How Many Racists Are Really Out There?


There has been a lot of talk about racists lately. That got me to wondering how many racists are really out there? I honestly don’t know the answer, and I doubt anyone else does either. There are no “hard” numbers we can check.

Only a complete idiot would claim that racism no longer exists in this country. There are still some racists running around, and some of them are white. For the purposes of this discussion I want to focus on white racists.

But first we have to define some terms.

A racist is a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another. For the purposes of our discussion that would mean people who believe in the supremacy of the white race.

A bigot is a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.; or one who hates or refuses to accept the members of certain identity groups because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation/ideology, religion and/or national origin.

Many people confuse racists with bigots, even though they are different and there are a lot more of the latter. It is possible to be a racist but not be a bigot, and vice versa.

There is another category that is neither racist nor bigot, but is often labeled as such. This is a person who through ignorance or insensitivity uses racially offensive language, arguments, statements or ideas. Depending on who decides what constitutes “racially offensive” this category can be huge.

Getting back to the original question, determining the number of actual racists is problematic. Racists are social pariahs, so it is doubtful that they would be eager to reveal themselves. The same thing applies to bigots. If you tried polling people how many would truthfully admit to being racists and/or bigots?

If you try looking for objective data such as reported instances of “racial” incidents like cross burnings and racially motivated hate crimes, you’ll find that the data is suspect. First of all there are lots of hoaxes. Secondly, how do you determine a person’s true motives? Some people are convinced that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin because he was black, but a jury acquitted him. Who was right?

The truth is that there is very little “objective” evidence of racism and/or bigotry by white people anymore. It’s like stranger abductions of children – it happens so rarely that when it does it becomes national news. In a country of 300 million people 3 million people only equals 1% of the population.

I don’t know about you but when I’m alone with other white people we don’t put on our robes and hoods and use the n-word while as plot our next church bombing or Klan rally. As a matter of fact I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard a white person use that hateful word in real life.

The vast majority of the evidence for the continuing existence of racism in our country is ambiguous, like the so-called “micro-aggressions” that are trendy these days. People trying to prove the ubiquity of racism are forced to rely on concepts like “institutional racism” or “subconscious racism.” I submit that if you have to take a test to find out if you are a racist, then you ain’t no damn racist.

100 years ago racism was actually a popular idea with many Progressives. It was considered scientific and there were scholarly treatises and discussions about it. I’m not exactly sure where it started, but by the late Nineteenth Century it was used to explain how white people of European descent literally ruled the world.

That was considered to be empirical evidence of the superiority of the white race. There was also widespread belief that the different races had specific traits, both positive and negative. “Negroes” (as they were then called) were described as child-like, with a lack of morals and prone to criminal behavior, dishonesty and sloth.

One of the things they don’t teach kids in history classes these days is that all those Nazi ideas about eugenics and the master race did not originate in Germany. Eugenics started in the United States. White supremacy seems to have originated in England.

The Nazis had a lot to do with discrediting racism. After World War II those ideas fell out of favor and quickly became unpopular. Modern science had a lot to do with it as well.

The election of Barack Obama should have marked the vanquishing of racism. Instead, the conscious and deliberate use of the “race card strategy” has made the country more racially polarized than any time since the Sixties. But I see no evidence that white racism is resurgent. What is on the rise is racism and bigotry against white people.

For a different take on this topic, check out this post by Jonah Goldberg.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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61 Responses to How Many Racists Are Really Out There?

  1. The Klown says:
  2. The Klown says:

    Damn, I forgot to add something offensive to my post.

    Cocksucker, motherfucker, shit!

  3. DandyTIger says:

    The one big page version of Jonah’s article, so you don’t get popups every time you go to the next page. I hate that shit.

  4. abc says:

    If Sterling or Swirling or Spewing or whatever the heck his name is would just JOIN the Republican party already, all would become correct with the world again (snark).

  5. mothy67 says:

    I am sick to death of the racism/xenophobia/homophobic/misogynist/islamaphobic screams. I find the elitist thought police offensive. I have worked hard on my relationships with my family and friends and it was worth it. My favorite aunt ‘s husband despises me for being gay. He will not even look me in the eye. I have no right to enforce acceptance upon him. I have to acknowledge his beliefs if I want anyone to do the same for me.

    • driguana says:

      This is such a good point, one that I argue about endlessly with my close friends. I do not have to like you because you are black, white, Democrat, Republican, gay, lesbian, Catholic, Jewish. All I have to do is respect that’s what you are and that’s what you believe in. I guess it’s really called tolerance but sometimes I’m not sure. I simply call it respect. If you want to believe that abortion is wrong, I can respect that point of view. If you believe abortion is every woman’s “right”….ok. The bottom line is simply accept how I believe also especially if I don’t believe in the same thing you do.

