I read and write about issues of racism on a near daily basis, so I probably didn’t need a study to tell me that people don’t understand how racism works. But it helps.
University of California-Berkeley professor Clayton R. Critcher and University of Chicago professor Jane L. Risen have published a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that shows when “non-African-Americans — whites, Asians and Hispanics — who had seen images of successful black Americans were less likely to believe that systemic racism persists,” according to The Hufffington Post. The study’s abstract reads: “After incidental exposure to Blacks who succeeded in counterstereotypical domains (e.g., Brown University President Ruth Simmons, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison), participants drew an automatic inference that race was not a success-inhibiting factor in modern society.”
Seeing images of successful black people makes others think racism doesn’t exist. That’s hardly surprising. Not much is when it comes to racism. But it underscores what’s so frustrating about our “national conversation on race.” People come to the table not understanding what racism is.
While a good education system may not completely obliterate racism, it can continue to help us along a trajectory of progress, rather than the trajectory of regression, especially in the past six years.
We need more voter engagement. We need more progressive candidates who are committed to remaining focused on the main issues that face us, rather than allow themselves to be distracted by phony side-issues thrown at them by the opposition. So much has gone by the wayside over the last six years while we have regressed.
This is so sad! Thanks for another great piece!
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Curated from www.thenation.com