Friday, March 21, 2008

How strong is black nationalism in America? The large membership of Obama's church makes me wonder if nationalist attitudes are common among blacks. Do folks seek out these messages in order to confirm what they already believe, or are they seduced by entertaining demogogues?

The Survey of Chicago African Americans asked close to 700 people questions concerning loyalty to blacks and separation from whites. Here are the questions with results listed in percentages:


"In general, do you think it's better for people of different
races - one, to keep to themselves as much as possible OR
two, to live and work together so they can learn to understand
each other?"

Keep to themselves 1.3%
Live and work together 98.7


"To make real progress in achieving equality, is it better
for Blacks - one, to work together with whites OR two, to
work together mostly with other Blacks?"

Work together 83.7%
Work with blacks 10.3
Both 6.0


"Is it more important - one, to help those who are worse off,
regardless of their color OR two, to concentrate on helping
Blacks?"

Everyone 93.1%
Blacks 6.1
Both 0.6


"Is it more important - one, to promote Black culture as a
separate culture OR two, to emphasize what Americans have
in common?"

Separate 21.9%
Common 75.1


"Is it more important - one, for Blacks to build good relations
with Whites OR two, for Blacks to build pride and respect
for themselves, even if it means causing tension between Blacks
and Whites?"

Good relations 52.2%
Build pride 43.3
Both 4.5


"Is it more important - one, for schools in Black neighborhoods
to hire Black teachers OR two, for these schools to select the
most competent teachers regardless of race?"

Black 8.1%
Competent 90.6


"Blacks should always vote for Black candidates when they run for an elected office?"

Agree strongly 6.1%
Agree somewhat 13.1
Disagree somewhat 28.0
Disagree strongly 52.8


"Blacks are better off living with other Blacks in Black neighborhoods rather than living with whites?"

Agree strongly 5.4%
Agree somewhat 13.0
Disagree somewhat 33.0
Disagree strongly 48.6


"Black people should shop in stores owned by other Blacks whenever possible?"

Agree strongly 31.0%
Agree somewhat 28.5
Disagree somewhat 16.5
Disagree strongly 24.0


"Blacks should have control over the economy in mostly Black communities?"

Agree strongly 36.5%
Agree somewhat 25.7
Disagree somewhat 20.2
Disagree strongly 17.6


I am a bit surprised by these numbers. Much of my sense of black attitudes comes from listening to black leaders, and it appears that they are more extreme than ordinary blacks. The patterns of results suggest that most blacks believe in integration and focusing on what we have in common. The only area where we see most people expressing real black loyalty is in the area of supporting black businesses.

The data support the view that blacks generally view whites and integration positively, but they are impressed by the "audacity" and charisma of these race hustlers and are sadly pulled in a more radical direction.

Later, I'll look at how these attitudes vary by education. I suspect that our precious lefty professors have encouraged radicalism among upwardly mobile blacks.

3 comments:

Black Sea said...

For black audiences, there's probably a certain cathartic or pep rally appeal to the rhetoric of extremist black leaders, even if they don't totally buy the arguments.

Hard work, thrift, honesty, moderation, self-discipline, cooperation . . . these aren't the raw materials of high drama, even though they do tend to get things done.

In other words, Shelby Steele makes more sense than Al Sharpton, but maybe Brother Al is more fun to watch.

Gardagami said...

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