My personal experience — having lived in Virginia for more than half a century — is that outright racism that once was common now is almost non-existant. A new report by political scientist Eric Kaufmann of the Manhattan Institute appears to support the observation.
You wouldn’t know it from recent headlines, but there’s good news about race in the U.S. today.
Using survey data, Mr. Kaufmann notes that racial attitudes have been trending toward more tolerance for well over half a century…
According to Mr. Kaufmann, “at a time when measures of racist attitudes and behavior have never been more positive, pessimism about racism and race relations has increased in America.” Terms like “systemic racism” and “unconscious bias” are increasingly common, but white racist views have been in steady decline, whether with regard to having black co-workers, classmates or neighbors.
Intermarriage trend lines also undermine the notion that racial bigotry in America is a growing problem. “Approval of black-white intermarriage rose among whites from around 4% in 1958 to 45% in 1995 and 84% in 2013,” Mr. Kaufmann writes. “In 2017, fewer than 10% of whites in a major Pew survey said that interracial marriage was a ‘bad thing,’ ” and the “actual share of intermarried newlyweds rose from 3% in 1967 to 17% in 2015.” In fact, intermarriages involving Asians, Hispanics and Jews have all risen sharply over the decades, yet progressive intellectuals want to lecture the rest of us on how to be “antiracist.”
The concept of systemic racism holds that our institutions treat minorities unfairly, regardless of the individuals who work in or populate them. It is a real puzzle to contemplate how this could be when interpersonal race relations are so much improved.