When an old person or even a middle aged person spouts racist hate, it’s disgusting and likely to make you unfriend them (either in real life or on social media), but you can generally take solace in knowing that in a generation or two, those people will be gone.
Then, there’s this horrible kid with his horrible parents(?) giggling in the background. He rants about Obama, comparing him as a black man in the White House to a piece of jerky against a white wall. He even said that black people are taking all “our jobs.”
Here’s the video (profanity):
It’s the internet, we like to tell ourselves. The anonymity brings out the worst in people. That kid is just regurgitating everything his parents are saying, right?
On the surface, there’s hope:
America’s newest generation is more racially progressive than its predecessors’. For example, the Pew study shows that millennials are more likely to support interracial marriage and dating and are generally more accepting of immigrants. They see themselves as racially progressive as well. According to a 2014 survey (PDF) of millennials conducted by MTV and David Binder Research, nearly all respondents said they believe ‘everyone should be treated equally, regardless of race,’ 72 percent said ‘their generation believes in equality more than older people,’ and 58 percent believed ‘racism will become less and less of an issue’ as they take on leadership roles. More than half believe that racial bias is “small but real” and “subtler” than it was in the past.
But, maybe not. A recent Washington Post article wrote about studies that say that Millennials (those born after 1980) are just as racist as their parents and their grandparents.
Millennials are less likely to believe they’re racist, but they also take race issues for granted. Less than half believes we need to do much more as far as racial equality. In fact, Millennials are more likely than other generations to believe that President Obama’s election is proof that racism is over and that black people have undeserved advantages.
Singling out educated kids isn’t any more promising. The Department of Education reports that racial complaints have almost doubled since Obama took office. Now, it could be that victims are more likely to speak out now, but less than half of white college students reported even having a close friend of a different race.
White Millennials, like with all generations of white people, deny white privilege and tend to see racism as a more superficial issue. If people aren’t running around using the “n” word, people think, there is no racism.
Now for the good news – despite what we read in the internet every day, people across generations are less racist then before. So maybe it’s not that racists will die out. As interracial coupling becomes even more the norm, maybe eventually, racism will just fade out.
Featured image via video screen capture.