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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why are people still racist? What science says about America’s race problem. - The Washington Post

As I have been saying the face of some anger and pushback America is structurally racist nation.

"Torch-bearing white supremacists shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. Protesters and counter protesters colliding with violence and chaos. A car driven by a known Nazi sympathizer mowing down a crowd of activists.

Many Americans responded to this weekend's violence in Charlottesville with disbelieving horror. How could this happen in America, in 2017? “This is not who we are,” said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D).

And yet, this is who we are.

Amid our modern clashes, researchers in psychology, sociology and neurology have been studying the roots of racism. We draw on that research and asked two scientists to explain why people feel and act this way toward each other.

What causes people to be racist?

“In some ways, it’s super simple. People learn to be whatever their society and culture teaches them. We often assume that it takes parents actively teaching their kids, for them to be racist. The truth is that unless parents actively teach kids not to be racists, they will be,” said Jennifer Richeson, a Yale University social psychologist. “This is not the product of some deep-seated, evil heart that is cultivated. It comes from the environment, the air all around us....”

"... “It’s a myth that our country will somehow become more progressive. And it’s equally a myth to think that our children will save us,” Richeson said. Most of alt-right activists who sparked violence in Charlottesville, she pointed out, were young white men.

“There's data that shows young groups like millennials are more progressive and egalitarian. But that’s usually on issues like climate change or gay marriage, usually not in their level of implicit bias,” Richeson said.

In fact, Richeson in recent years has been studying how white people react to the fact that America is shifting into a majority minority country (where minorities make up more than 50 percent of the population). In those studies, young white subjects responded just as strongly as older white ones with anxiety and uncertainty, expressing more negative explicit and implicit racial bias in tests.

After reading about the coming demographic change, for example, white subjects, including college students, were more likely to agree with statements like “I would rather work alongside people of my same ethnic origin....”

Why are people still racist? What science says about America’s race problem. - The Washington Post

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