Is it really racism? The origins of white Americans' opposition to race-targeted policies

Sears, David O.; Van Laar, Colette; Carrillo, Mary; Kosterman, Rick
March 1997
Public Opinion Quarterly;Spring97, Vol. 61 Issue 1, p16
Academic Journal
This article provides information on the origins of white U.S. citizens' opposition to race-targeted policies. Race relations in the U.S. have had a long history, but one that is marked by significant discontinuities over time. The period of slavery was followed by the brief but radically different window of Reconstruction. The Jim Crow system that developed over the following century legalized racial segregation and discrimination, especially but not exclusively in the South. The civil rights revolution effectively ended the two-caste system of race relations, replacing it with a universal system of formal legal equality. Nevertheless, considerable racial inequality remains in many areas of the society, such as in income, wealth, educational attainment, health, crime and so forth. The demise of Jim Crow was accompanied by a sharp decline in the prevalence of its supporting belief system, which has sometimes been described as old-fashioned racism, incorporating both a biologically based theory of African racial inferiority and support for racial segregation and formal racial discrimination. Old-fashioned racism has largely been replaced by general support for the abstract principle of racial equality.


Related Articles

  • THE WHITE MAN CAN'T HELP THE BLACK GHETTO. Battle, Mark // Saturday Evening Post;1/29/1966, Vol. 239 Issue 3, p10 

    Deals with the failure of the programs organized by whites in the U.S. to help the state of African Americans in urban ghettos. Reaction of African American slum dwellers to middle-class morality; Factors that would have to be considered to solve ghetto problems; Threat posed by the ignorance...

  • Race and risk. Gandy Jr., Oscar H.; Kopp, Katharina; Hands, Tanya; Frazer, Karen; Phillips, David // Public Opinion Quarterly;Spring97, Vol. 61 Issue 1, p158 

    This article provides information on the factors affecting the framing of stories about inequality, discrimination, and bad luck. As of 1997, political leaders in the U.S. have allegedly raised serious questions about the basic necessities of life. While the debate has not always been framed...

  • Journey Through Two Americas.  // Time;4/6/1970, Vol. 95 Issue 14, p32 

    The article explores the differences between the African American-white relations against different backgrounds in the U.S. It is said that the perceptions of African Americans and whites on each other are distorted by fear, ignorance and resentment. TIME Correspondents Jess Cook and Paul...

  • The Finish Line... Torres, Alfred J. // Profiles in Diversity Journal;Nov/Dec2009, Vol. 11 Issue 6, p44 

    The article looks at the author's point of view on how far the struggle in minimizing racial discrimination across the U.S. has come. It narrates that the U.S. locality has overcome the issue of racism as Blacks have dominated several corporations and even the White House. However, the author...

  • The criticality of racism. Walters, Ronald // Black Scholar;Winter/Spring96, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p2 

    Discusses various aspect of discrimination against blacks. Modern lynching; Racial discrimination in affirmative action programs, employment, housing, mortgage lending, home insurance, consumer, health, criminal justice and news coverage; Move-in violence; Differences in earnings among races;...

  • THE MYTHS OF RACIAL DIVISION. Hacker, Andrew // New Republic;3/23/92, Vol. 206 Issue 12, p21 

    Analyses the condition of race relations in the U.S. Description of factors which contributed to the growth of separation between Afro-American and white communities in the country; Impact of race relations on the social condition of the country; Factors that contributed to the negative biases...

  • The Color Line. Pogrund, Benjamin // New Republic;12/17/77, Vol. 177 Issue 25, p15 

    Focuses on race relations in South Africa. Existence of racial division and conflict since the coming of the whites in 1652; Information on the Boer-Brit conflict, the struggle for supremacy among the whites between the Afrikaners, of Dutch descent, and those of English speaking stock, chiefly...

  • THE HEALING GAME.  // New Republic;06/30/97, Vol. 216 Issue 26, p7 

    Criticizes the efforts of U.S. President Bill Clinton to improve race relations in the country as of June 1997. Description of the racial situation in the country; Differences in the views of U.S. citizens regarding their struggle for equality; Strategy of Clinton in dealing with contradicting...

  • HATE STORY. Kurapka, David // New Republic;5/30/88, Vol. 198 Issue 22, p19 

    Focuses on the message of bigotry and hate spread by racist Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, at university-sponsored events in the U.S. Controversy on the large fee and the roughing-up of protesters outside the gymnasium where he spoke; Denunciations of drugs and promiscuity...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics