CNN recently posted an article suggesting that the people in America think that the Caucasian race is racially oppressed. According to them, 44% of Americans believe that racism directed toward White people is just as big as racism directed toward Black people. Huh?
CNN states that, ‘a growing number of white Americans are acting like a racially oppressed majority. They are adopting the language and protest tactics of an embattled minority group’, which according to sociologists, is attributed to the ‘racial anxiety’ that now exists among the white population, for they fear that being white in America now means not being in control of society. Cry me a river.
The article found that the the U.S Census Bureau prediction that by 2050, White America will be a minority group, has fueled fears as it threatens to destabilize the status quo, which, some sociologists believe, has lead (some) White people to fear for their racial survival. So much so in fact, that Rush Limbaugh has even argued for a ‘civil rights movement’ for Republicans, as they are an ‘oppressed minority’.
CNN’s article argues that the recession is to blame for this paranoid, seemingly crazy attitude, as this time, the numbers of Caucasian’s and African American’s in the unemployment queue, are on similar levels, that is, as author of ‘White Like Me’, Tim Wise notes, the White people are suffering the same fate as ‘the others’.
Rush Limbaugh’s comments initially made me laugh at his absolute ignorance and stupidity. But on closer reflection, what he is suggesting is more than just stupidity- what he is doing is trying to incite hatred, trying to make the working class White American’s, who are struggling financially or on welfare, to blame the Black race for their troubles. (We only need to look at Hitler’s National Socialist Party to see how well that turned out in Germany, when he spread the same propaganda.)
Racial inequality still exists- but regardless of what Rush Limbaugh thinks, single white males, do not suffer the brunt of it. When was the last time a white person was stopped by the police for no apparent reason? Are Black people still over-represented in the prison system? Are White people still attending college at rates disproportionately higher than their Black counterparts?
Before there can be any talk of racial oppression for White people in America, these deep seated racial inequalities against people of color need to be addressed.
However, as Clutch Magazine argue in their editorial on the topic, perhaps all is not lost. As Wise argues, the majority of the younger generation (ie; those under 30), do not factor in skin color to their way of thinking, perhaps because most of these people (white and black) do not remember the civil rights struggle and the legally enforced prejudice that previous generations have endured, so thus they do not intrinsically associate one’s color with their character. Perhaps this can mean, that the promising message of racial unity inspired by Obama’s election is not quite as far away as some would like us to believe?