A majority of white Americans say they are victims of anti-white discrimination in many facets of their lives.
In a new national poll, more whites surveyed say discrimination against them is a real issue and that African-Americans are favored in the job market, according to a poll released by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Fifty-five percent of whites say “discrimination against white people exists in the U.S. today,” according to the survey. But, in the same poll, most whites acknowledged that they have never actually experienced discrimination.
The poll by NPR, released this week, suggests that some whites maintain a preconceived notion about discrimination that is not substantiated with facts. And many whites also embrace an anti politically correct agenda that may have intensified after the election of President Donald Trump.
Consider what Tim Hershman, 69, from Akron, Ohio, told NPR.
“If you apply for a job, they seem to give the Blacks the first crack at it,” Hershman said. “And, basically, you know, if you want any help from the government, if you’re white, you don’t get it. If you’re Black, you get it.”
When an NPR reporter asked Hershman whether there is discrimination against whites, and he answered: “Absolutely.”
“It’s been going on for decades, and it’s been getting worse for whites,” Hershman said.
Hershman’s comments reflect the thinking of many whites surveyed who are concerned – incorrectly — that African-Americans are taking their jobs and that Black people in general have greater leverage when seeking employment.
But here’s what NPR determined when Hershman was pressed.
“Even though Hershman believes he has been a victim of anti-white discrimination, he wasn’t able to provide a specific example,” according to NPR. “He describes losing out on a promotion — and a younger African-American being selected as one of the finalists for the job. But the position eventually went to a white applicant, who was also younger than Hershman.
So why does Hershman harbor such misguided views?
In part, I believe, because during the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump pitted Blacks against whites in rallies across the country with his racially incendiary remarks. And partly because hate groups are rising across America, according to The Southern Poverty Law Center.
David Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron, told NPR that Hershman’s narrative in consistent with racial themes from the presidential election.
“I think this does reinforce a lot of the resentment you saw in the 2016 election, especially among white, working-class voters lacking a college degree,” said Cohen.
Cohen is right — and there’s more: Trump’s legislative policies reflect a dangerous and flawed agenda that feeds into the president’s base of white nationalists. These issues have fostered a racially polarized environment which leads people like Hershman to falsely blame the government and employers for giving African-Americans preference over whites.
It appears that Hershman’s unsubstantiated claim is nothing more than fake news.
What do you think?
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