Hidden Racism and the race for PotUS

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posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 05:09 PM
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This is a topic that I have addressed before on this thread: www.abovetopsecret.com...
But I thought I would bring it back here, with some modifications, as I think it is a very real issue in these elections.

Over the last few weeks we have observed what seems to me to be an increased number of prejudiced and hate filled posts revolving around the issue of race and religion as they apply to Barack Obama and presidential politics.

The mods are amazing at removing the truly offensive ones, but a lot of them are masked within a thinly veiled attempt of pretense to a valid opinion. This of course has nothing to do with ATS, it is but a microcosm of society at large.

I have often wondered what makes people so extreme in their fears and hates. It is too easy to dismiss them with a passing insult. In many ways this dismissal would be symptomatic of the same attitude we are attributing to them.

I did a little research on this topic and found the enclosed long yet comprehensive article.

It is by no means the final word on this complicated topic.

But I thought it might shed at least partial light on this fundamental societal issue.




Key Concepts:

Subliminal Stereotyping

All of us hold unconscious clichéd beliefs about social groups: black and white, female and male, elderly and young, gay and straight, fat and thin.

Such implicit bias is far more prevalent than the more overt, or explicit, prejudice that we associate with, for instance, the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazis.

Certain social scenarios can automatically activate implicit stereotypes and attitudes, which then can affect our perceptions, judgments and behavior, including the choice of whom to befriend, whom to hire and, in the case of doctors, what treatment to deliver.

Recent research suggests we can reshape our implicit attitudes and beliefs—or at least curb their effects on our behavior.


The full article can be found here.

There are also good links on the article page for further exploration.

Whether as a result of overt or subconscious prejudice, it seems that there is something to this theory. One of the reasons it seems that Obama is still in a close race with McCain, is his inability to connect with "white older males."


The fundamental reason is white men. Like Al Gore in the summer of 2000, Barack Obama is roughly splitting white women. But only 34 to 37 percent of white men support Obama, according to the Gallup Poll's latest weekly index of 6,000 voters.
Boston Globe


I just wanted to get ATS members' take on this. We'd like to think that we as a country are really ready for a "black" president. But it seems that the closer we get to election day, the more people are resisting this reality.


[edit on 8/25/2008 by schrodingers dog]




posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 05:26 PM
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There has been a general proclivity over the last decade to try and explain prejudice and many other human characteristics with genetics. I just wanted to make clear that that is not the argument of the OP. It is about deep learned "cognition".



In recent years a number of studies have reached the same thorny conclusion about human cognition: when encountering a person for the first time, our brains automatically make note of the individual's race. But new research indicates that this is not necessarily the case. Findings reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicate that even brief exposure to an alternative social world can markedly diminish the extent to which people categorize others by race. The results suggest that racism may be an erasable by-product of cognitive adaptations that evolved to detect coalitions and alliances.
Racism not Hardwired



posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 06:42 PM
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This issue seems to be an acknowledged one by the Democrat brain trust.


Doubts about Barack Obama's experience, values, and patriotism, more than racial resentments, are driving the resistance to him among working-class whites, according to an extensive study of those voters to be released today by veteran Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg.

In the study, built around focus groups and a poll, Greenberg and four colleagues found Obama facing substantial hurdles but still possessing the opportunity for gains in Macomb County, a bellwether blue-collar suburb northeast of Detroit.

national journal



posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 09:08 PM
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There is a terrific article which tackles the issues taken up in the OP and subsequent posts by Jacob Weisburg at Slate.


Much evidence points to racial prejudice as a factor that could be large enough to cost Obama the election. That warning is written all over last month's CBS/New York Times poll, which is worth examining in detail if you want a quick grasp of white America's curious sense of racial grievance. In the poll, 26 percent of whites say they have been victims of discrimination. Twenty-seven percent say too much has been made of the problems facing black people. Twenty-four percent say the country isn't ready to elect a black president. Five percent of white voters acknowledge that they, personally, would not vote for a black candidate.


CBS/NYTimes Poll



[edit on 8/25/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:23 PM
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You want to know why it's called "hidden/subconcious" racism?
Because the Diversocrats cannot prove that it exists.

Frankly, I'm getting tired of the guilt trip that:
If Whitey don't vote for Obama, then Whitey is racist:

John McCain is old (72), but how many times have younger people been called "ageist" because they don't vote for him?
Funnily enough, there have been several threads floating around ATS claiming that McCain is "too old" to run the United States - heaven help us if someone declared that Obama is "too black" to run the United States!

An on "hidden racism":
Toddlers who dislike spicy food "racist"

Really, I just pity you that you've sunk so low as to claim that "if you don't vote for Obama (and you're white, of course - we all know that non-whites can't be racist!), you must be racist".

I really, really do.



posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:31 PM
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Yet another good post SD


I think theres far too many righties here using the "race card" accusation to excuse racial undertones in their little propaganda threads. It is obvious that Obama is been marked as "different" and "foreign" by righties and anybody who denys racism among their voters is clearly in denial. A survey conducted it was found that 20% of voters will not be choosing Obama because of race. But I well and truly believe that the majority of coservatives just dont like him because of this muslim,marxist,anti christ, bildenberger, NWO, terrorist rumors going on about the man.

