Are We There Yet? Perceptions of Racial Progress Among Racial Minorities
By Stacey Greene, Rutgers University
Given the transition from a society built on racialized slave labor and settler colonial genocide, current conditions in the United States often are celebrated as evidence of enormous racial progress. However, survey and experimental data reveal a significant gap in perception of racial progress between Black and White people. These scholars find that Whites compare current racial conditions to the past and conclude that racial equality has been achieved, whereas non-Whites compare present to an ideal and conclude that racial equality is far from being achieved. These perceptual differences have consequences for attitudes toward affirmative action, decisions about how best to combat racial inequality, and beliefs about whether economic inequality persists.