Thursday, December 24, 2015

Prejudiced in the United States

“Islam “has been more vilified since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. As a consequence of that human tragedy, we have been at war, primarily in the Middle East, and have lost many of our military persons in the process. In 2008 we elected our first black president and government functioning seemed to become even be more divisive to say the least. During Pres. Obama’s time in office, many leaders in the “opposite party,” have worked against this president and his party. It didn’t seem to matter that at one time, the other party’s leaders proposed very similar ideas or policy. For instance, Romney Care, successful in Massachusetts, was the healthcare model upon which the Affordable Care Act was based. Today, The Affordable Care Act has been demonized as being bad by many people In the Republican party and the current Republicans running for president have been talking about repealing it as opposed to improving it. Surprising to some, psychological research in the 1920s, conducted many studies pertaining to race and intelligence. Back then, many social scientists, maintained that prejudice was a natural response to nonwhite races. Clearly the research, at the time, pointed to white superiority between the races. Explicit prejudice, make no mistake about it, was front and center. From the 1930s on, social science researchers have conducted further studies on racism and stereotyping. They have not limited their research to race and intelligence, but have diversified and have included taking a look at anti-Semitism, blacks, gays, Hispanics, women, Muslims, etc. Prior beliefs have been challenged and discarded. Current thinking finds that prejudice is related to individuals in low status groups; their maintaining a socially dominant orientation or hierarchy view; their having rigid categorical thinking; their maintaining self-esteem; and their having a negative view of others by not being able or having a social identify with a particular group. Current research also has was found that implicit or subtle racism can be termed either symbolic, ambivalent, modern, or aversive. In other words, the expression of racism is much more subtle today. If you asked a person today if he is racist, he would more likely reply with a no. A reply such as this suggests a possible unawareness about racist sentiments versus an outright lie. The key to what we say is not always what we say, but what we do. Our behavior speaks more loudly than our words. Remember, prejudice, stereotyping is based on the perception of the beholder. Turning to the Sunday, December 13, 2015 edition of the New York Times, I found an article depicting” the rise of hate.” Two writers evaluated Google searches in our country in order to assess attitudes about Muslims. A few of their findings were as follows: 1. After the massacre in San Bernardino, the top Google searches in California were “kill Muslims”; martini recipes, migraine symptoms and the Cowboys roster. 2. From 2004 - 2013, a direct correlation [Google searches] was found between anti-Muslim searches and anti-Muslim hate crimes. 3. In 2014, according to FBI, Muslim hate crimes represented 16.3% of the 1,092 reported. Anti-Semitism topped the list at 58.2% 4. Muslim hate crimes are currently higher than at any time since the September 11 attacks. 5. Last month, there were 3,600 searches for “I hate Muslims” and 2,404 “Kill Muslims in the United States. People making expressive searches about Muslims are likely to be a perpetrator of an anti-Muslim hate crime. 6. There were 200 Muslim attacks in 2015, making it the worst year since 2001. 7. Negative prejudiced attitudes about Muslims today are higher than any other group in any month since 2004 when Google began preserving data search. Google bias is not representative of all the individuals in the United States, and therefore is likely to be a better predictor of hate crimes. Public opinion polls are supposed to be a representative sample and very different from an individual searching or employing an Internet search. To be continued

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