Post-Racial America: Is race getting too much attention?

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Post-Racial America
Protester in Ferguson Missouri

A protester in Ferguson, Missouri. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the Missouri National Guard to withdraw from Ferguson, leaving behind a host of questions about race and race relations in America.

Do you think the shooting of Michael Brown raises important questions about race? Do you think race is getting too much attention?

This week, we’ve considered the specific events in Ferguson, as well as the larger issue of a post-racial nation: whether the idea of post-racial America is just a dangerous fantasy, the sharp contrast in how whites and blacks view the situation in Ferguson, the importance of a role for the federal government in local affairs, and acts of kindness amidst the turmoil and chaos in Ferguson.

Today, we look at the political divide in views about Ferguson and race relations.

Forty-four percent Americans say that Brown’s shooting raises important issues about race, according to a new Pew poll. But Republicans and Democrats have sharply different opinions. Just over two of ten Republicans (22%) say the Ferguson situation raises important issues about race, while more than two-thirds of Democrats (68%) say the same.

Is race getting too much attention in this case? Six of ten Republicans (61%) say it is, according to Pew. Only 21% of Democrats say that race is getting too much attention.

About two-thirds of the population of Ferguson is African Americans (67.4% in the 2010 Census). The police force has 50 white officers and 4 black officers.

As we conclude this week …

What are your views about the shooting of Michael Brown and the aftermath in Ferguson?

Do you think the shooting raises important questions about race?

Do you think race is getting too much attention?

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Comments

  1. Bob Bruttell says

    Even when race is getting almost no attention whatsoever, a sizable percentage of white folks think race is getting too much attention. I in fact had to endure a conversation today with an associate that started with “I am not a racist.” And the “police were just doing their difficult Job.” And “we don’t know the whole truth about Brown yet.”

    People are not expressing their intense anger in Ferguson because of the particulars of this incident. They are angry because they have been marginalized day in and day out by both the petty and major humiliations that are visited upon them daily. Those issues in aggregate grind on people who, in Ferguson at least, found that they could not take it anymore and decided to demonstrate their displeasure while people are briefly paying attention. The marginalized lives of people living amid circumstances of concentrated abject poverty, isolated and remote from middle class resources, are grindingly difficult: no jobs, no transportation to get to jobs, no hope that would garner the sacrifice necessary for education if what passes for education was not so distracted by the special needs that are a function of the poverty in a vicious circle… Anytime a light is shown on that designed outcome folks squirm and want the light turned off as quickly as possible.