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Paul M. Sniderman & Thomas Piazza, The Scar of Race, (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1993)

From Subject
Monica Diaz <mrdiaz@acadcomp.cmp.ilstu.edu> Review of The Scar of Race by Paul M. Sniderman and Thomas
David Kershaw <dckersh@odin.cmp.ilstu.edu> THE SCAR OF RACE (Kershaw)
Aricka Latrece Vinson <alvinso@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu> Scar of Race (A. Vinson)
"Kristin Goff" <KGOFF@suntan.vid.ilstu.edu> "The Scar of Race" (GOFF)
"Douglas S. Phelan" <dsphela@ODIN.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> Review: REACHING BEYOND RACE (Phelan)
Edmund Stuhr <epstuhr@YAHOO.COM> Re: (Stuhr)Review of Doug Phelan's REACHING BEYOND RACE
"Douglas S. Phelan" <dsphela@ODIN.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> Re: (Stuhr)Review of Doug Phelan's REACHING BEYOND RACE
robert joseph nuckolls <bjnuckol@RS6000.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> Re: Review: REACHING BEYOND RACE (Phelan)
"Douglas S. Phelan" <dsphela@ODIN.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> Response: Robert Nuckolls

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 20:23:16 -0600 
From: Monica Diaz <mrdiaz@acadcomp.cmp.ilstu.edu> 
Subject: Review of The Scar of Race by Paul M. Sniderman and Thomas 

Review of: The Scar of Race Reviewed by: Monica R. Diaz Illinois State University March 11, 1996  

Our nation has an ugly scar. This scar is a result of past racism and discrimination. Racism and discrimination had caused a large wound which was manifested in politics and public policy just a generation ago; however, according to authors Paul Sniderman and Thomas Piazza, this wound has healed over time. Now we are left with the scar to deal with--a mark of our past. Yet some researchers and analysts still prefer to see the scar as a fresh wound still perpetrated in politics and public policy today. These individuals say that there is a "new racism" that is just as strong as ever.

This new racism is said to be ingrained in a paradigm of ethnocentrism. It is embedded in the traditional American values of "individualism and self-reliance, the work ethic, obedience and discipline". The authors argue that there is an unmistakable fallacy in this ideology. This ideology intermingles two very different sets of values: individualistic values--self-reliance and hard work on one side, and authoritarian values--obedience and discipline on the other side. Racism is not a factor in individualistic values; however, it is closely associated with authoritarian values. The authors continue by arguing that most "racial" politics are dealt abstractly with the individualistic school of thought.

Throughout the book, Sniderman and Piazza draw conclusions based on documented studies and surveys they conducted. This research studied attitudes towards and public policies dealing with blacks. The only other groups that were briefly looked at in this research were Jews and women, but they were not the main focus of the research they were merely correlated with the research on blacks. There were five studies in all, three national and two regional. The authors illustrate their findings with statistical graphs in each chapter.

They conducted surveys to research stereotypes of black people. They asked people (white and blacks) questions like: "Do you think that blacks are lazy?", "Do you see blacks as lazy, and not making a genuine effort to deal with their problems?", "Do you think that blacks are irresponsible?", and "Do you think that blacks are more violent than whites?" They found that there is a higher percentage of blacks that have these stereotypes than whites. The authors say that these negative characterizations are perceived in part in a common reality. There is no racism in these stereotypes; first, blacks are not racist against themselves, and second, there basing their judgments on what they have seen and experienced.

The authors did find that, not surprisingly, there are those who can still be labeled prejudiced. These people have an irrational dislike of blacks, and will not, therefore, support public policies that assist blacks. The most important factor that precludes this way of thinking is minimal education. They found that the more educated a white person is, the less likely they are to have be prejudiced against black people. The authors dispute those who would say that education merely teaches people how to be politically correct and not tolerant. They say that education exposes people to the plight of blacks and they can, therefore, be more sympathetic to them. The more educated will also use their ideology as a standard to determine their political stance.

