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Long shadow of sin

(2015-06-23 15:48:33) 下一个

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本帖最后由 LongLeeLu 于 2015-6-23 14:47 编辑

Slavery’s Long Shadow  by Paul Krugman
JUNE 22, 2015
America is a much less racist nation than it used to be, and I’m not just talking about the still remarkable fact that an African-American occupies the White House. The raw institutional racism that prevailed before the civil rights movement ended Jim Crow is gone, although subtler discrimination persists. Individual attitudes have changed, too, dramatically in some cases. For example, as recently as the 1980s half of Americans opposed interracial marriage, a position now held by only a tiny minority.

Yet racial hatred is still a potent force in our society, as we’ve just been reminded to our horror. And I’m sorry to say this, but the racial divide is still a defining feature of our political economy, the reason America is unique among advanced nations in its harsh treatment of the less fortunate and its willingness to tolerate unnecessary suffering among its citizens.

Of course, saying this brings angry denials from many conservatives, so let me try to be cool and careful here, and cite some of the overwhelming evidence for the continuing centrality of race in our national politics.

My own understanding of the role of race in U.S. exceptionalism was largely shaped by two academic papers.

The first, by the political scientist Larry Bartels, analyzed the move of the white working class away from Democrats, a move made famous in Thomas Frank’s “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Mr. Frank argued that working-class whites were being induced to vote against their own interests by the right’s exploitation of cultural issues. But Mr. Bartels showed that the working-class turn against Democrats wasn’t a national phenomenon — it was entirely restricted to the South, where whites turned overwhelmingly Republican after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Richard Nixon’s adoption of the so-called Southern strategy.

And this party-switching, in turn, was what drove the rightward swing of American politics after 1980. Race made Reaganism possible. And to this day Southern whites overwhelmingly vote Republican, to the tune of 85 or even 90 percent in the deep South.

The second paper, by the economists Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser, and Bruce Sacerdote, was titled “Why Doesn’t the United States Have a European-style Welfare State?” Its authors — who are not, by the way, especially liberal — explored a number of hypotheses, but eventually concluded that race is central, because in America programs that help the needy are all too often seen as programs that help Those People: “Within the United States, race is the single most important predictor of support for welfare. America’s troubled race relations are clearly a major reason for the absence of an American welfare state.”

Now, that paper was published in 2001, and you might wonder if things have changed since then. Unfortunately, the answer is that they haven’t, as you can see by looking at how states are implementing — or refusing to implement — Obamacare.

For those who haven’t been following this issue, in 2012 the Supreme Court gave individual states the option, if they so chose, of blocking the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, a key part of the plan to provide health insurance to lower-income Americans. But why would any state choose to exercise that option? After all, states were being offered a federally-funded program that would provide major benefits to millions of their citizens, pour billions into their economies, and help support their health-care providers. Who would turn down such an offer?

The answer is, 22 states at this point, although some may eventually change their minds. And what do these states have in common? Mainly, a history of slaveholding: Only one former member of the Confederacy has expanded Medicaid, and while a few Northern states are also part of the movement, more than 80 percent of the population in Medicaid-refusing America lives in states that practiced slavery before the Civil War.

Continue reading the main story

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I posted this text (sublinear) a few days ago, on one of the (many) NYT's Charlotte, S.C. church shooting articles. It probably fits here...

1 day ago
Thank you, Paul. This is one of the more brilliant, and important commentaries I've seen on the Internet. And lots of people have been...

Ted Gemberling
1 day ago
The new racism is basically libertarianism. This is a subtle point, because it would be wrong to say that all libertarians are racist. In...

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And it’s not just health reform: a history of slavery is a strong predictor of everything from gun control (or rather its absence), to low minimum wages and hostility to unions, to tax policy.

So will it always be thus? Is America doomed to live forever politically in the shadow of slavery?

I’d like to think not. For one thing, our country is growing more ethnically diverse, and the old black-white polarity is slowly becoming outdated. For another, as I said, we really have become much less racist, and in general a much more tolerant society on many fronts. Over time, we should expect to see the influence of dog-whistle politics decline.

But that hasn’t happened yet. Every once in a while you hear a chorus of voices declaring that race is no longer a problem in America. That’s wishful thinking; we are still haunted by our nation’s original sin.

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“奴隶制的遗毒、吉姆·克劳(Jim Crow),以及在我们的所有制度中都存在的歧视,投下了长长的阴影,而且仍然在我们的DNA里,被传递给下一代。”他在接受马克·马龙(Marc Maron)的播客“WTF”访谈时说,该节目于本周一播出。“这个问题并未治愈。而且这不只是在公众场合说‘黑鬼’很不礼貌的问题。那不是种族主义是否仍然存在的衡量标准。”


在第二个任期里,奥巴马在种族问题上更加畅所欲言,部分原因是过去几年里发生了一些带有种族歧视色彩的事件。佛罗里达州黑人少年特雷沃恩·马丁(Trayvon Martin)遭枪杀,以及几起警察枪击事件引起的抗议活动,促使奥巴马更多地反思他自己以及这个国家的种族身份。




2008年还是总统候选人的时候,奥巴马曾直接谈论过种族问题,当时他曾经的牧师杰勒麦亚·赖特(Jeremiah Wright)发表了一些言论,奥巴马针对这些言论发表了一个有关种族问题的讲话。在他的第一任期中,奥巴马大多数时候都会回避种族问题,只是在上任之初,当马萨诸塞州坎布里奇的白人警官逮捕哈佛大学黑人教授时,他发表了评论。


不过,他们不是在讲笑话;两人的对话多数时候是严肃的。除了讨论种族问题,奥巴马和马龙还谈论了枪支管控,以及上周南卡罗来纳州查尔斯顿以马内利非裔卫理圣公会教堂(Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church)发生枪击案后,是否应该采取一些应对措施。




奥巴马在周五的采访中说,尽管美国公众广泛支持改革枪支法规,但由于美国步枪协会(National Rifle Association)的影响,这项法律不太可能很快得到通过。

高丽人 发表评论于
任何人种都是有歧视的, 与生俱来的歧视是人类自我保护的手段之一。只有教育才能改变人的看法。黑人被歧视是真实的,但这并不能排除他们自身的责任。不同人种通婚可能是最有效的方法之一。中国人这个群体就是黑白通婚的产物,所谓炎黄子孙其实就是黑黄子孙,炎字在古汉语即黑意。
日光晃 发表评论于
清泉出山浊 发表评论于
种族歧视仍深入美国DNA,反种族歧视深入黑人的DNA, 怎么解决呢,直接告上联合国人权委员会.
analytical 发表评论于
黑鬼is racists.
独上南岛 发表评论于
老不正经的 发表评论于
Redcheetah 发表评论于
"种族歧视" coming from what "黑鬼" have been done and they are doing.
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