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Obama No Drama - Defending the POTUS since 2012

Posts tagged race

Jun 13 '12

How Racist Are We? Ask Google

femminista:

Seth Stephen-Davidowitz for the NYT: 

I performed the somewhat unpleasant task of ranking states and media markets in the United States based on the proportion of their Google searches that included the word “nigger(s).” This word was included in roughly the same number of Google searches as terms like “Lakers,” “Daily Show,” “migraine” and “economist.”

Once I figured out which parts of the country had the highest racially charged search rates, I could test whether Mr. Obama underperformed in these areas. I predicted how many votes Mr. Obama should have received based on how many votes John Kerry received in 2004 plus the average gain achieved by other 2008 Democratic Congressional candidates. The results were striking: The higher the racially charged search rate in an area, the worse Mr. Obama did.

Add up the totals throughout the country, and racial animus cost Mr. Obama three to five percentage points of the popular vote. In other words, racial prejudice gave John McCain the equivalent of a home-state advantage nationally.

Read the full article here, check out the accompanying chart here

Really telling. Direct anyone to this article who denies that racism factors into this race or into commentary regarding President Obama. Racism is not dead in this country. Decades of oppression, slavery, and bigotry do not just disappear. Instituional and social inequities are still so deeply intrenched in this country. We have to continue acknowledging racism and working to fight it.

May 31 '12
Thanks for your support! Sorry for the length of my reply, but you brought up a few different points I want to discuss.It’s inaccurate to say Obama is “part Muslim.” Some Republicans claim he is and continue to perpetuate that myth. He’s actually Christian, but 46% of Americans don’t know that. That said, you bring up a valid point: I think because Obama’s father was raised in a Muslim household and Obama inherited a Muslim-sounding name from him, people jump to conclusions and see him as “unChristian” or “foreign.” The prejudice you bring up is very real: politicians use the rumor that Obama is Muslim to make Obama look “bad” because some people wrongly think that being Muslim would make him a terrorist-sympathizer or “less American!” But it shouldn’t matter what religion Obama follows: we’re supposed to welcome people of all faiths in this country!And you’re right to point out that racism underlies a lot of negative discourse regarding Obama. For example, the birthers who claim that he was born outside of the US. There’s no way that, if his father was a white immigrant, this would even be an issue. It reflects deeply intrenched racism that they’d even suggest he’s not an a American citizen. Particularly given that Obama’s birth certificate is publicly available. Also, there’s those “don’t re-nig” bumper stickers. Not to mention these super racist emails people forward to each other. It’s pretty shocking.However, it isn’t fair or accurate to label everyone who dislikes Obama or his policies as racist. Actually, much of the opposition to Obama is partisan in nature. The US is largely divided into Republicans (Conservatives) and Democrats (Liberals), and the former have rarely supported Democratic presidents like Obama. Back in the 90’s, the Republicans treated President Clinton very similarly to how they treat Obama now. Despite the fact Clinton was moderate on many issues, the Republicans still never stopped criticizing him. So Obama, like Clinton, finds himself under fire from the Right by virtue of being a Democrat. What makes his position that much more difficult is that, when he works to compromise with conservatives, many on the Left criticize him for not being liberal enough. Then you’ve got the fact that he’sinherited an economic crisis, and people, for some reason, blame him for it, even though the economy has been slowly improving (as made clear here and here), which is significant given that economists have estimated it takes ten years to recover from a recession—and we’re only on year five.But yeah, we can’t ignore the role of race in much of the public condemnation of Obama, either. There are a lot of insidious ways racism has operated in this election so far. For example, Rick Santorum ranting about Obama’s stance on abortion, remarking that it’s “almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘we’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.’” The blog STFU Conservatives has argued that no other president has suffered the amount of disrespect Obama has, and they believe a lot of that has to do with his race. Sometimes, I think Republicans forget that Obama is our president, you know the leader of our country. It seems the bias Conservatives have against Obama because he’s a democrat is often compounded by the fact he’s black.

Thanks for your support! Sorry for the length of my reply, but you brought up a few different points I want to discuss.

It’s inaccurate to say Obama is “part Muslim.” Some Republicans claim he is and continue to perpetuate that myth. He’s actually Christian, but 46% of Americans don’t know that. That said, you bring up a valid point: I think because Obama’s father was raised in a Muslim household and Obama inherited a Muslim-sounding name from him, people jump to conclusions and see him as “unChristian” or “foreign.” The prejudice you bring up is very real: politicians use the rumor that Obama is Muslim to make Obama look “bad” because some people wrongly think that being Muslim would make him a terrorist-sympathizer or “less American!” But it shouldn’t matter what religion Obama follows: we’re supposed to welcome people of all faiths in this country!

And you’re right to point out that racism underlies a lot of negative discourse regarding Obama. For example, the birthers who claim that he was born outside of the US. There’s no way that, if his father was a white immigrant, this would even be an issue. It reflects deeply intrenched racism that they’d even suggest he’s not an a American citizen. Particularly given that Obama’s birth certificate is publicly available. Also, there’s those “don’t re-nig” bumper stickers. Not to mention these super racist emails people forward to each other. It’s pretty shocking.

However, it isn’t fair or accurate to label everyone who dislikes Obama or his policies as racist. Actually, much of the opposition to Obama is partisan in nature. The US is largely divided into Republicans (Conservatives) and Democrats (Liberals), and the former have rarely supported Democratic presidents like Obama. Back in the 90’s, the Republicans treated President Clinton very similarly to how they treat Obama now. Despite the fact Clinton was moderate on many issues, the Republicans still never stopped criticizing him. So Obama, like Clinton, finds himself under fire from the Right by virtue of being a Democrat. What makes his position that much more difficult is that, when he works to compromise with conservatives, many on the Left criticize him for not being liberal enough. Then you’ve got the fact that he’sinherited an economic crisis, and people, for some reason, blame him for it, even though the economy has been slowly improving (as made clear here and here), which is significant given that economists have estimated it takes ten years to recover from a recession—and we’re only on year five.

But yeah, we can’t ignore the role of race in much of the public condemnation of Obama, either. There are a lot of insidious ways racism has operated in this election so far. For example, Rick Santorum ranting about Obama’s stance on abortion, remarking that it’s “almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘we’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.’” The blog STFU Conservatives has argued that no other president has suffered the amount of disrespect Obama has, and they believe a lot of that has to do with his race. Sometimes, I think Republicans forget that Obama is our president, you know the leader of our country. It seems the bias Conservatives have against Obama because he’s a democrat is often compounded by the fact he’s black.