Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whites Say They, Not Blacks, Are Racism Victims

Whites think that they're victims of racial discrimination more than blacks are, a new study finds.
CREDIT: © Yuri Arcurs | 

LIVESCIENCE--Despite ongoing racial disparities in America, whites believe they are victims of racism more than blacks, a new study finds. According to the researchers, the study contradicts the notion of a "post-racial" society ushered in by President Barack Obama's election.

"It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment," study researcher Samuel Sommers, a psychologist at Tufts University, said in a statement.
Sommers and his colleagues asked a nationwide sample of 208 blacks and 209 whites to complete questionnaires asking how much racial discrimination each group experienced from the 1950s onward. While both groups agreed on the amount of racial discrimination in the 50s, whites believe that racism against blacks decreased faster than blacks do.
The biggest difference, however, was that whites believe that anti-white bias has increased as anti-black bias has decreased. On average, the researchers found, whites rated anti-white racism as more prevalent in the 2000s than anti-black bias by more than a full point on a 10-point scale. Eleven percent of whites said whites are currently "very much" targets of discrimination, compared with 2 percent of blacks who said blacks are "very much" discrimination targets.
The study suggests that whites see racial equality as a zero-sum game, in which one group wins at the other's expense.
"These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality — at their expense," Sommers and his colleagues wrote in May in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Vocabulary Words: Read the vocabulary words and the example sentences. Make your own sentence using the vocabulary word/s afterwards.

disparity (n.): inequality
  • disparity in age
racism (n.): hatred of another race
  • They say that racism is very common in the US.
notion (n.): a general understating or belief or opinion
  • That’s his notion, not mine.
usher (v.) (usually followed by in): lead or precede something (start something)
  • Japan ushered in the manufacturing of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras.

racial discrimination (n.): abusive behaviour towards members of another race
  • The article says that the whites are victims of racial discrimination.

bias (v. or adj.): partiality; favouritism
  • The judge had an obvious bias against letting criminals out of jail early.

prevalent (adj.): widespread; occurring almost everywhere
  • Racism is prevalent nowadays.
zero-sum game (n.): a situation where the gain of one player is offset by the loss of another player, equaling the sum of zero.
FOR EXAMPLE: if you play a single game of chess with someone, one person will lose and one person will win. The win (+1) added to the loss (-1) equals zero.

Comprehension check: Answer the questions based on the article.
1.  What are some evidences showing that Blacks are racially discriminated?
2. How did Sommers assess racism in the US?
3. What was the result of the survey?

Agree or Disagree: Explain your answer.
1. I have experienced racism.
2. Racism occurs in Japan/in my country.
3. Racism is a big deal.


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