How Racist Are Americans?

The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial has given Americans a view of the racial division and sensitivity that exists in this country. There is no question that racism exists in America, but many have wondered just how deep that racism runs.

The question, “How racist are Americans?” may be difficult to answer accurately. However, we can get an idea of how racist Americans are perceive to be by one another.

Rasmussen Reports provides such a perception in More Americans View Blacks As Racist Than Whites, Hispanics.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults think most black Americans are racist, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 15% consider most white Americans racist, while 18% say the same of most Hispanic Americans. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

There is a huge ideological difference on this topic. Among conservative Americans, 49% consider most blacks racist, and only 12% see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27% see most white Americans as racist, and 21% say the same about black Americans.

From a partisan perspective, 49% of Republicans see most black Americans as racist, along with 36% of unaffiliated adults and 29% of Democrats.

Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.

Among white adults, 10% think most white Americans are racist; 38% believe most blacks are racist, and 17% say most Hispanics are racist.

How accurate is this poll? Would you fall in-line with the poll’s answers? I’m concerned about these issues as an American, but I’m more concerned as a Christian.

I listened to Anderson Cooper’s roundtable on Race and Justice. No doubt there is racial inequality in our legal system. However, two things stood out to me from that conversation. One perspective from the show and another from a couple people on twitter which I will list below followed by an observation.

1. As I recall, on the show it was said that racial bias can never be erased from our legal system, judgements, court cases et al. Of course, the Zimmerman trial came up and Cooper quoted a bit of juror B27. The problem is I don’t recall him mentioning the key issue the juror had which was that Jeantel’s timeline did not match the evidence. The juror’s issue did not seem to be about racial and/or cultural differences which is not to say they did not exist.

Observation: If racial bias and/or prejudice can never be erased from the justice system and race is always a factor, then every court case with parties of different races should default to using racism as its lens (not just the Zimmerman trial).

2. I tweeted that racism must be proven in the Zimmerman trial, we can’t just assert it. And that there is a composition fallacy in play. I got push back when I asked how we should factor in Zimmerman’s past positive race relations. I got a seemingly angry answer that “it is disgraceful to keep score on such things” and the person was “flabbergasted” that I even asked.

Observation: There is no standard of judgement for many once racial bias is injected into a situation whether perceived or actual. For some reason, no facts, evidence, or even one’s character – as Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about – get to factor into the equation.

I’m at a loss.

How do we move forward as Americans? How can Christians be part of the solution given that the gospel seeks to erase race?

Here I blog…
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tagged as , , , , , in Christianity,Culture,morality,politics,relativism,theology

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dmckissic July 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm

There are usually three reasons mentioned to suggest  GZ is not a racists. I certainly am not alleging that he is; but none of the reasons mentioned come no where close to proving that GZ is not a racists. (1) He went to prom with a female from Barbados. Even the KKK members have always had social relationships with Black people. That proves nothing. He may have had a positive social relationship with that young lady,but that does not prove that he was not racists toward others. It is called selective racism. Even the slavemasters liked certain slaves, and treated the ones that they likes favorably compared to the others. Certainly, that did not mean the slave masters were not racist. The slavemasters wouls visit the slave quarters to pay “social” visits to female friends. Where do you think all of the light complexioned Blacks came from? The origin of the word “honkey” is rooted in White Men who would visit the Black Red Light District and houses during segregation. They would not enter the house, they would simply drive up and….honk. The “lady of the evening would then come out, and they would ride away. The men who came to the houses of ill repute and honked were referred to as “honkies’. Most kkk members in the early years were respectable business people by day, and practicing racists at night. Social relationships with Black people does not give one a “get out of racists jail free”card. (2) The same holds true for the Black kid that GZ mentored. So did Margaret Sanger mentor Black women. And she certainly was a racists and lead the push for the abortion of Black babies. (3) Fighting for a Black homeless man against the Sanford Fl., police dept. I must admit that I am impressed with this one. But again; it gets back to motive and context.
 These acts alone,  in  no wise prove that GZ is not racists. It simply means that he had a positive social relationships with these Black people, but it does not mean that in general, he had a positive or non-racists attitude toward the vast majority of Black people. GZ’s attitude and assessment of a 17 year old teen-age kid, walking in his community, minding his business, says more about his attitude concerning race, than any of the above three incidents. To refer to a complete stranger without one iota of evidence as a “a…hole,” f…ing punk,” and “suspicious,” wreaks of racism, in the minds of the vast majority of Black people, who knows what it is like to have experienced racism. That’s why President Obama’s words were so powerful in addressing this issue. I promise you if you randomly lined up 100 Black Men and women and asked them if these three social relationships meant that GZ was not racists, I promise you that the vast majority would say, No.

Dwight McKissic

2 Mark Lamprecht July 25, 2013 at 10:28 pm

of the problems is that on the one hand, he’s being judged as a racist
based on his actions. But on the other hand, he’s not allowed to be
judged as not a racist based on his actions. Oh, and you forgot about his black grandfather, and his business partnership with a black man; and his voting and campaigning for President Obama. I bet he could have taken a bullet for MLK and some would still think he’s a racist.

GZ’s assessment is spelled out in the non-emergency number (NEN) call. He said why TM looked suspicious. When asked by the dispatcher about the TM’s race, GZ questionably said, “He looks black.” He wasn’t sure. You can hear it in his voice. Then, some seconds later, GZ confirms TM is black upon seeing him more clearly.
Since when did calling someone, a suspicious person running away in this case, an “a-hole” or an “f’ing punk” constitute racism? You are injecting that into the conversation.
I think I’m most disappointed seeing these words coming from you as a pastor because they indicate that you see things first through a racial lens rather than a biblical one. Sad.

