DATA: Conservatives Don't Like Civil Rights Leaders

The fact that people talked politics at Coretta Scott King's funeral is upsetting to some people. Conservatives especially, but not exclusively.  There's nothing new about this, however. For the most part, these are the same folks who always wanted the civil rights community to shut up.

Looking at data from the National Election Survey (NES), cumulative file 1952-2000, we find the following:

(1) To the question, "Do you think that civil rights leaders are trying to push too fast, are going too slowly, or are they moving about the right speed?" the public answered:
                          Liberal   Mod    Conserv    Total

  1. Too slowly     23.3       9.8     6.7       12
  2. About right    55.2      50.7    50         51.6
  3. Too fast        20        36.5    40.4       33.8
  4. DK/depends    1.5       3       3          2.6

In short, liberals are fairly balanced, leaning slightly toward saying that civil rights leaders should be moving more rapidly.  IN contrast, conservatives are overwhelmingly tilted the other way: by more than 6 to 1 they say civil rights leaders have moved too fast rather than too slowly.  Sadley, moderates have been much closer to conservatives than they have been to liberals in their support for the rate of change in civil rights.

(2) When asked to quantify their feelings toward civil rights leaders--using a 100-point "thermometer" from cold to warm--the results are similar: Liberals are far more favorable to civil rights leaders, with a favorable/unfavorable ratio of just over 2:1. Conservatives are just slightly more favorable than unfavorable.

"Temp"         Liberal   Mod    Conserv    Total
< 50              18.4      36.3       44.9       35.0
=50               25.0      22.5       21.4       25.0
>50               38.8      32.6       43.6       38.8

Looked at another way--cumulating the temperature ratings and averaging them--we find that only liberals view civil rights leaders favorably:

                        Liberal   Mod    Conserv    Total
Avg Temp:         62.1      47.4       43.7       49.8

In short, if there's one aspect of Coretta Scott King's funeral that was false, politically motivated, and misleading, it was George W. Bush's presence there, praising her.

And if there's one aspect of the coverage that's false, it's the pretense that all Americans are united behind the vision she and her husband stood for.

Tags: civil rights, conservative, Coretta Scott King, liberal, polls (all tags)



Re: DATA: Conservatives Don't Like Civil Rights

Which civil rights leaders did respondents rate?

by bluenc 2006-02-08 07:56AM | 0 recs
It's A General Question, Just Like The First One

The same language is used for groups as well: blacks, whites, Protestants, Catholics, liberals, conservatives, etc., etc., etc.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-08 08:09AM | 0 recs
Two faced Republicans

These are the same folks that thought that the one week propaganda festival for Ronald Reagan during the residential campaign was appropriate but a few hours for Paul Wellstone's funeral was a shocking breach of decorum.

Unfortunately, the mock outrage worked to elect Norm Coleman, certainly not someone who votes like Wellstone or leads like Wellstone.

I found myself saying to the TV, he shouldn't be there.  Because George W. Bush stands for war under false pretenses.  Not peace.  Because he stands for increasing inequality, not for caring about poor people.  Because, he became President and maintained that position, by systematically trampling on the rights of black people to vote.

by David Kowalski 2006-02-08 08:14AM | 0 recs
Bush Got What He Deserved

Bush stepped outside the bubble, and thought he could steal a bit of King's aura.  Instead, he had to sit still and listen to speeches the likes of which he never has to hear.  Naturally, Republicans find this very upsetting.

While I, too, think it was a travesty that he was there in the first place, at least I have the satisfaction of knowing he was forced to listen to truths he didn't want to hear.

As for the larger issue of contrasting commemorations, this is just par for the course.  Republicans believe wholeheartedly in double standards--one for them and their kind, the other for everyone else.  So they're not really being hypocritical when they protest about behavior that they practice themselves.

They're like mafia bosses who scream bloody murder when someone tries to steal from them.  That, too, is a matter of personal honor and integrity.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-08 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: DATA: Conservatives Don't Like Civil Rights Le
The Civil Rights movement may have done more harm than good, at least economically.  Between 1947 and 1973 average income for African Americans grew 131% faster even than white average income at 105%.  In 1973 real income actually started falling for the next two decades for African Americans.  1972, interestingly enough was the year the Equal Employment Opportunity Act passed.  Boy, that sure helped a lot, didn't it?  Oh, and by the way, I got the stats from a leftist news organization: -and-money.html
by Freedom Fighter 2006-02-08 12:36PM | 0 recs
Your Name Is Apt, Since You Fight Freedom!

Anyone who knows anything about American economic history knows that 1973 was the peak of broad prosperity in America.  Thereafter, the upper echelons continued doing well, as a persistent gap opened up between the more and less affluent.  Over time, an increasingly diverse array of people in the upward echelon found themselves falling out of economic grace.  Naturally, as part of the bottom echelons, blacks got hammered especially hard.  So the bare facts you site are no surprise.  Nor do they say anything about the Civil Rights Movement.  In fact, as Henwood notes:

Rich and middle-class black households have largely held their own against their white counterparts, which means they're still behind, but haven't fallen any further so but the black poor have done miserably.
The fact that the black middle class has held its own is remarkable, given how tenuous their hold is, and how recently they've been able to move in the larger society with relative freedom.  The black poor, in contrast, have been largely trapped in the most neglected parts of our national economy--just getting into the rustbelt industrial jobs at the moment those jobs started disappearing in droves.

Still, overall, the portrait is not nearly as bad as might seem, since white male incomes fell more than black male incomes as this chart shows:

It's quite evident that blacks did not share in Post-WWII prosperity, seeing a relative decline through the mid-50s, and then--just when the Civil Rights Movements starts taking off--we see a great surge that lasts until 73.  Black women, however, continue to improve dramatically after only a brief pause.

What's more, just look at how Hispanic men suffered.  It looks like the Civil Rights Movement was really bad for them.  At least if you forget that post hoc ergo proctor hoc is the name of a logical fallacy!

In short, you're full of shit.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-02-08 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Your Name Is Apt, Since You Fight Freedom!

Paul's right. (Wow, that didn't hurt a bit!)

by bluenc 2006-02-08 07:34PM | 0 recs


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