Study: racist language common among white college students

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Given the proliferation of “ghetto” and “gangsta” parties, blackface and racist “satirical” student newspaper articles lately, the results of this study come as no great surprise.

From The Associated Press:

A University of Dayton sociologist who analyzed journals kept by 626 white college students found the students behaved substantially differently when they were in the company of other whites than when they were with other races.

Part of the culture?
When the students, who were asked to record their interactions with other people, were alone with other white students, racial stereotypes and racist language were surprisingly common, researcher Leslie Picca found. One student reported hearing the “n-word” among white students 27 times in a single day.

The results suggest white students have little sense of shame about racial insults and stereotyping and treat them as simply a part of the culture.

“This is a new generation who grew up watching ‘The Cosby Show,”’ Picca said. “They have the belief that racism isn’t a problem anymore so the words they use and the jokes they tell aren’t racist.”

Picca said she found it “heartbreaking” to see so many well-educated students perpetuating the stereotypes.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

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