3 joe_blackmon_72 July 26, 2013 at 7:44 am

dmckissic <i>To refer to a complete stranger without one iota of evidence as a “a…hole,” f…ing punk,” and “suspicious,” wreaks of racism, in the minds of the vast majority of Black people,</i>
Well, then, the vast majority of Black people are looking for an excuse to be offended.unecessarily.  I took his remarks to be refer to thugs, young people of various races who are up to no good.
And a racist would take a black girl to the prom?  I very nearly fell out of my chair laughing.
Black people that are angry about this verdict simply need to get over it and quit taking it so personally.  Hard as this may be to accept, it’s not about you.

4 joe_blackmon_72 July 26, 2013 at 8:59 am

A great comment that deserves to be in the blogosphere more than once.
“…if Travon Martin had continued on his way to his fathers house without doubling back to confront and hump Zimmerman, he might still be alive. He had four minutes to meander on around to Dads place, but no, he preferred to double back and because he did not like a white cracker observing him from a distance, he chose to be the aggressor, take a swing, knock Zimmerman down and proceed to pummel Zimmerman’s head into the asphalt not knowing Zimmerman was armed. Zimmerman had not yet drawn his weapon. – See more at:

5 Tom Parker2 July 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I can not believe you said to Dwight:” I think I’m most disappointed seeing these words
coming from you as a pastor because they indicate that you see things
first through a racial lens rather than a biblical one. Sad.”
I think that is totally uncalled for and you owe him an apology.

6 Mark Lamprecht July 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Tom Parker2 Thanks for your opinion, Tom.

7 Tom Parker2 July 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Will you apologize to him or not?

I think what you said to him if said should have been said privately and not in a public forum.

8 joe_blackmon_72 July 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Tom Parker2 Hopefully he won’t.  He doesn’t need to.

9 joe_blackmon_72 July 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Tom Parker2 He most certainly does NOT owe him an apology since Dwight is OBVIOUSLY basing his opinion on racial considerations NOT the law. For instance, he said “Based on the testimony that (1) Zimmerman was counseled not to pursue Trayvon & despite the denials on this thread–(2) Neighborhood Watch Groups are trained not to carry weapons. Furthermore, (3) Zimmerman’s attitude toward Trayvom solely based on externals give me a window into his mind and his decision making process. Therefore, based on these three facts, I would have voted guilty.”
Now, let’s see here, did Zimmerman break the law when following Trayvon even though the opporator SUGGESTED that he not do that (1)? No he didn’t. Did Zimmerman break the law when he carried the firearm that was legal for him to carry (2)? No he did not. And finally, was Zimmerman’s attitude, which was obviiously not racist, in violation of any law (3)? No it was not.

10 joe_blackmon_72 July 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Tom Parker2 
So, in SPITE of the fact that Dwight did NOT hear the evidence and testimony presented in court, and despite the fact the three facts he said made the man guilty were not the violation of any law, Dwight said he would have voted guilty.
That’s because instead of viewing this from a biblical standpoint with a biblical perspective, Dwight is viewing this through a racial perspective with a victim mentality. “Whitey is out to get me, Whitey is out to get me!!!!”

11 JoeandPatricia Blackmon July 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

(joe) Tom’s just a left wing nut case.

12 dmckissic July 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm

I accept the fact that unless you have actually experienced being profiled as President Obama talked about, you simply have no frame of reference to understand or relate to what Trayvon experienced that night. What’s shocking to me is the # of people who don’t see the magnitude of GZ”s description of TM, that was totally based on prejudice, is the root cause of the problem that night. I have no need for an apology. My prayer for Mark & Joe is the prayer Jesus prayed for a crowd that were blinded to the truth: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Tom, thanks for your understanding. It makes a huge difference. You too would have been an abolitionist. Thank God, those were the people who set us free.

13 dmckissic July 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm

When you call a total stranger the words GZ called TM without any supporting evidence, that my friend is the essence of racism. Devaluing & harboring prejudicial & negative feelings & actions toward a person based on who they are. His age, clothes, gender or nothing else merited the assessment GZ gave TM. The fact that you can’t acknowledge that is why the nation is divided over this issue as we speak. The fact that you point out all those superfluous reasons to suggest GZ is not a racist, or he did not selectively racially profile GZ the night in question is at the root of our national divide. Thank God for the juror who is now coming forth with the truth. The jurors let a murderer go free. Russell Moore, President Obama, & this brave juror-in that order-are the hero’s, heroines, & statesman, out of this whole ordeal, besides Trayvon’s parents. They have really been pristine in their behavior. Had they reacted with anger we probably would have had a riot. The people prone to rioting took their clues from Traynon’s parents. Be blessed.

14 joe_blackmon_72 July 27, 2013 at 9:36 am

dmckissic I’m sorry, Dwight, but asserting something as true and proving it to be true are two different things.  Those terms are not associated with only black people.  Therefore, they are not racist terms.

15 joe_blackmon_72 July 27, 2013 at 10:10 am

dmckissic I haven’t done anything to you.  Therefore, I don’t need your forgiveness.  #notguilty

16 Jamie Robertson October 20, 2014 at 9:16 am

Many Democrats elected to office are racist. Doesn’t matter their skin color.

17 Jamie Robertson October 20, 2014 at 8:16 am

Many Democrats elected to office are racist. Doesn’t matter their skin color.


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