I am Shocked – Shocked – To Learn That Black People Aren't All That Jazzed on America.

Even if Rasmussen’s poll is accurate and only 14 percent of African-Americans say that American society “is generally fair and decent” (down from 55 percent from February), this – from Powerline’s John Hinderaker – is still pretty stupid:

It’s interesting that Latinos and Asians evidently have a higher opinion of the decency of American society than whites. But the main point here, obviously, is the dramatic shift among African-Americans. What could have caused it?

The only possible answer is that many Americans have opposed President Obama’s policies. But why would that cause African-Americans to think that our society is “discriminatory” rather than “decent”? No mystery there: in a well-coordinated campaign, the Democratic Party has relentlessly portrayed all disagreement with the Obama administration’s policies as “racist.” That contemptible and divisive tactic had seemed to produce no results, but we now see that it had one consequence: alienating African-Americans from their country.

I wonder what would cause African-Americans to think that our society is discriminatory rather than decent?  The institutional racism and massive economic inequalities notwithstanding, I’m inclined to think that it has something to do with the indiscriminate killing of black people by police, or the thinly-veiled racist outrage surrounding Sonia Sotomayor, or the GOP’s race-baiting spokesmen, or the fact that Republican congressmen refer to the president as “boy” and ask him to “show some humility.”  And then there’s the whole “tea party” thing.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it.

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Jamelle Bouie is a writer for Slate. He has also written for The Daily Beast, The American Prospect and The Nation. His work centers on politics, race, and the intersection of the two. You can find him on Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram as jbouie.

8 comments to I am Shocked – Shocked – To Learn That Black People Aren't All That Jazzed on America.

  • That’s the only possible answer? Some “post racial” president? How about, some “post racial” society.

  • Not discounting the number of racist assholes out there, the language of race is sometimes used because “class” is such a taboo word. Apologies if you already covered this: 37% of black Americans think there are two black “races”, one rich and one poor. They’re using “race” to describe class because we’re in the country where everyone is middle class. Well, unless you make less than McCain’s figure of seven million.

  • From the viewpoint of an old white man, the change in African-American opinion in the Rasmussen poll is understandable. Since elected, President Obama has done everything in his power to improve the plight of the middle class in this country, for everybody. Yet the Party of No opposes his leadership at every given opportunity, no matter what the issue. Resentment at having lost power runs rampant, as does racism among certain sectors in the Land of the Free. I no longer see American society as fair and decent either when 125 people die every day as a result of lack of health insurance, yet health insurance companies are allowed to continue to rape the American people… and the Party of No continues to repeat its mantra of No No No No NO.

  • I’m not sure I understand how you arrived at this conclusion.

  • Sorry if you didn’t see the link–on my monitor, it’s invisible. A couple of years ago, there was a Pew report that got some attention, but not nearly as much as I thought it should’ve. It’s here:

    http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/700/black-public-opinion

    The opening sentence: “African Americans see a widening gulf between the values of middle class and poor blacks, and nearly four-in-ten say that because of the diversity within their community, blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race.” There’s a class war in the African American community that upper and middle class black folks are denying–in exactly the same way that white and Asian upper and middle class folk deny that there’s a class war, of course.

  • anonymouse

    In case you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Sh3tt3rly, he’s a derailing troll who always insists that the problem is classism, never racism. Lots of links if you Google his surname plus “RaceFail”. If you’re unfamiliar with that particular controversy, I’d direct you here. Also see these two posts by a writer whom Sh3tt3rly tried to “out” online.

  • oh, i saw the link. i just don’t know what it has to do with anything.

  • [...] even flagrant racism within their ranks, and even imply that minorities are so stupid they're "fooled" into believing racism exists, they will remain a party minorities do not feel welcome in. — [...]

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