A new Pew Research survey finds that 50 years after Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., just 45% of all Americans say the country has made substantial progress toward racial equality and 49% say that “a lot more” remains to be done.
“The interesting thing about voting patterns now is in this last election African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites in almost every one of the states that were under the special provisions of the federal government. So really, I don’t think there is objective evidence that we’re precluding African-Americans from voting any longer.”
— Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), quoted by WFPL.
Gawker has the priceless video of Chris Hayes and Cord Jefferson talking about “white-on-white violence” and the “problems of white culture.”
“Like a lightning flash in a stormy sky, the Trayvon Martin case has
illuminated the depth of the impasse between white and nonwhite America.
But a similar dynamic looms less visibly behind Washington’s standoff
between a Democratic coalition that relies on overwhelming support from
minorities and a Republican coalition still almost entirely dependent on
the votes of whites, especially older ones. Both developments tell the
same challenging story: Even as America experiences its most profound
demographic change in more than a century, our society is increasingly
fracturing along overlapping racial, generational, and partisan lines.
The diversity remaking America could be a source of rejuvenation and
innovation, but today it is reinforcing our ferocious partisan
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds an overwhelming racial gap divides public attitudes on the Trayvon Martin case and the fairness of the criminal justice system.
By a vast 86% to 9%, African-Americans disapprove of the verdict acquitting George Zimmerman of criminal charges in Martin’s death, while whites approve by 51% to 31%. Blacks, by 81% to 13%, favor federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman; whites are opposed, 59% to 27%.
A new Pew Research poll finds roughly as many satisfied with the verdict in the case as dissatisfied, 39% to 42%, with 19% offering no opinion.
First Read points out that support for affirmative action programs is at an all-time low,
according to the latest NBC/WSJ poll.
“Reasons for the trend range from
the idea of ‘diversity fatigue’ to what others believe is the effect of
an African-American being elected president, as well as 20 years of
anti-affirmative-action campaigns. there is a wide divide on the issue
along racial lines. Among whites polled, almost six in 10 (56 percent)
oppose affirmative action. But among minorities asked, eight in 10
blacks and six in 10 Hispanics favor it.”
“There is also an
ideological split, with 67 percent of Democrats saying the programs are
still needed, compared to 22 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of
Tea Party supporters. And just 39 percent of independents agree that
affirmative action should be continued.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) was asked about Latinos working in his administration during a moderated discussion in Philadelphia last week:
Moderator: Do you have staff members that are Latino?
Corbett: No, we do not have any staff members in there. If you can find us one, please let me know.
Moderator: I am sure that there are Latinos that…
Corbett: Do any of you you want to come to Harrisburg? See?!
Kansas Board of Education member Steve Roberts (R) defended using the “N-word” during a discussion of African-American history last month, the Topeka Capital Journal reports.
Roberts stood by his “clinical” choice of words “100 percent” saying that he wanted to “create some sort of impression that I’m willing to go against political correctness.”
South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian “drew GOP ire” when he told Democrats that he hoped voters voters would send Gov. Nikki Haley (R) “back to wherever the hell she came from,” a comment many Republicans viewed as racist, given the governor’s Indian heritage, The State reports.
Harpootlian said later he meant “Lexington County,” where Haley lived before becoming governor.
“More than five years after Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses and
demolished the notion that white voters wouldn’t support a black
presidential candidate, progress for other African-American politicians
remains elusive. Even as the country elected and reelected Obama, making
it seem increasingly unremarkable to have a black family in the White
House, African-Americans are scarce and bordering on extinct in the U.S.
Senate and governorships. The president is indeed exceptional — but in
the wrong sense of the phrase as it applies to other black politicians.”
A new paper from MIT professor Charles Stewart finds that African Americans waited an average of 23 minutes to vote in the last presidential election, Hispanics waited 19 minutes and whites waited just 12 minutes.
“While there are other individual-level demographic difference present in the responses, none stands out as much as race. For instance, the average wait time among those with household incomes less than $30,000 was 12 minutes, compared to 14 minutes for those in households with incomes greater than $100,000. Strong Democrats waited an average of 16 minutes, compared to an average of 11 minutes for strong Republicans. Respondents who reported they had an interest in news and public affairs ‘most of the time’ waited an average of 13.2 minutes, compared to 12.8 minutes among those who had ‘hardly any’ interest.”
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) suddenly closed the state’s Office of Hispanic/Latino affairs and “appears to have exacerbated the already tense relationship” between McCrory and the Latino community, the Charlotte Observer reports.
“Advocates say it sends a message that McCrory and Raleigh conservatives are less concerned with the needs of the Latino community. Paradoxically, it comes at a time when issues of deep concern, such as immigration, are at the political forefront.”
Rep. Don Young (R-AK), in an interview with KRBD, referred to Latinos by using the derogatory term “wetbacks.”
Said Young: “My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 or 60 wetbacks and — to pick tomatoes. You know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”
According to the Washington Post, Young later released a statement: “I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central California. I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.”
“One little lady got tired of the federal government telling her what to do. I’ve reached that point, Mr. Speaker, that I’m tired of giving in to the federal government.”
— Idaho state Rep. Brent Crane (R), quoted by the Idaho Statesman, botching a comparison of Rosa Parks’ arrest for violating a local law refusing to give up her seat on a bus to opposing a state-run health insurance exchange.
“I hear you loud and clear, Barack Obama. You don’t represent the country that I grew up with. And your values is not going to save us. We’re going to take this country back for the Lord. We’re going to try to take this country back for conservatism. And we’re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in!”
— Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert (R), at a Tea Party rally in Arkansas.
A new AP Poll finds racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since President Obama’s election “as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.”
“In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.”
Andrew Sullivan: “Close to 80 percent of Republican voters expressed ‘explicit racism.’ Maybe that’s why they are comfortable with a candidate from a church whose theology remains based on white supremacy and that barred African-Americans from full membership as recently as 1978.”
“The institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.”
— Arkansas state Rep. Jon Hubbard (R), quoted by the Arkansas Times.