      • 49erDweet says:

        Do I really have to respect what you are? Or just ACCEPT it without snark? I know I must respect your right to be stoopid, but I draw the line at respecting stoopidity.:-)

        • driguana says:

          Good point. It’s hard to find the right words sometimes. I would agree with you that it becomes a form of “acceptance” rather than “respect”. I wouldn’t personally respect someone who is a neo-Nazi, for example but I could accept that they are…and have nothign further to do with the. It’s also, as I said above, not exactly like “tolerance” either….so “acceptance” (without snark) it is….now on to step “B”. How do we have a meaningful dialogue about our differences?

    • The Klown says:

      The thing that some people don’t seem to realize is that in a free society it is implicit that we accept people with beliefs and ideologies we find offensive. We don’t punish thought crimes, just prohibited behaviors. Well, we’re not supposed to punish thought crime, but sometimes we do.

      It’s okay to be a bigot, as long as you hate the right things. You can’t hate Jews, but you can hate Israel. You can hate white people and straight people and Christians and Republicans.

  6. The Klown says:
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  8. piper says:

    Who is attacking who – in the crazy world of bigoted lefties. DeMaio says more bigoted attacks from the so-called wonderful Dems. See more tolerance from the right.

  9. DeniseVB says:

    Here’s another example of that racist/woman hating Republican party ….. oh yeah !

  10. helenk3 says:

    another form of bigotry that many are afraid to talk about
    Islam against the world

  11. piper says:

    More from Dem party Paul Begalia on trying to blame Repub for Donald Sterling’s racism then tries to backtrack when he finds out Sterling is a dem and a huge donator to the Demo – rats.

    • sleepyhead says:

      I have begun yelling at the radio not just when I hear BHO drooling out his drivel, but also at the mere mention of his name by the announcer. Pretty soon I will be spending all my time in a profane scatological rant.

  12. helenk3 says:

    if you do not see racism everywhere=====you must be a racist

  13. helenk3 says:

    what is that old saying a picture is worth a 1000 words. so manipulate the picture

  14. driguana says:

    As I am remodeling my house, I have all of the Sherwin Williams color charts and so far I cannot exactly identify what color I am but, according to their charts, I am definitely not “white”. My feeling is that everybody is colored.

  15. helenk3 says:

    I have watched the “use of color” for many years. Saw people get jobs because of affirmative action that made the Peter Principle apply. I have watched people get ahead because they can do the job no matter what color they are. I prefer the second choice. You are paid to do a job, no more , no less. When that fact is completely understood all will be better off

    • elliesmom says:

      When I taught juniors and seniors in high school, a lot of my students would seek out my advice about which colleges to apply to because I have a very practical approach to most things in life. I would tell them after they had established a school offered the programs they were interested in and had a social environment they thought would make them feel comfortable, they should look for the stats for the last couple of entering freshmen classes. If their SAT scores and class standing were close to the mean, they were likely to successfully graduate. If they knew they hadn’t worked as hard in high school as they could have, then this is probably a school they have a chance to move to the head of the class. If their SAT scores were much higher than the mean, they would start out ahead of the game, but this is probably a lower tier school than they need to choose. They would have to decide if they wanted an easier ride through school or have the opportunities a higher tier education might bring them. If they found their own stats would put them starting out in the bottom of the class, there may be factors that would still make them be accepted, but they needed to understand graduating near the top of the class would take extraordinary effort on their part.

      For most kids a college education is not an end unto itself. It’s a stepping stone to a job or more education. While it is true top businesses and top graduate programs are more likely to recruit at top tier colleges, they are also looking for the top tier of the students there. Being at the top of the class at a second tier school will open more doors for you, even if the doors aren’t quite as fancy, than being in the bottom tier of a top tier school. Unless you already have the connections, graduating at the bottom of your class at Harvard isn’t an instant ticket to a high paying job although most kids think it is. I know a lot of guys who only made it through a year or two at MIT because the writing was already on the wall no one was going to be looking to offer them a great job even if they managed to graduate, and it was too expensive and too much work for little or no payback.

      I gave the same advice to all of the kids regardless of their skin color or gender. But if you are accepted at a big name school, even if you know your chances of success there are extremely limited, it’s hard not to accept the offer. A lot of minority kids found themselves over their heads and never did graduate when they could have been highly successful students somewhere a little less challenging. Maybe even have been the students companies and graduate schools were actively recruiting. I believe in “the soft bigotry of low expectations”, but it shouldn’t be confused with a huge dose of reality.

    • 49erDweet says:

      My last state office management promotion was into a “designated white” position in a major non-white community. Which was ironic bc my previous 12 attempts at promotion were thwarted bc they were directed FROM me to

  16. mothy67 says:

    Can we please have a Ptogressive Day? I want an entire day to blame everything on the wotld outside of me. I do not make bad choices the savage US society forces me to destroy my future because of blah blah blah.

  17. helenk3 says:

    off topic

    if this really works just think of the changes in the world this would make

  18. The Klown says:
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