Tag Archives: Samuel R. Sommers

Why That Harvard/Tufts Study Isn’t Breaking News

By Arturo R. García

Another week, another head-scratching study result. Or so you’d think, right?

The study, conducted by researchers at Tufts and Harvard Universities, concluded that white people think the prejudices blacks faced during the Civil Rights era are literally in the past. But it’s not all rosy, apparently, for the majority of the 209 white people (alongside 208 blacks) surveyed. From the abstract:

We show that this emerging belief reflects Whites’ view of racism as a zero-sum game, such that decreases in perceived bias against Blacks over the past six decades are associated with increases in perceived bias against Whites—a relationship not observed in Blacks’ perceptions. Moreover, these changes in Whites’ conceptions of racism are extreme enough that Whites have now come to view anti-White bias as a bigger societal problem than anti-Black bias.

But, setting aside questions regarding the size of the survey group and the focus on white/black relations in an increasingly diverse country, one has to wonder: is this really a surprise?
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