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New Poll Finds Tea Partiers a Smidge More Racist

Ok, maybe a lot more than a smidge.  Arian Campo-Flores of Newsweek reports in an article posted today, that people who approve of the  Tea Party movement tend to have more racist attitudes.  This lil tidbit is very telling: ” Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party.”  Wow…only 55% of blacks are hard-working.  I’m sure that percentage is up from when…1965??  Oh yeah, we were only hard working pre-1865.  With emancipation our productivity went way down.  I wonder why…hmmm.

So a new poll by researchers at the University of Washington caught my eye. The findings are sure to fan the flames further. “People who approve of the Tea Party, more than those who don’t approve, have more racist attitudes,” says Christopher Parker, a University of Washington professor who directed the survey. “And not only that, but more homophobic and xenophobic attitudes.” For instance,  respondents were asked whether they agreed with various characterizations of different racial groups. Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party. On whether blacks were intelligent, 45 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 59 percent of the Tea Party opponents. And on the issue of whether blacks were trustworthy, 41 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 57 percent of the Tea Party opponents.

The survey, which included about 1,000 respondents in six battleground states (like Michigan and Nevada) and California, found similar margins on questions regarding Latinos. And Tea Party supporters were far more likely than opponents to say that immigrants take jobs from people living here (59 percent agreed with that statement), that immigration from foreign countries should be decreased (53 percent agreed), and that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. should be deported immediately (45 percent agreed).

More fuel for the unproductive divisions that are the legacy of sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc in America.  I’ll have to see how Fox and Right Wing pundits spin these numbers.

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French schoolbooks riddled with racist stereotypes

A study of more than 3,000 illustrations found in 29 of France’s most commonly used school books revealed that black people were frequently portrayed as jazz musicians, good sprinters or poor, while children with foreign backgrounds were shown to be inferior academically than their white French peers.

The report by Halde, the state anti-discrimination body, cites an example of a picture of a girl with a “nice French name” getting top marks while her foreign-sounding classmate, Samira, failed the exercise.

In geography and social history textbooks, Africans are consistently shown as “poor and sick” – with the exception of one photograph of a “smiling Maasai herdsman surrounded by his flock while talking on a mobile phone”.

The French education system wants to make it clear that discrimination is an offence. It conceded that improvement had been made in recent years but there was a lack of “counter-examples” – positive images to counter negative ones.

Source

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Racism in NH: The Jamaicans only get $8 an hour

Great article by Rebecca Hughes for SeaCoastOnline.com – Witnessing racism firsthand in York

Recently, I graduated college, came back to York for my final summer at home, and quickly began the search for a summer job. After filling out several applications, I went to a local restaurant.

Although the restaurant was closed, several managers were there and the doors were open. After introducing myself and settling in at the bar to complete my application, a black woman came in. In a thick Jamaican accent, she introduced herself and explained that she was looking for a job as a dishwasher. The kitchen manager, a white man, came out to interview her.

He told her that he didn’t have many dishwashers and that he would give her lots of hours. When she asked about the pay, he said the starting wage was $8 an hour. She countered with $9 an hour, but he responded that he was only willing to offer her $8.

While she paused to think about the offer, another manger (also white and male) came over to her.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked.

“I’m thinking about the offer I just got to work for $8 an hour instead of $9,” she said. At this, the man snorted and said, “Well, you aren’t going to find anyplace around here willing to hire you for that much. You better take this job, because in a few days there won’t be any more left. We are one of the last places hiring.” The woman thought for a few more seconds and acquiesced. She was told to come back at 5 o’clock the next day for training.

After she left, the second manager turned to the first and said, “Good job, the Jamaicans only get $8 an hour?”

According to the 2000 census, York is a town that is 98.36 percent white. In a town with so few people of color, racism is hard to notice. But that day, I witnessed it. Continue reading

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Racist Minutemen emails exposed

An immigrant rights organization released this week alarming internal e-mails circulated among members of the San Diego Minutemen, considered one of the most aggressive, anti-illegal immigrant groups in the United States.

Although this group publicly maintains that it is not racist and opposes only illegal immigration, the candid communications among its members frequently describe immigrants as “cockroaches” and “Third-World animals,” among other pejorative terms.

One e-mail from June 2007 says group members would “need a portable battery operated freezer…for store of filets, hams and ribs of well-marbled border crossers ” during an outing to stop illegal border crossers.

The release of the e-mails comes at a time when protests carried out by The Minutemen and their sympathizers have started to pick up, ending a lull after the October wildfires.

The California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation is an organization that monitors the actions of The Minutemen and off-shoot groups. Its director, Claudia Smith, said she obtained the e-mails from a person on The Minutemen distribution list.  She called their content “classic racist language.”

“Don’t ‘trespass’ into the parking lot proper , even though the degrados (sic) are permitted to swarm there like human cockroaches,” reads an e-mail by Mike Spencer, a cofounder of The Minutemen, to other group members apparently preparing for a protest on June 9, 2007.  He did not return phone calls.

The messages date from June 2006 to March of this year and can be read on the foundation’s website, at minutemenuncensored.com. [Full Article at New America Media]

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