Gjesteskribent

Barack Obamas kandidatur er et bevis på at afroamerikanere er godtatt. Men nye motsetninger melder seg: Spansktalende har sterke reservasjoner mot svarte. Et overveldende flertall vil stemme Clinton. Motsetninger mellom minoritetsgrupper er en ny faktor som begynner å få oppmerksomhet.

«Rasisme» blir tradisjonelt oppfattet som hvites fordommer mot svarte. Men nye undersøkelser viser at det er sterke motsetninger mellom spansktalende og asiatiske innvandrere og svarte amerikanere. De svarte tror ikke på den amerikanske drømmen. Det gjør de spansktalende og asiatene. De svarte føler også at de nye innvandrerne tar jobbene, mens de spansktalende og asiatene ser ned på og frykter svarte pga. kriminalitet.

Alle tre grupper vil heller gjøre business med hvite enn med noen fra den andre gruppen, viser en studie fra New American Media, en interesseorganisasjon for etniske medier:

The nation’s first multilingual poll of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans has uncovered serious tensions among these ethnic groups, including mistrust and significant stereotyping, but a majority of each group also said they should put aside differences and work together to better their communities.

The poll, which was released today during a news conference at the National Press Club, was sponsored by New America Media (NAM) and nine ethnic media outlets who are founding members of the organization.

«This extraordinary poll reveals some unflattering realities that exist in America today,» said Sandy Close, Executive Editor and Director of NAM, the nation’s first and largest collaboration of ethnic news media. «The sponsors of the poll strongly believe the best way to move forward is by identifying the problems and initiating a dialogue that can bring ethnic groups closer together in their fight for equality and against discrimination.»

Broadly, the poll of 1,105 African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic adults found that the predominantly immigrant populations – Hispanics and Asians – expressed far greater optimism about their lives in America, concluding that hard work is rewarded in this society. By contrast, more than 60% of the African Americans polled do not believe the American Dream works for them. Blacks also described themselves as more segregated from the rest of America than the other groups.

The poll found that friction between ethnic and racial groups, which at times has erupted into highly-publicized incidents around the country, is clearly rooted in the mistrust that the groups harbor towards each other, as well as the sentiment that other groups are mistreating them or are detrimental to their own future. For instance, 44% of Hispanics and 47% of Asians are «generally afraid of African Americans because they are responsible for most of the crime.» Meanwhile, 46% of Hispanics and 52% of African Americans believe «most Asian business owners do not treat them with respect.» And half of African Americans feel threatened by Latin American immigrants because «they are taking jobs, housing and political power away from the Black community.»

Moreover, the three groups seem more trusting of whites than of each other. The poll found that 61% of Hispanics, 54% of Asians and 47% of African Americans would rather do business with whites than members of the other two groups.

«The poll reaffirms that while race relations between ethnic groups and whites grab the headlines, there are also serious racial problems between minority groups in America,» said Sergio Bendixen, who is an expert on Hispanic and multilingual polling. «Blacks feel they are left out of the American Dream and are being displaced by newcomers, and each group buys into the negative stereotypes about the other two. What’s clear is the need to dissolve this friction. The poll results show that the overwhelming majority of ethnic Americans want that positive outcome.»

På den positive siden sier asiater og hispanics at de svarte gikk foran og var pionerer i borgerrettskampen. Rundt 60 % tror på en større forståelse mellom folkegruppene.

Motsetninger

I konvensjonell ordbruk brukes betegnelsen «fordommer» om gruppestereoptyper, og i det ligger at den negative oppfatningen er forutinntatt. Men forutintatt betyr ikke automatisk uberettiget. Noe er hearsay, ting man hører og vokser opp med, noe er erfaringer. Spørsmålet er: hvor representative er erfaringene? Hvor mye skal man la dem diktere sitt syn?

Enhver diskusjon må begynne med å anerkjenne at fordommene eksisterer. I USA har man oppdaget at spansktalende har oppfatninger av svarte som man tidligere forbandt med hvite.

Over the last two decades, there has been evidence of growing hostility from Hispanics toward African Americans. Some of this hostility is the result of conflicts, or perceived conflicts, over politically controlled resources in cities and states. But as Tanya K. Hernandez, a professor of law at George Washington, has argued recently, it may also be a legacy of an older Latin American prejudice against blacks that has been transplanted to this country.

While this conflict passes largely unnoticed in the popular press, African American and Latino sociologists have been conducting extensive surveys in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. These surveys have generally found that Latinos display more prejudice toward African Americans than African Americans do toward Latinos or than whites display toward African Americans. In the words of University of Houston sociologist Tatcho Mindiola, Jr. and two associates, «in general African Americans have more positive views of Hispanics than vice versa.»

In Mindiola’s surveys of racial attitudes in Houston, they asked Latino respondents to describe blacks. Some of the terms that most often came to mind were «noisy,» «loud,» «lazy,» «dropouts/uneducated,» «hostile,» «complainers/whiners,» «bad people,» «prejudiced,» «aggressive,» «angry,» «disrespectful/rude,» and «violent.» Only 54 percent of U.S.-born Latinos and 46 percent of immigrant Latinos approved of their children dating an African American. 41 percent of U.S.-born Latinos thought blacks had «too much power.» Half thought that «most government programs that are designated for minorities favor African Americans.»

Duke University’s Paula McClain, working with nine other sociologists, found similar attitudes among Latinos living in Durham, North Carolina. According to McClain et al., «Latino immigrants hold negative stereotypical views of blacks and feel that they have more in common with whites than with blacks.» For instance, 58.9 percent of Latino immigrants, but only 9.3 percent of whites, reported feeling that «few or almost no blacks are hard-working.»

These attitudes were not confined to working-class Latinos. Yolanda Flores Niemann of Washington State University and four other sociologists discovered among Latino college students the same kind of stereotypes that Mindiola found in Houston. Among the top ten traits that Latino college students ascribed to black males were «antagonistic,» «speak loudly,» «muscular,» «criminal,» «dark skin,» and «unmannerly.»

This hostility of Latinos toward blacks has sometimes showed up in political behavior. While both groups–especially if Florida’s Cubans are excluded–generally vote Democratic, there have been instances where Hispanics, faced with a black Democratic candidate, or with a white Democratic candidate closely tied to the black community, have voted Republican.

Politiske utslag

Disse motsetningene får politiske utslag. Historisk har ingen vunnet presidentvalget som har tapt primærvalget i Iowa, New Hampshire og South Carolina. Men det kan skje nå med de store demografiske endringene i sør.

In a poll from the Pew Hispanic Center released earlier this month, Clinton led among Latino Democrats with 59 percent, compared to 15 percent for Obama and four percent for John Edwards. In polls taken last week in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas by ImpreMedia, the largest Hispanic news company in the United States, Clinton led Obama by an astounding average of 55 to six percent among Hispanic Democrats. Edwards got only 1.8 percent. Of course, even with this kind of support from Hispanics, Clinton could still lose those primaries, but it certainly gives her an edge.
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Hispanics will play a negligible role in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, but they will be a major factor in the Nevada caucus on January 19 and in the primaries in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Jersey, and New York on February 5. Those states together account for 1025 delegates; only 141 are at stake in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. And if the contest is at that point between Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, then Clinton’s edge over Obama among Hispanics, as seen in opinion polls, could prove decisive.

Hillary Clinton’s Firewall by John B. Judis
Will Barack Obama’s anemic standing among Latinos be his undoing

Deep Divisions, Shared Destiny – A Poll of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans on Race Relations

New America Media, Poll, Posted: Dec 12, 2007