Saturday, December 16, 2006

Symbolic Racism

Walter C. Uhler in the Smirking Chimp:

According to an important article written by Professors Nicholas A. Valentino and David O. Sears - "Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Race and the Partisan Realignment in the Contemporary South ( American Journal of Political Science Vol. 49, No. 3, July 2005) - symbolic racism consists of four complementary beliefs:

(1) Blacks no longer suffer from racial discrimination,
(2) their continuing disadvantage is due to a lack of a work ethic,
(3) blacks make excessive demands and
(4) receive too many undeserved advantages.
[p. 674]

Although symbolic racism goes far to explain southerners' opposition to busing, fair housing, anti-discrimination laws and spending for race-targeted programs, racial animus may be less of a factor than the desire to maintain white racial group privilege." [see Hutchings and Valentino, p. 392]

According to Valentino and Sears, this symbolic racism is much stronger and pervasive in the South than elsewhere in the country. "White Southerners are today more racially conservative than whites living elsewhere on all conventional dimensions of racial attitudes." [p. 679]

Using impeccable statistical analyses, the authors also prove their hypothesis that "the association between racial conservatism and Republican partisanship has strengthened over time in the South, both in absolute terms and relative to the rest of the country." [Ibid] In addition, "negative black stereotypes are associated significantly with Republican party identification and Republican vote choice in the South but not in the North in the 1990s." [p. 683]


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