White Americans Underestimate the Cost of Being Black

Discussion in 'IntroSpectrum' started by B. Fury, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. B. Fury

    B. Fury Active Member

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    http://www.doubletakemag.net/fs/

    How much do white Americans think it “costs” to be black in our society, given the problems associated with racial bias and prejudice?

    The answer, it appears, is not much.

    When white Americans were asked to imagine how much they would have to be paid to live the rest of their lives as a black person, most requested relatively low amounts, generally less than $10,000.

    In contrast, study participants said they would have to be paid about $1 million to give up television for the rest of their lives.

    The results suggest most white Americans don’t truly comprehend the persisting racial disparities in our country, said Philip Mazzocco, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus.

    “The costs of being black in our society are very well documented,” Mazzocco said. “Blacks have significantly lower income and wealth, higher levels of poverty, and even shorter life spans, among many other disparities, compared to whites.”

    For example, white households average about $150,000 more wealth than the typical black family. Overall, total wealth for white families is about five times greater than that of black families, a gap that has persisted for years.

    “When whites say they would need $1 million to give up TV, but less than $10,000 to become black, that suggests they don’t really understand the extent to which African Americans, as a group, are disadvantaged,” Mazzocco said.

    These results also offer insight as to why more than 9 out of 10 white Americans reject proposals to give reparations to the descendants of slaves, said study co-author Mahzarin Banaji, the Cabot Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University.

    “Our data suggest that such resistance is not because white Americans are mean and uncaring, morally bankrupt, or ethically flawed,” Banaji said.

    “White Americans suffer from a glaring ignorance about what it means to live as a black American.”

    The study appears in the current issue of Harvard’s Du Bois Review.

    The researchers did a series of studies in which a total of 958 whites of different ages and from different parts of the country were asked variations of the same question: “How much should you be paid to continue to live the rest of your life as a black person?”

    In most cases, the participants were told to imagine they were actually black, but had always passed for white. The imagined race change required no physical transformation, just a change in public status.

    They were also asked how much they should be paid for giving up television, and how much they should be given to change their officially listed state residency (without having to move). These questions were asked, Mazzocco said, to compare what people requested for relatively trivial changes, like a new listed state residency, as compared to a more life-changing request, like giving up television.

    Results suggest white people considered a race change as relatively trivial, along the lines of a change in official state residency, as opposed to the seemingly big sacrifice of giving up television.
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  2. B. Fury

    B. Fury Active Member

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    In some of the studies, the researchers changed the scenario in order to learn more about what white Americans thought about the costs of racial disparities.

    One issue with the previous scenario is that participants may minimize the disparities they would face as a black person, because they had always passed as white. So in one study, whites were told to imagine that they were about to be born as a random white person in America, but they were being offered a cash gift to be born as a random black person. Once again, white participants requested relatively small sums to make a life-long race-change. In addition, some were given a list of some of the costs of being black in America, such as the racial wealth disparity. The result was that whites in this latter scenario requested significantly higher amounts than those in the previous studies – about $500,000.

    Finally, some participants were given a similar scenario except all references to blacks, whites and America were taken out. They were asked to imagine they were born into the fictional country of Atria, and were born either into the “majority” or “minority” population. They were given a list of the disadvantages that the minority population faced in Atria (which were identical to the real disadvantages faced by blacks in America). In this case, white participants in the study said they should be paid an average of $1 million to be born as a minority member in Atria.

    “When you take it out of the black-white context, white Americans seem to fully appreciate the costs associated with the kinds of disparities that African Americans actually face in the United States,” Mazzocco said. “In this case, they asked for a million dollars, similar to what they want for giving up television.”

    Mazzocco said blatant prejudice was not the reason for the findings. Results showed that whites who scored higher on a measure of racial prejudice did not answer significantly differently than others in the study.

    The researchers are conducting new studies to examine more closely why whites do underestimate the costs of being black. Mazzocco believes many white Americans have a perception that race bias in the United States has been virtually eliminated, and that blacks are no longer disadvantaged.

    “While there has been progress in making racial conditions in American more equal, there’s clearly a lot more work to be done,” he said. “Blacks and whites are not experiencing the same America.”

    When whites do understand the extent of racial disparities in the United States, they are more likely to support reparations. The findings showed that whites who wanted more money to be publicly recognized as black – suggesting they understood the true costs of racial disparity – were more likely than others to say they would support reparations.

    But there are many reasons why nearly all whites oppose reparations. Mazzocco said some whites may believe slavery happened so long ago that slave descendants today don’t deserve to be compensated. The researchers examined the “too long ago” rationale in another study.

