Commentary: The GOP May Not Be the Only Party Overrun by Bigots

Commentary: GOP Isn't the Only Party Overrun by Bigots

Commentary: The GOP May Not Be the Only Party Overrun by Bigots

Study shows more people harbor racist feelings. Are you shocked? I didn’t think so.

Published October 30, 2012

A new study from the Associated Press has come to a conclusion that may not surprise many African-Americans: A lot of people in the United States still harbor anti-Black feelings. Are you shocked? I didn’t think so.

Not only do more Americans have anti-Black attitudes than when President Obama first took office, a majority of the country — albeit a slim one — now has at least some explicit or implicit anti-Black biases, according the AP

Though the entire study is at least mildly interesting if not too astonishing, one of its more notable parts looks into the difference between GOP anti-Black prejudice and Democratic anti-Black prejudice: 

Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-Black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).

In other words, while many people assume it’s just the Republican Party that’s overrun with bigots, it turns out that, if you look under the surface, many Democrats voting for President Obama may not be as liberal and kindhearted as they think.

All this AP information comes to Americans at the same time a new ABC News documentary on the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi is being released. In the documentary, Klan Grand Wizard Steven Howard says that he wants Blacks to be driven away to their own country and that, if they don’t go peacefully, he envisions a race war. Were that not worrisome enough, a Southern Poverty Law Center expert tells ABC that hate groups in America have grown from 600 in the year 2000 to more than 1,000 in 2011. There’s also been a rise in militia groups.

Before we get too worried, of course, it’s worth noting that the FBI and other law enforcement groups are keeping a close eye on Grand Wizard Howard and his ilk, and that the concept of a “race war” is absurd to the point of ridiculousness. That said, it is sad to see people getting more stringently anti-Black now that Obama is in office. You have to wonder if watching a Black person in a position of real authority over the past four years hasn’t terrified some people who thought they were just fine with the Black community — just as long as it’s never powerful.

These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Written by Cord Jefferson


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