Principled ideology or racism: Why do modern racists oppose race-based social justice programs?
symbolic racism, modern racism, reparations, historical injustice, political ideology
People who score high on modern racism scales consistently oppose reparations for race-based social injustices. Scholars debate whether this opposition reflects racism [e.g., Sears, D. O., & Henry, P. J. (2005). Over thirty years later: A contemporary look at symbolic racism. In M.P Zanna, (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 37 (pp. 95–150). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press] or a principled conservative ideology [e.g., Sniderman, P. M., & Tetlock, P. E. (1986). Symbolic racism: Problems of motive attribution in political analysis. Journal of Social Issues, 42, 129–150]. We tested these competing hypotheses by examining support for government reparations for adult survivors of childhood abuse. We manipulated whether the survivors were of European or Aboriginal heritage. Consistent with a racism hypothesis, high modern racists indicated less support for reparations when the survivors were of Aboriginal heritage than when the survivors were of European heritage. Interestingly, low modern racists supported reparations more for Aboriginal Canadian than European Canadian survivors. We discuss three explanations of the responses of low modern racists.
Blatz, C. W., & Ross, M. (2009). Principled ideology or racism: Why do modern racists oppose race-based social justice programs? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 258-261. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2008.08.008
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