MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s seen on social media, and sometimes, heard from friends and family. There’s divisiveness in our country, and it centers around race.
There is no denying that racial tension exists, and it isn’t difficult to see. The problem is that some may not be looking for it.
The race for president has highlighted the divisions in America. On the stump, campaign-trail rhetoric has differed greatly between the candidates, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. A survey of 110,000 people across the country now shows it has led to concrete divisions.
According to the survey, conducted for the Associated Press by the University of Chicago, 55 percent of white voters back t\Trump, while nearly 40 percent of Biden’s voters identify as people of color. Further, nearly all of those supporting Biden said racism is a serious problem.
It also shows the divisions are baked in; more than 75 percent of voters said they decided their vote long before casting it.
“It’s always been there,” said Dr. Justin Rose, Chairman of the Political Science Department at Rhodes College. “What we haven’t had in kind of modern history is a president who was willing to openly stoke the racist tensions in America.”
“When one group feels like they are losing out, particularly white Americans, particularly poor white Americans, you start to see an exacerbation among the races, there tends to be a scapegoating,” said Rose.
The reason the way the issues are viewed varies so greatly, Dr. Rose said, is likely because many are closed off to learning someone else’s perspective, furthering divisions.
That, he said, allows the “status quo” to [continue] to exist."
The gap can be closed, according to Dr. Rose, but for that to happen, there has to be an admission that the issues exist, which is where perspective comes in.
In other words, listen.