Black Optimism Surges
About 40% say they're better off now than 5 years ago, up from 20%
By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2010 2:23 PM CST
Revelers at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle celebrate President Obama's inauguration.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The last two years have seen a big increase in black Americans’ sense of how well-off they are in society. A Pew poll concludes that the election of President Obama was a “spur for this sharp rise in optimism,” in which 39% of respondents say they are better off than they were five years ago, up from 20% in 2007. The increase is the biggest in 25 years, reports the Washington Post.

Still, a big divide exists in perceptions of racism. Among black people, 43% see "a lot" of discrimination against them, but only 13% of white people agree with that assessment, notes Politics Daily. And when it comes to Obama, 52% of blacks think his race is a large reason people are opposed to his efforts, an opinion held by just 17% of whites.

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Jan 13, 2010 12:41 PM CST
It's a good thing to note so-called black optimism, and it isn't simply another racial divider as some people have said. Just because everyone is an equal human doesn't mean differences don't exist. There are still some cultural differences between the average black, white, asian, or whatever American, even if they are third-generation. As for the notion that black optimism isn't news-worthy, you have to look at the past few decades of American history. As late as the early 80's, MTV wouldn't show black videos, not even Michael Jackson. It took his lawyers a lot of wrangling to get him on, that's why BET came about. Subtle discrimination like this can affect people, particularly kids in a lot of ways. Kids who feel discriminated generally do less well in school. Sociologists found that with Obama's election, black school children were doing remarkably better on test scores. If this means an entire segment of society finally feels they're accepted, then yes, I would consider it news-worthy.
Jan 13, 2010 6:18 AM CST
I don't know why people make such a big deal about race in the media. 52% percent of Black Americans think Obama is hated for his race. Look, race really isn't that much of a big deal if people would stop making it a big deal. If we weren't constantly making it look like each race is different in a way other than physically. If someone can think logically and rationally, skin color does not matter. period.
Jan 13, 2010 4:16 AM CST
If you are saying that because you believe that somehow racial harmony will prevail if we just pretend that we are color blind, then I disagree with you……….