    The researchers asked participants to imagine that their great, great grandfather, a wealthy shipping magnate, had been kidnapped about 150 years ago. The kidnappers demanded and received a large ransom that bankrupted the shipping magnate. That ransom was used to start a successful company that still survives today and is worth $100 million. Participants were asked whether they would be willing to be a part of a large suit against the present-day company that could net them each about $5,000.

    In this scenario, 61 percent agreed to have their names listed on the lawsuit. The researchers noted that this is about the percentage of blacks today who support reparations for slave descendants.

    “When white Americans find it within themselves to say ‘I must be compensated for a past injustice done to me’ but the same logic evaporates when the injustice concerns black Americans, they are staring straight at bias,” Banaji said.

    Mazzocco said the results of this research have implications for the fledgling reparations movement in America. “Surveys show that 90 to 96 percent of white Americans are against slave descendant reparations. It is nearly impossible to get that many people to agree on anything, so it is an issue that really deserves attention to see why that is. We wanted to take a heated and emotional issue and look at it through a scientific lens,” he said.

    The research was facilitated by a postdoctoral fellowship to Mazzocco from Ohio State’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

    Other co-authors of the study included Timothy Brock of Ohio State, Gregory Brock of Georgia Southern University and Kristina Olson of Harvard.
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  3. identity-X

    identity-X No Talent Assclown

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    [funny]

    oh man...that's beautiful. and not in the least surprising
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  4. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

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    Amazing. It is amazing that such a large study needs to be conducted to show what is so obvious to millions of Americans. Here's what I mean:

    The study says that white americans aren't prejudiced, but “White Americans suffer from a glaring ignorance about what it means to live as a black American.”

    My conclusion is "no, no they don't."

    Here's why: there is not a shortage of black people willing to tell you how bad it is to be black in america. Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton...naw, they're just "race baiters". I say it, I'm a "racist". A white person says it, he's an "apologist".

    My point is this: whites generally want to just believe that millions of people are lying just to take advantage of the system and be lazy shiftless n!gg@rs.

    If you read the article, whites CLEARLY could appreciate the phenomenon of "racism" if you take it out of the white/black concept. In other words: make it where they are not shown to be the benefactors of a race system that is stacked against blacks. It is a means to take personal responsibility and the concept of "white privilege" out of the equation. If you say okay, it's not America, it's Atria. It's not black and whites, in majorities and minorities. And it's not slavery, it's just that the minorities are uneducated, broke, live in the worst conditions, can't find jobs regardless of education, are last hired first fired, etc. etc. etc.

    THEN, AND ONLY THEN do the whites in the study seem to get it. Oh, well of course! Give me a million dollars to have to live like that!

    So here is what I surmise from this:

    1. Whites complain to no end about black history month. Don't believe me? Come back here in february, see what these chuckle heads are saying/doing.

    2. Whites refer to people like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or essentially any other civil rights activist with such seething hatred. Don't believe me? Go here: www.youtube.com/blacksoultan. Just go see what some people say about Al Sharpton and if it has anything to do with the videos I have about him. People just HATE this dude and call him a racist for saying exactly what this article says.

    3. Blacks have never stopped saying how hard it is in america. Anyone who's ever mistakenly turned to BET or to the CW on a monday knows that. How hard it is in america is common fodder for comedy and talk shows and has been since the fucking 20's!

    4. It isn't a mystery. Whites are not ignorant of how bad Blacks have it in america. For the most part, they just choose to ignore it because it is easier to sleep at night.

    5. This is by no means limited to whites. What gets me about this article is that it leaves out latinos, asians, native americans, non-american black residents, etc. The scripting of race relations in society as a black/white issue is such an antedeluvian situation that it's dangerous.

    6. Why don't they switch it? What would a black person be willing to pay to have "white privilege". Would it make a difference if you could stay black and have "white privilege"? Would you pay more or less to actually have to be white on top of it?

    I'd want the former: I get to stay black and have the privilege of just NOT having to deal with the cost of being black. I don't wanna suddenly be white, tho. Kinda like the cultural ramifications of that. Let's keep that.
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  5. .:Pain:.

    .:Pain:. Futurely J. Keeper

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    Ok, first lemme say this. Where I'm from, race is a non issue amongst the most recent generations.

    With that said, I feel like this article associates certain characteristics of American life to race, when in reality, there is little to no association.

    That's because to ghetto is mainly comprised of minorities. Do the same study for whites, hispanics, or chinese people from the same area and I promise you'll get the same results. There are plenty of rich black people. This has nothing to do with race, it's just that the majority of indigenous (sp?) people in American society are minorities.

