F Rosa Rubicondior: Racist News - Christian White Supremacists are Losing the Race Debate in the USA.

Saturday 11 September 2021

Racist News - Christian White Supremacists are Losing the Race Debate in the USA.

U.S. Approval of Interracial Marriage at New High of 94%

Despite the apparent rise in white supremacist racism in Donald Trump's America, the reality is that Americans of all races and ages are far less racist in their attitude to interracial marriage than they used to be, according to a recent Gallup poll.

In 1958, with segregation and Jim Crow laws operating in many southern states, only 4% of Americans of all races approved of interracial marriages; in 2012 that figure has reached 94%. Moreover, the gap between the races on the issue has closed to just 3% (96%, black and 93%, white). It was 56% and 17% respectively in 1969!

Perhaps not surprisingly, those who held that opinion back in 1958 have not moved as fast as later generations, but the 50s and over have moved from 27% to 91% since 1991 and are now only 7 percentage points behind the 18-29 year-old group. There is probably no significant difference between the two under 50 year-old groups, at 97-98%.

Unsurprisingly too, given the prevalence of white evangelical Christians in the far right, white supremacist movements that flourished under Donald Trump and who are still amongst his most ardent supporters, racist attitudes to interracial marriages are strongest in the so-called Bible Belt of the southern and mid-western states.

Although opinion in these regions has also shifted markedly towards the high end of acceptance in recent years, these regions are still where the lowest levels of acceptance are to be found, albeit at 93% (compared to 94% in the east and 98% in the west). The south has moved the most - by 60 percentage points from just 33% in 1991 to 93% in 2021.

The Gallop report concludes with an optimistic note on this and other attitudes towards equal rights and the perception of inequalities, with:
Americans are now nearly unanimous in their approval of marriages between Black people and White people. The shifts over time document changes in U.S. social mores as well as differing attitudes between current and past generations of Americans.

A similar gradual change can be seen in willingness to vote for a Black presidential candidate, a trend that spans just as much time as Gallup's trend on interracial marriage. While voting for a Black candidate was unpopular in the 1950s, nearly all Americans say they would be willing to do so today. Americans' ideas about marriage, too, have changed. Solid majorities now support same-sex marriage, and larger majorities than in the past view divorce as morally acceptable.

At the same time, Americans have become less likely to say that civil rights for Black Americans have improved, and they have recently become more likely to say that new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination against Black people.

Opposition to interracial marriage still exists, but it is quite small. Future measures will indicate whether 94% is the ceiling for approval, or if there is still room for growth in acceptance.
So, after several decades of the Republican-lead 'culture war' and four years of an openly racist president who labelled anti-fascists as terrorists and described white supremacist evangelical Christians who attacked them as 'very fine people', who, with dog-whistle signals in response to the public murder of a black man by white police officers, signalled that in his view, 'Black lives don't matter', Americans generally are much more aware both that there is racial inequality in the USA and that this is wrong and needs to be redressed.

Although there is little room for complacency with 9% of the 50+ age-group, 7% of people in the Bible Belt and 7% of white people overall, still believing in what amounts to apartheid, in this regard, the Republican/evangelical Christian culture war and Trump's leadership of it, as with his leadership in so much else, has pleasingly been a monumental failure.

Long may it continue to fail.

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