I’m just a squirrel tryin’ ta get a nut.
A recent study indicates that white folks see race relations as a zero sum game, i.e., if black people get an inch, white people lose an inch.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Both white Americans and black Americans perceive significant progress in the fight against anti-black bias, but white Americans believe the progress has come at their expense, a new survey finds.
The researchers contacted a random national sample of 209 whites and 208 blacks, and asked them how much discrimination each group faced, on a scale of one to ten, for each decade since the 1950s.
Black Americans saw anti-black bias as declining steadily, from 9.7 in the ’50s to 6.1 in the ’00s. Over the same period, they perceived a small increase in anti-white bias, from 1.4 to 1.8.
White Americans saw an even steeper decline in anti-black bias: from 9.1, in the ’50s, to 3.6, in the ’00s. But more striking, according to the researchers, was the sharp increase in perceived anti-white bias: Among whites, it shot up from 1.8 to 4.7.
White Americans, in short, thought that anti-white bias was a greater societal problem by the ’00s than anti-black bias.
The researchers described the pattern—which did not vary markedly with regard to age or education levels—as evidence that white Americans see race relations as a zero-sum game, in which one group’s gains must be offset by another’s loss.
Like, really really?
A friend (and one-time ABLC contributor) had this to say about zero-sum game thinking with respect to feminism:
My privilege, which comes from labeling me as “advantaged,” means that I am not normal. I suppose there is an underlying idea that there is no such thing as “normal,” but if that is the case, then what is left? Advantaged or disadvantaged? I’m not sure that’s a message most feminists want to convey. It hearkens back to that same zero-sum thinking that says there can only be a win or lose situation, and if I win, then you lose; if I am advantaged, then you must be disadvantaged, and if somehow you were to gain advantage, then that would take away from my advantage. For example, if we allow same-sex marriages, that will some how take away from the marriage of heterosexual people; we can’t all have the same things, at the same level.
Well, if that’s the case, then what the hell am I fighting for?
Exactly. What the hell are we fighting for? Sometimes, I’m not sure anymore.