Monday, July 31, 2006

Liberal Racists - Proof At Last ?

Oh dear.

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.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting indeed, would like to know the effect size.

It'd be good if that same study could be replicated here in Britain. Could Labour and Conservative attitudes be neatly mapped onto Republican and Democrat ones, or not?

Laban said...

liberals are fond of claiming, for example, that people who dislike homosexuals have hidden homosexual desires. Those cheap 70s books on Freud have a lot to answer for.

But some liberal attitudes to race are so foolish that I really do wonder if some lefties have racist ideas that they're frightened to confront.

Anonymous said...

Surely the answer is a simple one? Liberals want to give reduced assistance to ethnic minorities so that they can be forever dependent on white liberals, thus generating many future years of compassionate hand-wringing. My God, if you give them sufficient help to get onto their own two feet, they will become independent and might even vote Republican!

Anonymous said...

I do feel a bit old reading 'liberal' used in the American sense.

'Liberal' still reminds me of Cyril Smith and the cadaverous Jeremy Thorpe.

Anonymous said...

This is fairly obvious. Most respondents were white and middle-class. Naturally, they identified with the victims who were white and middle class - when presented with a white, middle-class victim, they put themselves in that person's place and awarded them what they'd want themselves. In the cases of victims presented as non-white and having a blue-collar job, they took a more objective view and awarded less.

Anonymous said...

Could well be, but aren't Republicans likely to be white and middle-class too?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it could be argued that Reps are more likely to evluate the situation logically, whilst Dems are more likely to approach it purely emotionally? I know, being a conservative, I would say that, although even the left admits that they are less logical. (I'll find the Prospect article if I can).

Anonymous said...

It isn't in their archives, so you you'll have to buy this issue:

Much of prospect is good stuff, so I can recommend doing so, if only to see what intelligent liberals are saying.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Alex.

Prospect seems a pretty good magazine, from the few issues I've read.