According to a new study by psychologists, whites believe that they have replaced blacks as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America. These findings show that America has not achieved the "post-racial" society that some predicted in the wake of Barack Obama's election.
Both whites and blacks agree that anti-black racism has decreased over the last 60 years. However, whites believe that anti-white racism has increased and is now a bigger problem than anti-black racism. White and black estimates of bias in the 1950s were similar: Both groups acknowledged little racism against whites at that time but substantial racism against blacks. Respondents who were recently polled in the new study also generally agreed that racism against blacks has decreased over time, although whites believed it has declined faster than blacks do.
Psychologist Samuel Sommers says, "These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality--at their expense. Whites see racial equality as a zero sum game, in which gains for one group mean losses for the other. "It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment."
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