Polls say
October 2, 2001 12:32 AM   Subscribe

Polls say blacks tend to favor checks.
"African-Americans ... are more likely than other racial groups to favor profiling and stringent airport security checks for Arabs and Arab-Americans in the wake of this month's terrorist attacks, two separate polls indicate."

"The findings by the Gallup Organization and Zogby International were met with varying degrees of disappointment and disbelief by black activists and intellectuals, who struggled with explanations."

Could it be that income and education are more related to racialist attitudes than race itself?
posted by sigsegv (16 comments total)

What will probably be an inflamitory comment:

Could it be that income and education are more related to racialist attitudes than race itself?

Are you suggesting that African Americans have, overall, a worse education level than Caucasion Americans?
posted by Neale at 12:57 AM on October 2, 2001

Irrespective of suggestion, and most unfortunately, isn't that just plain true from a statistical/historical perspective?
posted by donkeyschlong at 1:06 AM on October 2, 2001

(sarcasm) Nah. That's not it at all. We just like seeing the heat turned up on someone else for a change. (/sarcasm)
posted by black8 at 1:10 AM on October 2, 2001

Neale: I suppose it probably will prove to be inflammitory, although it wasn't quite intended that way.

It is true that African-Americans overall have a lower average income and education. However, for a given income bracket, blacks generally do not have a worse education level than whites or any other group in that income level.

Furthermore, if you look at both educational attainment and income from 1965-Present, the difference between the black population and the general population is fairly similar to the difference between many of the immigrant groups to the United States at the peak of their influx and the difference 35-40 years later. It is, for instance, a faster closing of the gap than the Irish.
posted by sigsegv at 1:14 AM on October 2, 2001

I got the same impression that Neale did as I read that question, and I wondered what it had to do with the story in the first place. All I gathered from the poorly written story is that someone was looking for anything to report on related to the aftermath of the tragedies, and not anything relevant to what's happening in the country right now.

I don't know if this article was meant to spark a debate on racial profiling or not, but all I'm thinking is, "so what?"
posted by lnicole at 1:32 AM on October 2, 2001

(sarcasm) Nah. That's not it at all. We just like seeing the heat turned up on someone else for a change. (/sarcasm)

Exemplary comment, black8. It's not only very funny but sounds suspiciously true as well.

Disclosure: I'll never forget some fat rednecks on horseback, NY's finest, bearing down, with sticks, for no reason, on black guys whose only crime was not walking fast enough in Midtown Manhattan. This was in 1983 but subsequent visits haven't helped take away that horrible image.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:45 AM on October 2, 2001

*sigh* oh, brother...

I'm not even going to touch that last comment, Miguel, although I wish you'd clarify exactly what you're thinking to help me understand. You're normally very thorough and verbose in your statements, but I think you've left a big chunk out of what you're really trying to express. Spell it out for me, please.

"Sounds suspiciously true"? Oh, that's what you think, huh?
posted by lnicole at 2:12 AM on October 2, 2001

I mean; black people are singled out, routinely, in the U.S. Also in the U.K. Also in Portugal. The heat is always on them. This is true! My daughter's boyfriend, when he borrows my convertible, is almost always stopped by the police. He's black; she's white.
The difference is that, here in Portugal, it's a joke. So all their friends say "Well of course! A black guy driving a Mercedes - what did you expect?" And the police don't beat people. Just harass them.
In the U.S. it's worse. There's hate there. And violence.

That's what I think.

(No need to be rude, Inicole, we all express ourselves as best we can. I could never write "huh?" but I know what you mean)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:22 AM on October 2, 2001

Of course I wasn't trying to be rude, Miguel. (It's an L, by the way.) I was just making a statement after being taken aback because you felt that black8's sarcastic comment was truly the way you viewed things, and I wanted to make sure I understood what you were saying before I responded to the thread. Don't try to act like it's Pick-on-Miguel Day or something. I was expressing myself after responding to what I read as best as I can.

After I read the article, I felt that the more important part wasn't about those bogus survey results or any race/class differences. Most of the quotes throughout the article talked about basically not wanting people to believe that all black people necessarily feel that way. What would suggesting that black people do want the "heat" turned up on someone else say about them?

My initial response was that the article itself was based on a lot of stereotype and assumption. I guess the posts in response to it will probably be based on the same, since we aren't really saying anything here. Oh, well...
posted by lnicole at 2:42 AM on October 2, 2001

Oh well indeed, lnicole. Sorry about the L.
I blame it on the link. Thanks for responding.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:49 AM on October 2, 2001

ok, i really don't want to get involved in this discussion, but i have to ask, what is the point of a poll like this? why would anyone need/want to know that one racial group has a more reactionary prejudice than another? doesn't a study like this just engender more of the same thing? (i.e. ignorant people [regardless of race] pick on arabs; ignorant readers of crap-poll [regardless of race] pick on race that is shown to pick on arabs)

am i off base here?
posted by prosaic at 2:52 AM on October 2, 2001

No, you're not off base, prosaic. I was thinking the exact same thing. (I didn't want to get involved either, but I fell into the trap...)
posted by lnicole at 3:11 AM on October 2, 2001

If blacks favor checks, do they ask for two forms of I.D.?
posted by gimonca at 6:44 AM on October 2, 2001

I realize this will only stir up more controversy, but.....the poll results don't surprise me at all.

In my experience growing up in rural VA and Atlanta, black folks I knew were by far the most intolerant of gays, foreign visitors and for some reason, specifically Asians. Keep in mind my high school was 50% black as were most subsequent workplaces so it's not like I had limited exposure to certain opinions. And yes, I realize this stuff can be explained if one looks closely at the transference of racist inclinations through experience, how these traits are cruelly passed on, etc.

I realize I will get hounded for offered my unfiltered observations, but I thought the poll itself was pretty interesting and a little depressing. And I'll say again of the results: I'm not that surprised.
posted by dhoyt at 8:28 AM on October 2, 2001

Most black people have far older roots in the United States than most white people do. Also, many Black Americans are basically (and horribly) the only Americans besides Native Americans that didn't come here as immigrants. So for them to empathize with immigrants when most white immigrants do not seems unlikely.
posted by cell divide at 9:10 AM on October 2, 2001

Yeah, dhoyt, I have to agree. As an Atlantan for 14 years, and a Tennessean before that, I've had the same impression of black attitudes in the South. Just yesterday, I was thinking about the interviews I'd heard recently of black people at Hartsfield airport saying that profiling Arabs is perfectly fine because that's not the same as profiling black people.

I think it's a Southern thing, really. I think that Southern black people really have an overblown sense of entitlement and (yes, I'll say it) I think that they are very, very racist. Racism cuts both ways and here in the South, particularly Atlanta, it shows.

And if you get hounded, dhoyt then I guess I will, too, so we can suffer together. :-/
posted by misangela at 12:35 PM on October 4, 2001

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