Racism is on the rise in America, or so it appears from a variety of news reports. Americans are witnessing a growing number of incidents in which cops are called on people of color who are doing mundane things.
Here is a list of some places and people who have created unnecessary drama for people of color:
Nordstrom Rack in St. Louis, Missouri
Hobby Lobby store in Trussville, Alabama
Gas Station Gail
Unnamed Smith College employee
White Walmart customer
Sadly, this list isn’t exhaustive.
According to psychologist Dr. Colette Poole-Boykin, diversity anxiety could be a factor in what is happening. She writes, “Diversity anxiety is a feeling of unease about an anticipated or real increase in diversity. When white people suffer from this kind of anxiety, they are more likely to exhibit signs of increased stress and lower cognitive performance during contact. . . Ultimately, whether the anxiety is driven by covert racism or a natural group affinity for their own ethnic group, the behavior in these abrasive interactions negatively affects the recipient.”
Diversity anxiety could explain why some Americans freak out upon hearing others speak a language other than English. For example, Linda Dwire was arrested and charged with two counts of bias-motivated harassment after she verbally attacked two women because the women were speaking to each other in Spanish while shopping.
Psychologist Dr. Rupert W. Nacoste writes, “The problem today is not race-relations per se or unconscious bias. The problem is getting people to admit, acknowledge and manage their neo-diversity anxiety. That is an anxiety about who belongs in what spaces; that is the anxiety of “who are among the ‘we’ and who are among the ‘they.’ That is the anxiety that is the American intergroup problem of our-time.”
Psychologist Dr. Anthony Burrow states, “There may be a tendency for individuals to perceive diversity as threatening. For some whites, increasing diversity could mean the demise of their social influence, their values and their place in the world. Even imagining a more ethnically heterogeneous future society increases whites’ fear of and anger toward ethnic minorities.”
Side Note: Genuine Republicans and Conservatives will acknowledge that racism is on the rise. After all, modern-day acts of racism could be coming from Democrats.
Featured Image Source: Library of Congress