Whites Think They’re Discriminated Against More Than Blacks

Whites Think They’re Discriminated Against More Than Blacks

A new study says white Americans now believe they face more prejudice than Blacks, despite the fact that Blacks struggle far more than their white counterparts.

Published May 25, 2011

No, hell hasn’t frozen over just yet. But a new study might make you think it has. According to researchers at Tufts University, white Americans now believe that they are victims of racial bias more than Black Americans. Beyond that, whites actually believe the prejudice shown toward them has increased since the prejudice against African-Americans has decreased.


"It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society,” said Samuel Sommers, a psychologist at Tufts, “most of which show Black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment.”


A full 11 percent of white Americans surveyed said that whites are “very much” targets of discrimination in the United States. By contrast, only two percent of Blacks believed they were “very much” targets of bigotry.


“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 writes in the May issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science.


It should go without saying, but this white terror is just outright wrong—and if you’re a Black American, or if you’re friends with Black Americans, you know this pretty well.


Not only are Blacks unemployed at a disproportionate rate, they’re also stricken with disease, jailed, killed, and poor at disproportionate rates, too. Those aren’t even contestable theories; those are facts. If this is what it looks like when Blacks aren’t the subject of generations of discrimination, I’d hate to see what prejudice against Blacks actually looks like.


(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Written by Cord Jefferson


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