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Image transcription text The Changing Nature of Prejudice Although racial and ethnic prejudice still exists in the United States, its nature has changed during the

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Image transcription text The Changing Nature of Prejudice
Although racial and ethnic prejudice still exists in the United States, its nature has changed during the past half-
century. Studies of these changes focus on whites’ perceptions of African Americans, Back in the 1940s and
before, an era of overt Jim Crow racism (also called traditional or old-fashioned racism) prevailed, not just in the
South but In the entire nation. This racism involved blatant bigotry, firm beliefs in the need for segregation, and the
106 . SOCIAL PROBLEMS: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE
view that blacks were biologically inferior to whites. In the early 19-40s, for example, more than half of all whites
thought that blacks were less intelligent than whites, more than half favored segregation in public transportation,
more than two-thirds favored segregated schools, and more than half thought whites should receive preference
over blacks in employment hiring (Schuman, Stech, Bobo, & Krysan, 1997),
The Nazi experience and then the civil rights movement led whites to reassess their views, and Jim Crow racism
gradually waned. Few whites believe today that African Americans are blologically inferior, and few favor
segregation. So few whites now support segregation and other Jim Crow views that national surveys no longer
include many of the questions that were asked a half-century ago.
But that does not mean that prejudice has disappeared. Many scholars say that Jim Crow racism has been replaced
by a more subtle form of racial prejudice, termed laissez-foire, symbolic, or modern racism, that amounts to a
"kinder, gentler, antiblack ideology" that avoids notions of biological inferiority (Hobo, Kluegel, & Smith, 1997.
p. 15: Quillian, 2006; Scars, 1965). Instead, It involves stereotypes about African Americans, a belief that their
poverty is due to their cultural inferiority, and opposition to government policies to them, Similar views exist
about Latinos. In effect, this new form of prejudice blames African Americans and Latinos themselves for their
low socioeconomic standing and involves such beliefs that they simply do not want to work hard.
Evidence for this modern form of prejudice is seen in Figure 3.3 "Attribution by Non-Latino Whites of Blacks’
Low Socioeconomic Status to Blacks’ Low Innate Intelligence and to Their Lack of Motivation to Improve".
which presents whites’ responses to two General Social Survey (GSS) questions that asked, respectively, whether
African Americans’ low socioeconomic status is due to their lower "in-bom ability to learn" or to their lack of
"motivation and will power to pull themselves up out of poverty." While only 8.5 percent of whites attributed
blacks" status to lower innate intelligence (reflecting the decline of Jim Crow racism), about 48 percent attributed
it to their lack of motivation and willpower. Although this reason sounds "kinder" and "gentler" than a belief in
blacks’ biological inferiority. it is still one that blames African Americans for their low socioeconomic status.
Figur 3 3 Amritudon by Non-Luring Whites of Backs’ Low Soxdorconank Swan to Blacks’ Low Inner
Intelligence and to Their Lack of Maharion to Improve
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3.J PREJUDICE . 107
Prejudice and Public Policy Preferences
If whites do continue to believe in racial stereotypes, say the scholars who study modern prejudice, they are that
much more likely to oppose government efforts to people of color, For example, whites who hold racial
stereotypes are more likely to oppose government programs for African Americans (Quillian, 2006). We can see
an example of this type of effect in Figure 3.4 "Racial Stereotyping by Non-Latino Whites and Their Opposition
to Government Spending to African Americans", which compares two groups: whites who attribute blacks"
poverty to Lick of motivation, and whites who attribute blacks’ poverty to discrimination. Those who cite lack of
motivation are more likely than those who cite discrimination to believe the government is spending too much to
blacks.
Digory 34 Fleckal Simotyping by Non-Latino Whites and Their Opposidea is Goverment Spending In
African American
Source: Dau from Gramsal Social Survey. (2019). Perient Iran Image transcription text 122 7 778
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108 . SOCIAL PROBLEMS: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE
NOW EMERGENCY 311
POLICE
EMEA-
Whites who are racially prejudiced are more Likely to favor harsher treatment of criminals and in particular
are more likely to support the death penalty.
Wikimedia Common – CC BY-SA 3.0.
Racial prejudice influences other public policy preferences as well. In the area of criminal justice, whites who
hold racial stereotypes or hostile feelings toward African Americans are more likely to be afraid of crime, to think
that the courts are not harsh enough, to support the death penalty, to want more money spent to fight crime, and to
favor excessive use of force by police (Barkan & Cohn, 2005; Unnever & Cullen, 2010).
If racial prejudice influences views on all these issues, then these results are troubling for a democratic society
like the United States, In a democracy, It is appropriate for the public to disagree on all sorts of issues, including
criminal justice. For example, citizens hold many reasons for either favoring or opposing the death penalty. But is
it appropriate for racial prejudice to be one of these reasons? To the extent that elected officials respond to public
opinion, as they should in a democracy, and to the extent that racial prejudice affects public opinion, then racial
prejudice may be influencing goverment policy on criminal justice and on other issues. In a democratic society.
it is unacceptable for racial prejudice to have this effect.
Key Takeaways
" Social-psychological explanations of prejudice emphasize authoritarian personalities and frustration,

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