Saturday, September 20, 2008

This saddens me

I don't know why I'm trying to post when I have to leave in fifteen minutes, but this really struck me (in a sad way) and I felt like I ought to share it.

Take a look at the box on the left--survey respondents were asked to pick adjectives that describe blacks. Notice where white republicans fall on this graph (the red squares). They are the least likely, of all white political groups, to apply positive adjectives to blacks, and among the most likely to think that negative adjectives apply. Note that less than 15% of white republicans think that the word "law-abiding" applies to most blacks! That's right, 85% of white republicans think that most black people are NOT law-abiding! Yikes!

This makes me wonder how many white republicans actually *know* any black people. I would have liked to see that question in the survey--how often do you interact with black people, and on what level?--and to see how the answer to that question correlates to the adjectives chosen.

But to a certain extent, your familiarity with black people ought to be irrelevant--surely any charitable American would be willing to assume the best about people that they don't know?

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