    White people would only need $10,000 to switch because we don't think race fucking matters. Sorry, you're right, from now on we'll start being like, I wouldn't be black if someone paid me a million dollars! What sounds more racist?

    Reperations seem silly to me because there a lot of black people who came to this country after slavery, and after civil rights even. Why the fuck should they get reperation money? If you could find a way to document who is and isn't descended from slavery, I would be glad to give 'em some tax money, but I just don't think that's possible. Sidenote on this one, where the fuck is my German reperation money?! They enslaved a great aunt and uncle and worked them to death, I WANT MY MONEY (even though it's really THEIR money and I'll just be spending it on dumb shit like a car prolly)!

    That statement blew my fuckin' mind. Like, really? Just because your born a different color means your status is different? Well, I've been hearing that from the KKK for years now, I didn't believe, but now that black people believe it, shit.

    Well, fuckin obviously. That's like askin' a black person how much would cost to be born a white person, then asking the next how much is would cost to be born a white person in a trailer park.

    It has, at least in the north east.

    Terrible analogy, that's nothing like what the slaves went through. The Africans that were captured and sent into slavery weren't wealthy businessmen, or even kings or princes, they were ordinary people. On top of that, they were sold to white people by other black people.

    Pretty much what I'm tryin' to say throughout this whole rant is that the mind state of blacks and whites has switched over the past hundred years. White people stopped giving a fuck about race, and black elitests decided to put a magnifying glass over it. People like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrikan are only increasing the problem. They unite people to talk about how white people fucked black people over and how Jews are that's evil with the world (though I don't think I've heard Sharpton make an anti-semetic comment yet). All that does is increase racial tension, something the average black man has been fighting against for over 100 years...
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  6. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

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    You prove the researchers' point so well and you don't even know.
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  7. B. Fury

    B. Fury Active Member

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    ^^^Exactly, lol. The incredulity is glaring in Pain's post and it was very laughable because it was so-on-point with the article. Oh brother...sigh
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  8. identity-X

    identity-X No Talent Assclown

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    nah...

    most either 1) stopped being OPENLY prejudiced when it comes to race or 2) became even more oblivious to the effects of race at all levels of society.



    we still give a fuck. give it another few months when the next OJ/Kobe/R. Kelly/Michael Richards/Imus story surfaces and whites show just how much they care about race.
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  9. .:Pain:.

    .:Pain:. Futurely J. Keeper

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    No jackass, no I didn't. You just have no response for what I said, because you let other people write articles to speak for you.

    No it doesn't. And sorry for being incredulous when it comes to people assigning specific attributes to race. Fuckin' idiot.

    nah...

    I was speaking strictly from the point of view of my generation. I don't give a fuck what a bunch of crusty old racists say.

    STOP TRYING TO TURN WHITE PEOPLE INTO APOLOGISTS!
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  10. identity-X

    identity-X No Talent Assclown

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    [funny]_
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  11. FeelEBluntz

    FeelEBluntz Die Slow!!!

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    The Jews, Japanese, Native Americans, and currently innocent/not so innocent Iraqi civilians/insurgents were all given some form of reparations. If you keep ignoring a problem it only get's worse. Right now I feel the problem is too big to remedy so that's why they try to keep us busy worring about other sh*t! The kid on Boodocks said it best, "You gone pay what you owe!"
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  12. What?

    How is this an issue?

    What should white people have said, $200 billion dollars?

    This question and "study" is so loaded, I don't even know where to begin.
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  13. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

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    Well, actually the study is pretty much not loaded. That's probably why you haven't a clue where to begin. As someone who has done many social research projects and read many more, this one is pretty solid.

    Tell ya what:

    How's it loaded?
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  14. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

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    Your right. Clearly, I need to learn to formulate my own opinions on things. [dummy]

    How new ARE you, dude?
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  15. Tequila Jong-il

    Tequila Jong-il SALAD TOSSER

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    well id answer 1 billion to that question which just proves what everyone already knows, that im uniquely sensitive to the plight of blacks in contemporary society.
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  16. identity-X

    identity-X No Talent Assclown

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    check the old school forum. i asked if you'd hook me up with that Stitch By Stitch mp3!
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  17. .:Pain:.

    .:Pain:. Futurely J. Keeper

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    Nice of you to admit it.

    Not new at all. Don't act like people consider you to be extremely individualistic in your thought process. I've seen your posts before. You support anything pro-black, anti-white. You're nothing more than an eloquent racist...
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  18. identity-X

    identity-X No Talent Assclown

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    here we go... [funny]
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  19. Pee Wee Gaskins

    Pee Wee Gaskins croyte

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  20. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

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    Whatchoothink, x?

    Should I let this one live? [funny]
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