And by the way Im getting real sick and tired of righties here whining about Obama supporters accusing them of being racist every second, I am yet to see it on this board. I get the feeling this is just another excuse to cover their asses.



posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:43 PM
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I'm not American, but it is plain as day that the 'if Obama isn't elected its because whitey is racist' card will be played out across the USA, shouted from every tower, and thrown in every white persons face for the next 8 years or so.

We had a slimy little toad who hid behind the 'change, change, its all about change' banner, and he destroyed this country.

Obama is the same, and I hope people wake up and see that this little chameleon is going to play the whitey is racist card till he gets his way.



posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by Dan Tanna
 


That is the fact Dan. This race card crap doesn't hold up and the only time it gets played is when the issues don't add up. Bring up gun control and they run to the economy and if that doesn't work its whitey putting down the man again. What a crock. Black, white or half and half he has to stand on the issues and experience doesn't matter if he is a reptile. (no offense reptiles)



posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 02:37 AM
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Originally posted by southern_Guardian
I think theres far too many righties here using the "race card" accusation to excuse racial undertones in their little propaganda threads.


Excuse me, but how many times have Obama supporters thrown the race-card in the face of those that do not support him? I don't know how many times I've been told that - because of my views on Obama - I'm simply prejudiced and racist, and if it was a white man blah-blah-blah-inane-babble-about-double-standards.


Originally posted by southern_Guardian
A survey conducted it was found that 20% of voters will not be choosing Obama because of race.


I'd like to see that survey, as one of the various "hidden racism" pieces above put the number at five percent.



Originally posted by southern_Guardian
And by the way Im getting real sick and tired of righties here whining about Obama supporters accusing them of being racist every second, I am yet to see it on this board. I get the feeling this is just another excuse to cover their asses.


Do you even bother with reading the rest of the thread, or do you just bludgeon your way through, come hell or high water?
The various "evidence" used claimed that white opponents of Obama were largely suffering from "hidden racism", and that if he wasn't black they'd probably vote for him.

And we'll stop talking about the race card, when you guys stop going on about how the only white people that don't vote Obama are racist.

Capice?



posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 03:09 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 





What you are talking about is fear.


Irrational fear that is ingrained in all of us as deep as the ocean. Humans fear change naturally, the fear of the unknown, the fear of losing control, the fear of being unable to adapt to something new. All in all, a general helplessness that aches at the base of their brain and dictates what decisions they make and how they react.

It is perfectly 100% natural for all humans to have these fears, it is a part of what makes a human.

However the key to being a complete and successful human being is the innate ability to look past those fears for the betterment of self and others.

Personally, if a presidential candidate came along that could honestly and truly fix this gigantic clusterf*** and put an end to the Bush reign of terror, I wouldnt care if he was lime green or bright purple.

Everyone holds prejudices and that isnt going to change except through much time and patience. Unfortunately we as a nation do not have that kind of time, and as of now it is going to have to be best man for the job.

We as Americans cannot afford another four to eight more years of what we have just been through, and if Obama is the man who can lead us out and into a new era then god bless him, I am all for it.



posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 03:29 AM
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Originally posted by Chaoticar
Excuse me, but how many times have Obama supporters thrown the race-card in the face of those that do not support him? I don't know how many times I've been told that - because of my views on Obama - I'm simply prejudiced and racist, and if it was a white man blah-blah-blah-inane-babble-about-double-standards.


Yes and this is the same excuse you fellas use here when you post anti-Obama threads with racist undertones. I never denied that there are Obama supporters out there playing the race card too often, but I do see this as an excuse everytime somebody is caught out with their bigotry. Now I am yet to see any Obama supporter here bring out the race card when it comes to the issues, experience or real factual threads. Other than that I dont blame people for calling out others on the message they intend to send.



I'd like to see that survey, as one of the various "hidden racism" pieces above put the number at five percent.


Here you go:

edition.cnn.com...
www.nytimes.com...



Do you even bother with reading the rest of the thread, or do you just bludgeon your way through, come hell or high water?
The various "evidence" used claimed that white opponents of Obama were largely suffering from "hidden racism", and that if he wasn't black they'd probably vote for him.


Im pritty sure this was not targeted to all whites not voting for Barack Obama. My main issue isnt really the fact that there are a large fraction of americans not willing to vote for Obama because his black, thats a given especially considering its decades earlier than expected, my issue is that there are far many members denying the reality of this. I am seeing a disturbing trend on this forum and outside, its little tactics like these below:

"Oh now your playing the race card because I said Obama will kill all white people"

"If the NCAAP exists then whats wrong with joining the KKK and spread hate?"

"Oh racism doesnt exist anymore, blacks dont need to form communities, their just all racist for voting the first black president in history after 8years of Bush, your playing the race card"

There are white racists and black racists but that doesnt excuse you from posting racially charged threads to insult an entire group of people, thats the pattern im seeing here.


And we'll stop talking about the race card, when you guys stop going on about how the only white people that don't vote Obama are racist.


