Quotes Tagged "studies"
Whites impose these rules on themselves because they know blacks, in particular, are so quick to take offense. Radio host Dennis Prager was surprised to learn that a firm that runs focus groups on radio talk shows excludes blacks from such groups. It had discovered that almost no whites are willing to disagree with a black. As soon as a black person voiced an opinion, whites agreed, whatever they really thought. When Mr. Prager asked his listening audience about this, whites called in from around the country to say they were afraid to disagree with a black person for fear of being thought racist. Attempts at sensitivity can go wrong. In 2009, there were complaints from minority staff in the Delaware Department of Transportation about insensitive language, so the department head, Carolann Wicks, distributed a newsletter describing behavior and language she considered unacceptable. Minorities were so offended that the newsletter spelled out the words whites were not supposed to use that the department had to recall and destroy the newsletter. The effort whites put into observing racial etiquette has been demonstrated in the laboratory. In experiments at Tufts University and Harvard Business School, a white subject was paired with a partner, and each was given 30 photographs of faces that varied by race, sex, and background color. They were then supposed to identify one of the 30 faces by asking as few yes-or-no questions as possible. Asking about race was clearly a good way to narrow down the possibilities —whites did not hesitate to use that strategy when their partner was white—but only 10 percent could bring themselves to mention race if their partner was black. They were afraid to admit that they even noticed race. When the same experiment was done with children, even white 10- and 11-year olds avoided mentioning race, though younger children were less inhibited. Because they were afraid to identify people by race if the partner was black, older children performed worse on the test than younger children. “This result is fascinating because it shows that children as young as 10 feel the need to try to avoid appearing prejudiced, even if doing so leads them to perform poorly on a basic cognitive test,” said Kristin Pauker, a PhD candidate at Tufts who co-authored the study. During Barack Obama’s campaign for President, Duke University sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva asked the white students in his class to raise their hands if they had a black friend on campus. All did so. At the time, blacks were about 10 percent of the student body, so for every white to have a black friend, every black must have had an average of eight or nine white friends. However, when Prof. Bonilla-Silva asked the blacks in the class if they had white friends none raised his hand. One hesitates to say the whites were lying, but there would be deep disapproval of any who admitted to having no black friends, whereas there was no pressure on blacks to claim they had white friends. Nor is there the same pressure on blacks when they talk insultingly about whites. Claire Mack is a former mayor and city council member of San Mateo, California. In a 2006 newspaper interview, she complained that too many guests on television talk shows were “wrinkled-ass white men.” No one asked her to apologize. Daisy Lynum, a black commissioner of the city of Orlando, Florida, angered the city’s police when she complained that a “white boy” officer had pulled her son over for a traffic stop. She refused to apologize, saying, “That is how I talk and I don’t plan to change.” During his 2002 reelection campaign, Sharpe James, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, referred to his light-skinned black opponent as “the faggot white boy.” This caused no ripples, and a majority-black electorate returned him to office.