#78 Yav, your link was interesting, and proved my point. This was polling date, most of the questions were generically asking about peoples PERCEPTIONS of race relations in society, not their personal experiences with it. The social media and mainstream media's hyper focus on race issues over recent years has created a mountain of misperceptions and false narratives that feeds these perceptions. When you ask people ab out their actual experiences you get different answers.
Yav, how old are you? Do you remember the 70's, the 60's? Can you say with a straight face that race relations have WORSENED since then? My liberal daughter believes they have, because twitter told her that. The statistics you provide show that PERCEPTIONS of race relations steadily improved from the 60's to the 00's, after which time the numbers started reversing. It is no coincidence that coincides with the rise of social media. Before social media, our PERCEPTIONS were fairly closely tied with REALITY as they were based on our personal experiences and those shared with us by trusted friends and family. Since social media, our PERCEPTIONS have skewed far from REALITY, becoming more and more based on the shared experiences of complete strangers. We are bombarded with "stories" bouncing around in echo chambers which are deliberately curated to generate clicks and outrage. The pandemic isolated us and made it worse.
I watched a cousin go through a twitter arc over a period of months surrounding the BLM protests and lock downs. Gradually his posts changed from those of a liberal, intellectually stimulating, politically active guy, to a morose, cynical ADOS taglined guy consumed with race related anger, reparations and systemic racism. Gradually as restrictions lifted he regained his balance and returned to his old self. When we caught up in person I asked him about it. He said the pandemic caused him to live inside the virtual world instead of the real world. It was easy to get drawn into believing everything his "friends" and followers" had to say, and connecting with new friends who gave him a sense of purpose to "fight".
Then one day he left the house for an entire day to catch up on many postponed errands, bringing him into contact with a diverse set of REAL LIVE people, for the first time in months. He realized he was looking at each white person like a dog who was getting ready to bite him, and it almost surprised him when store clerks and others were actually nice to him after all the racial negativity in his virtual universe. When he got home and reflected on the day, he realized how far from reality his perceptions had strayed and decided he needed to get out more.
Im frequently accused of covering for, making excuses and minimizing racism. I'm not. Its real. We have come far but not far enough. I do believe that the only way to make things better is with TRUTH and understanding. The rampant exxaggerations and misrepresentations about racism in the media and social media don't serve to change minds and hearts, they only divide us further. The true racists will not respond to false allegations and only dig in deeper. White allies in the middle feel targeted and lose trust in the messaging. Black moderates get their voices stifled by race hustlers who don't truly represent them. The Black victim culture buys into it, feeds on it and wallows in misplaced anger.
I've seen this in my own very multi family, and I'm sure tommorrow's dinner will be as interesting as ever. We strive to focus on conversations on the the things we agree on, and find common ground. When it starts going off the rails, the Enforcer (my 6'5" uncle) steers it back. It is a shame Twitter doesn't have an Uncle like that.