 to $55,530 during that time.
Clearly, we’re dealing with a fantasy here that cannot be overcome. A race-driven fantasy that because we have a Black President everything is better or will be, despite the statistics and financial situations of most Black Americans that got dramatically worse in the first year of the Obama administration.
Time to take off the race-colored glasses and see things clearly. Until then, it’s like drug addiction, and no matter how harmful it is to them, some people will continue to obsess with the race of the President, not what he’s done for them lately or ever.
Tags: Barack Obama, bigotry, Blacks, economy, halo effect, high unemployment, optimism, perception, Racism, reality, shrinking incomes