A new Associated Press poll says that race relations have worsened in the last four years, with a higher percentage of Americans now expressing “openly racist” attitudes towards blacks.

Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not….

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

I don’t believe the results or the methodology behind them, let alone the objectivity of those charged with measuring “implicit views.”  Such polls have been published for years, though the ones that find whites feeling more put upon are usually ignored or dismissed.

But for sake of argument, let’s stipulate that anti-black racism is more prevalent in 2012 than in 2008.  Why would that be?

Maybe because for four years we’ve heard that criticizing the policies of a president who promised to “fundamentally transform” the country that a lot of people liked as-is constitutes racism.

On Thursday, August 16th, Toure a co-host of The Cycle on MSNBC said that Romney is engaging in the “niggerization” of the campaign.  Romney’s crime?  Saying that Obama should “take his campaign of division and and anger and hate back to Chicago.” …

Just about a week before that instance, Matthew Rothschild of The Progressive has an article titled “Romney Goes Racist on Welfare”.  What was Romney’s crime this time?  Criticizing Obama for waiving legally unwaivable provisions in the welfare reform law.  See, according to Rothschild, Romney is only bringing up this issue ” to appeal to white working class voters who can be swayed by not-so-subtle racist innuendo.”

In this insane Mobius strip, we’re then instructed that objecting to such character assassinations is another self-evident form of racism, even if it’s hiding inside an imaginary dog whistle:

On Wednesday, MSNBC host Chris Matthews tackled a variety of, what he views as, persistently racial memes and insensitive attacks directed at President Barack Obama from the right. After detailing a series of attacks on the president from a number of prominent Republicans, Matthews chastised those who criticize him for seeing racism in questionable places. He said that those who disagree with him on that matter are “dead wrong” and “dangerous.”

Though “shuck and jive” long ago entered America’s mainstream lexicon (see Jimmy Webb’s excellent song of four decades ago, Mr. Shuck and Jive, almost certainly written about a white man), to apply the term now as a description of the president’s obfuscations about Benghazi brings cries of racism…from those who themselves use it.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the Trayvon Martin killing is supposedly Exhibit A for America’s “War on Young Black Men,” despite statistics proving that that blacks are many times more likely to be killed by blacks than they are by whites.  (See Chicago on any given weekend, if that’s not a racist dog whistle.)

The civil-rights establishment has too much (money and influence) at stake to acknowledge that America 2012 isn’t Mississippi 1955, which explains why so-called “civil rights leaders” play a shell game with white America’s overwhelming acceptance of Martin Luther King’s call to judge people by their character instead of skin color.  Hence, the bad old days magically become the good old days:

Under segregation we built and were in charge of our own institutions. We ran our own schools, built our own banks, and started our own colleges. Under segregation we did not have to use words like “role models” because that’s what everyone was in the African American community. In my neighborhood, Duke Ellington, James Baldwin, Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson were everyday common occurrences on our streets. When integration came, it meant that that those who could afford it and qualified were integrated into white society, while the rest stayed behind. Thus we needed role models. When integration occurred, the black leaders of the black community integrated into the white community. But they were never allowed to hold the same positions of leadership and power that they held in the black community.

You know when it’ll be clear that racism is all but dead and buried?  When so-called liberals stop accusing black conservatives of being Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimas.