Thursday, September 15, 2011

Discrimination against white Americans?

Last week, the Brookings Institute and the Public Religion Research Institute released a report based on a new survey, asking about diversity in America on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. In amongst the expected questions about opinions of Islam and immigration, there is this gem:
Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans agree that discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities. A slim majority (51 percent) disagree. 
  • •A slim majority of whites agree that discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against minority groups, compared to only about 3-in-10 blacks and Hispanics who agree. 
  • •Approximately 6-in-10 Republicans and those identifying with the Tea Party agree that discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against minority groups.  
  • •Nearly 7-in-10 Americans who say they most trust Fox News say that discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities. In stark contrast, less than 1-in-4 Americans who most trust public television for their news agree."
I admit to being flabbergasted. i don't know how any white American can possibly imagine they suffer discrimination anything similar to a black person in this country. I just don't.

It's right up there with the idea that Christians are somehow victimized, despite being a clear majority. And then there's this:
More than 8-in-10 (83 percent) Americans say that self-proclaimed Christians who commit acts of violence in the name of Christianity are not really Christians. In contrast, less than half (48 percent) of Americans say that self-proclaimed Muslims who commit acts of violence in the name of Islam are not really Muslims.
Got that? So Anders Breivik, who massacred his fellow Norwegians and justified it by his Western Christian culture, isn't REALLY a Christian, but Mohammad Atta, who flew a plane into the WTC, is a stalwart Muslim.

I despair.


JCF said...

I miss Walter Cronkite. I miss having a "referee". There's NO common arbiter anymore. FOX makes whatever BS suits its agenda, and their sheep viewers nod blankly (while reaching for their guns).

"I despair": it's tough, I know.

One Day At a Time.

dr.primrose said...

I don't think this feeling about claimed discrimination against whites is particuarly new. This was a common reaction when affirmative action programs were created. I know a number of folks whose beliefs morphed quite quickly from a position of white-preference to the absolute need for color-blindness. They simply would not accept the fact that after over three hundred years of white-preference, the end of de jure or de facto segregation did not mean that blacks were somehow immediately put on the same level playing field as whites. And anything done to remedy that unlevel playing field was anti-white discrimination.

dr.primrose said...

Another big lie about Obama exposed -- his claimed ego-mania about using first person pronouns. In fact, according to research, he's used first person pronouns the LEAST of any any modern president. From the N.Y. Times Book Review review of "The Secret Life of Pronouns":


When President Obama addressed the nation after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May, some conservative reactions to his rhetoric were all too predictable. On ­National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson highlighted the 15 times that Obama used “I,” “me” or “my” in the 1,400-word speech, and asserted that “these first-person pronouns . . . reflect a now well-known Obama trait of personalizing the presidency.” A few weeks later, when Obama gave a speech at the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Langley, Va., the Drudge Report offered the headline, “I ME MINE: Obama praises C.I.A. for bin Laden raid — while saying ‘I’ 35 times.”

This “well-known Obama trait” has come up again and again in criticisms from the right — George Will has said that Obama is “inordinately fond of the first-person singular pronoun,” while Charles Krauthammer has written of the president’s “spectacularly promiscuous use of the word ‘I.’ ”

Regrettably, none of these pundits have bothered to look into how Obama might compare with his predecessors. But this kind of comparative word-counting is right up the alley of James W. Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin. Toward the end of his penetrating new book, “The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us,” Pennebaker crunches the numbers on presidential press conferences since Truman and finds that “Obama has distinguished himself as the lowest I-word user of any of the modern presidents.” If anything, Obama has shown a disdain for the first-person singular during his administration.

“Why,” Pennebaker wonders, “do very smart people think just the opposite?” He chalks it up the selective way we process information: “If we think that someone is arrogant, our brains will be searching for evidence to confirm our beliefs.” If we’re predisposed to look for clues that Obama is all about “me me me,” then every “me” he utters takes on outsize importance in our impressionistic view of his speechifying.

But even more counterintuitively, Pennebaker argues that Obama isn’t somehow being humble or insecure in his low frequency of first-person pronouns; in fact, his language use reveals him to be quite self-­confident. Speakers displaying self-­assurance have a lower frequency of I-words, even though most people would assume the opposite. So the knock on Obama may indicate that listeners can properly discern his self-confidence (along with what Pennebaker calls his “emotional distance”) but then attribute this quality to precisely the wrong details of his speaking.

dr.primrose said...

Another of my comments has apparently gone to the trash bin. Could someone check and, if so, retrieve it? Thanks.

IT said...