America Is a Little More Racist Than It Was Four Years Ago

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Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Four years after electing our first black president, the United States is somehow more racist than it was before, according to an online poll by the Associated Press: A majority of Americans (51 percent) now hold "explicit anti-black attitudes" — up from 49 percent in 2008 — and 56 percent showed prejudice on an implicit racism test. Yes, Republicans tend to score higher on the explicit metric (just ask Colin Powell's former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, who said the party was "full of racists" on MSNBC on Friday night), but Americans' unspoken racist tendencies are apparently nonpartisan — and may ultimately cost Obama about two percent of the popular vote. As one political scientist put it, "President Obama's election clearly didn't change those who appear to be sort of hard-wired folks with racial resentment." Mind electricians of America: you have a lot of work to do.