Yes thats fine only I am yet to find any Obama supporter say that in a thread about the issues or the experience or the biography of these candidates. I think its real immature to assume all Barack Obama supporters are like that as well, that accusation in itself contradicts what your trying to say here. Im an Obama supporter and I wont call you a racist just because you choose to vote for McCain. I will call you out for what you are if your going to post "blacks will riot in denver" or "Obamas a muslim because he looks kind of arab" or "all blacks want to exterminate whites thats why Barack Obama cant be elected".

I think the people using the ignorance of a small fraction of Obama supporters to excuse the racism coming from some of these smear threads is the real issue at hand. Just because the other person is a McCain supporter doesnt mean you have to cover their ass.

[edit on 26-8-2008 by southern_Guardian]



posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by Chaoticar
 



Originally posted by Chaoticar
You want to know why it's called "hidden/subconcious" racism?
Because the Diversocrats cannot prove that it exists.


That is not correct. The original article cited in the OP has in fact absolutely nothing to do with the Democrats or any elections. It is just an attempt to identify subconscious and deep buried "cognitive" prejudices that any of us, including myself, may hold. These are not restricted to black/white issues and might well apply to McCain as an old/young prejudice.

Nor is it the purpose of this thread to paint all Obama detractors with a racist broad brush. Some ATS members as well a small cross section of the country might well be hateful racist people. No one can deny that this is a valid and real social issue for our country. But in this case what I'm trying to get at is an honest self-examination or self-awareness if you will, of the more subtle ways that prejudice can inadvertently creep up in our behavior, and how that prejudice might manifest itself through a trigger or watershed moment such as the potential of a african american president.

To emphasize this, and as to be clear in my intentions, allow me to include a counter argument to the above cited Weisburg article by the WSJ.



Weisberg argues, as the subheadline puts it, that "racism is the only reason McCain might beat" Obama. Weisberg has come in for a lot of criticism for smugness and his uncharitable attitude toward fellow Americans. But we shall begin by focusing on his atrocious logic.


Listen, we all have mirrors, so we know what's in our heart and our feelings towards others as groups and as individuals. It is also probably a fact that some ATS members in their zeal for promoting John McCain may have inadvertently come off as racists. Quite frankly, that's not my concern. I'm just trying to investigate how we as individuals may be unwittingly bound to prejudices, no matter the form, which we may think we have shed, but in fact at a subconscious level have not.

Also, I know the article cited in the OP is a longish one, but I ask you to please read it. This is an emotional issue which lends itself to quick reactionary posting that is not always on topic. Thanks.

[edit on 8/26/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 09:24 PM
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I also wanted to add this article to the discussion.
I'm posting the whole article as the link is only available to subscribers.


Racial stereotyping persists in 'non-racists'

UNCONSCIOUS stereotypes lurking within even overtly non-racist Americans appear to be leading them to dehumanise black Americans in subtle but important ways.

That is the disturbing conclusion of work by psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt at Stanford University in California and her colleagues. They set out to test if any vestiges remain of a racist stereotype that was common a century ago: that black people are more apelike, and thus less human, than white people.

The team subjected 121 university undergraduates, including 60 whites, 39 asians and seven blacks, to tests that used a technique known as subliminal priming. The students were briefly flashed a photo of either an African-Amercian or a European-American face, and then shown a blurry picture of an ape. Those who saw the black face were quicker to recognise the ape, the researchers found. This effect was not seen when whites were shown an Asian face. This indicates that the black face had "primed" the volunteers, triggering a subconscious association between blacks and apes, they say.

The effect was found in both white and non-white students. However, there were too few black volunteers in the study to check for an effect with them specifically. The priming persisted even when volunteers were shown line drawings of faces, or names typical of black or white Americans. This makes it likely that the effect is due to attitudes towards people of African origin and not merely associations with skin colour, the researchers say.

The study also showed that the effect, though subtle, influences white students' perceptions of black people. The researchers asked 115 white volunteers to watch a video of police violently subduing a suspect of indeterminate race, after first priming the students with a subliminal glimpse of a word relating either to apes or to big cats. Those who were primed with ape words were more likely to say the police violence was justified - but only if they were told the suspect was black (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol 94, p 292).

The researchers were stunned by their findings, says team member Phillip Atiba Goff of Pennsylvania State University in University Park. "I had to take a couple of days off to just handle it." Experts on the psychology of prejudice agree. "The idea that people would associate other people with animals, and on such an unconscious level, is really provocative," says Susan Fiske at Princeton University.

Even students who showed no signs of racism on a standard test of racist attitudes shared the tendency to associate blacks with apes. Indeed, only 9 per cent of the students said they were even aware that blacks were sometimes stereotyped as apelike.

Subtle cultural biases may be keeping the association alive, the researchers say. For example, when they analysed more than 600 accounts of criminal cases, the team found that accounts of black defendants were more likely to include animalistic descriptors such as "barbaric" and "predator".

Even depictions of human evolution - which often pass through vaguely African-looking ancestors and end with a white Homo sapiens - may dehumanise blacks, Eberhardt says. "There is something wrong with the social environment so that these associations still resonate," she says.

new scientist





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