The way we talk about racism has changed. Over the past decade or so, words like “bigot” and “extremist” have been overshadowed by words like “white privilege,” “white supremacy,” and “white fragility.” The new words portray a new kind of racist. Instead of wearing a hood and spewing hate speech, the “new racist” is an ordinary white person whose socialization into “whiteness” causes them to undermine people of color, whether they know it or not.
It’s not hard to see why well-meaning people might be drawn to this image of the new racist. Racial disparities persist. More than a century after Emancipation and 50 years after Civil Rights, blacks continue to lag behind whites in virtually all areas of success. To attribute these disparities to anything other than racism might seem like blaming the victim. Condemning the “new racist” avoids this problem. [It avoids the problem of persistent disparities that have not disappeared despite massive expenses over at least 5 decades by creating “causes” that are unmeasurable and therefore immune from rational criticism. White racism as a cause has become an axiom, a statement that is accepted without controversy or question, like a tautology. Such a statement is supposed to be so obvious that there is no need to try to prove it.]
Not everyone, however, agrees. Parents protest at school board meetings. State universities quietly soften their antiracism agendas. Individuals take defiant stands, sometimes at great cost to themselves, to combat what they perceive as the spread of anti-whiteness. And then, of course, there’s Florida, where “woke goes to die.”
These actions are motivated in part by concern over the antiracism movement’s use of morally charged language that depicts contemporary whites as racists and blames them for past and present racial injustices. They are also motivated by a fear that if left unchecked, the movement will succeed in normalizing a culture of anti-whiteness, with devastating effects not just for whites but for the country as a whole.
Are such worries warranted? How much of a problem is anti-whiteness, really?
To investigate this, in 2021, we hired YouGov, one of the world’s leading survey research firms, to ask a nationally representative sample of 1,125 US adults whether they agreed or disagreed with five statements designed to measure their “anti-whiteness.”
The statements were:
● Most white people in this country believe that whites are better than other groups.
● Most white people in this country just don’t get it when it comes to understanding the hardships of other race groups.
● Most white people in this country would rather keep society as it is rather than make changes that would benefit other groups.
● Most white people in this country don’t care about the hardships experienced by other race groups.
● Most white people in this country are reluctant to give up their white privilege even though doing so would make society more equal.
We found there’s a lot of anti-whiteness out there, including among whites! Blacks were the most anti-white (69-79 percent), followed by Latinos (47- 62 percent), whites (40-53 percent), and other race groups (33-39 percent). Anti-whiteness, it seems, is far from rare, making concerns about its effects on society far from unreasonable.
These results may come as a surprise to those who view the US as a hopelessly white supremacist society where whites are universally admired and put on a pedestal. The data suggest this is far from the truth.
What’s most depressing is that between 30 and 40 percent of White people agree with these statements. These are the people prone to voting for leftist policies along with their non-White coalition partners, an increasingly unbeatable coalition given current demographics and the continuing deluge of non-White immigration, legal and illegal.
The results for Blacks are the opposite. In general, they don’t blame themselves for their problems, trying harder is not the answer, they are not responsible for racial tension, and they don’t think they have too much influence on politics.
The authors propose that diversity training should focus on common values, “shared values that transcend race”— like “liberty, and progress, values that have been a source of unity in the American context for centuries.” However, the problem with that is that it’s not going to change the disparities, and Blacks and Latinos can’t get stuff like affirmative action in education, job preference, and a lenient criminal justice system. by endorsing them. So we’re back where we started.