College-educated Democratic voters, presented with identical Katrina disaster-scenarios involving a hypothetical victim or victims, consistently recommended less government assistance to the non-white victims.
"Approximately 2,300 people completed the experiment. As in our past studies, the sample was skewed heavily in the direction of Democrats and liberals -- only 12 percent of the participants identified as Republican. Eighty-six percent were critical of President Bush's handling of Katrina. The sample was also highly educated -- 84% had completed at least a bachelor's degree. These features of the sample are especially important in light of the results we describe below."
"When the hurricane victim in the news was a dark-complexion white, the amount of assistance for hurricane victims actually increased. Perhaps well tanned whites are perceived as vigorous, fit and attractive, thus putting our respondents in a more favorable state of mind concerning hurricane victims in general. But for every other ethnic group -- blacks, Hispanics and Asians -- the effect of skin color ran in the opposite direction. When people saw a dark-skinned black, Hispanic, or Asian, they recommended lower levels of financial assistance. This divergence in the effects of skin color for whites and non-whites was statistically significant. A similar, but weaker pattern emerged for duration of assistance. Here the effects of darkened skin color were to increase the duration of assistance in the white and Asian conditions, but to decrease it in the case of the African-American and Hispanic conditions."
Now the really bad news. Republicans, as you might expect, recommended lower levels of government assistance than even 'racist' democrats. They believe in small government. But race wasn't a factor in their decisions.
Professor Iyengar said he's not surprised by the latest findings: "This pattern of results matches perfectly an earlier study I did on race and crime" with Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. of UCLA. "Republicans supported tough treatment of criminals no matter what they encountered in the news. Others were more elastic in their position, coming to support more harsh measures when the criminal suspect they encountered was non-white."
I feel a gratuitous link to Professor Walter Williams coming on.
Hat-Tip - Sister Toldjah.
Slow News Day...
2 hours ago