Black approval of America has dropped 41 percent since February

Alan M. writes:

This post at Powerline discusses a survey the results of which you have been predicting:

Here is the Powerline entry:

Scott Rasmussen periodically polls Americans on whether their country is “generally fair and decent,” as opposed to “basically unfair and discriminatory.” The former view, of course, tends to predominant, but the latest results are rather sad:

Just 60% of U.S. voters now say that American society is generally fair and decent, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

That’s down nine points since late August and the lowest measure since President Obama took office in January, fueled in large part by growing unhappiness among African-American voters.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of all voters say U.S. society is basically unfair and discriminatory, up six points from late August and the highest level measured since December.

Note where the change has come:

Only 14% of African-Americans now feel society is fair and decent. That number has dropped 41 points from 55% a month after Obama took office. Sixty-six percent (66%) of black voters think society is unfair and discriminatory, up 26 points since early February.

The majority of white voters (65%) say society is fair and decent. Seventy-two percent (72%) of all other voters agree.

It’s interesting that Latinos and Asians evidently have a higher opinion of the decency of American society than whites. But the main point here, obviously, is the dramatic shift among African-Americans. What could have caused it?

The only possible answer is that many Americans have opposed President Obama’s policies. But why would that cause African-Americans to think that our society is “discriminatory” rather than “decent”? No mystery there: in a well-coordinated campaign, the Democratic Party has relentlessly portrayed all disagreement with the Obama administration’s policies as “racist.” That contemptible and divisive tactic had seemed to produce no results, but we now see that it had one consequence: alienating African-Americans from their country.

Some “post-racial President.”

[end of Powerline post]

LA writes:

Of course some notable Democrats and liberal journalists have infamously charged that opposition to Obama’s policies, particularly the health-care bill, is driven by racism. We’ve talked about that a fair amount here. But is it true, as Powerline says, that the Democratic Party has relentlessly portrayed all disagreement with the Obama administration as racist? I’m not aware of that. If readers have knowledge that it’s true, they could correct me.

Again, it is true that some high-visibility liberals have been doing what Powerline says they have done, calling opposition to Obama racist. And the charge is vicious and wicked, deserving the strongest condemnation. But I don’t there’s been enough of that charge to explain a 41 percent decline in the percentage of blacks who believe America is fair and decent. I think there’s something else going on here.

What could that something else be? I would suggest two related factors, the second an expansion on the first:

1.The tremendous lift of Obama’s becoming president, followed by the downer of all his difficulties (he’s not a god, he’s a man, and a very flawed one at that), and seeing him increasingly criticized and seen as a poor president, makes blacks feel bitter and disillusioned. They express this bitterness by answering “no” to the question, “Is America basically fair and decent”?

2. The fact of Obama’s becoming president has made blacks feel more entitled, empowered, and full of themselves than ever before. Instead of being pacified, their long-time simmering resentments against America have come to the fore. I realize that this theory seems to contradict the high black approval rating for America early in 2009. But it’s possible that both tendencies are happening at the same time. That is, the immediate effect of the election and inauguration was to give blacks a tremendous high, so they answered Yes to the question, “Is America basically fair and decent?” But, along with that high, there was also the feeling, “Now we have arrived, now we have this power, now America must do right by us.” And as a result, any hint that America is not doing right by them, any check to their self esteem, is experienced as oppression, as a wounding insult. Is it a coincidence that the Henry Louis Gates incident occurred six months after Obama became president? Isn’t it possible that Gates’s absurd reaction to the police officer doing his job was an expression of a heightened black sense of entitlement resulting from Obama’s presidency? “How dare any white cop question me? Doesn’t he know who I am?”

So, blacks’ collective ego was inflated by the advent of Obama, and, as a result, that ego became even more sensitive to perceived slights than before. It thus makes sense that blacks had an unusually positive regard for America at the beginning of 2009, and that that positive feeling has precipitately turned negative.

By the way, it’s typical of Powerline, which strictly subscribes to neocon race-blindness and is dead to racial realities, to blame blacks’ sharply increased negative feelings about America on liberal Democrats telling blacks that Republicans are racist. Neocons always blame troublesome nonwhite behavior on white liberals, never on the nonwhites. Unlike Powerline, I believe that the dramatic change in blacks’ feelings comes from within the blacks themselves.

* * *

LA writes:

Another factor militating against Powerline’s analysis is that blacks as a matter of course believe that Republicans are racists. Having a few top Democrats say that Republicans are racist is not suddenly going to make the percentage of blacks who think America is fair and decent and discriminatory decline from 55 percent to 14 percent. That extraordinary change in blacks’ view of America in such a short time indicates that something much deeper is at work in blacks’ psyches than mere suspicion of Republicans.

- end of initial entry -

October 10

Mike writes:

“Only 14% of African-Americans now feel society is fair and decent. That number has dropped 41 points from 55% a month after Obama took office. Sixty-six percent (66%) of black voters think society is unfair and discriminatory, up 26 points since early February.”

Those figures are absolutely staggering. I couldn’t find any historical data for this question, so it’s hard to say if this is a new low or just a return to normalcy. Still, with a black sitting President and blacks like the corrupt Charlie Rangel, the senile John Conyers, and the moronic Maxine Waters, among others, holding office with zero credibility, how could blacks possibly feel unfairly underrepresented?

Based on my recent experiences—blacks randomly shouting “Obama!!!” in large, anonymous crowds, walking past a line to demand immediate service, talking publicly about “my President”—it seems like a lot of blacks thought that Obama’s inauguration was the moment where they officially became the American aristocracy. And who can blame them? We’ve already elevated them to the forefront of popular culture, given them special protections and privileges, and designated one month of the year to worship at their altar. For blacks raised in this environment of reverence, how could Obama’s Presidency indicate anything but the last step in a black takeover of America? Watching Washington Journal this week, I heard a black man calling from Michigan say that he thought “Obama is the all-time greatest American President”. Odd? Of course not. To many blacks, Obama is the first and only American President. The first 43 were just a bunch of evil white oppressors.

I couldn’t help but wonder how I would have answered that question. Do I think that society is unfair and discriminatory? In the Obama era, I might just answer yes. An affirmative action President, an affirmative action Supreme Court Justice, a bunch of tax cheats in the cabinet, an incredibly biased media, illegal immigrants getting in-state tuition, and women outnumbering men in college by 3 to 2 with special women-and-minority-only scholarships? As a white man, I have to say “Yes.” Society really is unfair and discriminatory these days. But I doubt that 66% of blacks answered yes for the same reasons.

Random factoid: I don’t know why this occurred to me, but if the American black IQ is 85 with a standard deviation of 15, only about 15% of American blacks will be at or above the average white IQ of 100. It’s probably some kind of freak coincidence for that number to be so close to the percentage of blacks who think society is fair and decent. Sorry, I think I need another few sessions in Room 101.

LA replies:

As I understand it, if blacks’ SD were 15, and if black mean IQ is 85, then (by definition) 16 percent of blacks would be at or above IQ 100. But in fact the black SD is somewhat less than 15 (I forget the figure), and therefore the percentage of blacks at or above 100 is a bit less than 16 percent.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 09, 2009 10:21 AM | Send

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