The political ideology of a person plays a major part in racial politics. A liberal person, for instance, will more likely support government assistance for blacks than a conservative. Is the conservative, therefore, a bigot as a proponent of "new racism" would say? Not necessarily, say Sniderman and Piazza. The conservative ideology opposes government assistance/spending in favor of self-help and self-reliance cutting across all racial boundaries.

The authors further break down the politics of race into "three agendas": social welfare, equal treatment and race conscious agendas. These three agendas are dealt with differently by whites and they are not, therefore, interchangeable. White Americans are divided on these issues mostly as a result of their ideology.

First, social welfare is defined as government assistance (i.e. public aid). Ideology directly effects how a white person considers social welfare. Whites use the "effort principle" and the "fairness principle" to determine who deserves and who needs government assistance. The research shows that white people will oppose government assistance to blacks if they do not see them making an genuine effort to deal with their own problems. Conversely, whites who think that blacks have not (and are still not) been treated fairly by the system will support government assistance for them.

Second, the equal treatment agenda was looked at through the issue of fair housing (antidiscrimination towards blacks in buying and renting housing). The authors correlated this issue with the amount of the respondents' education. The more educated a white person is , the more likely he/she will support equal treatment policies. In addition, those opposing this agenda do so because they don't believe that government should infringe on their privacy (who they choose to sell their house or rent an apartment to). Again, it is more of an ideology than a racial issue.

Third, the most controversial of the three agendas is the race-conscious agenda--affirmative action. According to the authors, most people who oppose affirmative action do so because they do not think that preferential treatment and quotas are acceptable. The authors conducted an experiment ( the "mere mention" experiment ) where they mentioned affirmative action to a white person and then mentioned blacks and vice versa. They found that when affirmative action was mentioned first, it was followed by negative feelings about blacks (perceiving them to be irresponsible and lazy ). Sniderman and Piazza say that it is possible that "dislike of a policy like affirmative action can provoke a dislike of blacks". The vast majority of white Americans do not agree with "proposing to privilege some people rather than others, on the basis of a characteristic they were born with.."; it violates the fairness norm. In addition, the research demonstrates that affirmative action for women is opposed; not only by men, but a very comparable number of women themselves. Therefore, the authors argue that sentiments on affirmative action go beyond race; they are, rather, part of the larger ideological paradigm.

The authors conclude by discussing the realities of the politics of race. First, their research manifested that whites' political opinions about racial issues are not set in stone. There is quite a significant number of white Americans that, when presented with a counter-argument to their political stance, will alter their opinions. This is significant in politics, because the manner in which racial public policies are presented can be a factor in making new political majorities. Second, the authors concede that politics and public policy dealing with race should be discussed with ideology in mind, not racism; because although "race continues to matter, racism no longer dominates the policy preferences of whites".

Throughout the book the authors skillfully presented a different (albeit not so popular) perspective on the politics of race. For the most part, they were objective in their experiments and in presenting their findings. In addition, they insisted that they were not implicating that racism and prejudice does not exist anymore. They believe, as a result of their findings, that racism and prejudice do not manifest themselves significantly in the policy preferences of white Americans.

Although the authors were objective for the most part, there was a slant on the issue of affirmative action (the race-conscious agenda). Sniderman and Piazza obviously oppose affirmative action. This is the only issue in which the reader knows exactly what the authors think of it; this issue was very opinionated in the book, while the others were not. They argued that, although affirmative action did not create prejudice, it can aggravate it. Mentioning affirmative action to whites made them think negatively about blacks. They seemed to imply that if affirmative action did not exist, it would eliminate some prejudice; because some people only think negatively about blacks when affirmative action is mentioned. This is a weak argument against affirmative action. Also, the number of respondents in this "mere mention" experiment was very small--253, and it was conducted in Lexington, Kentucky. One can be very skeptical when applying the results from this study to white America as a whole.

In addition, one can be skeptical of the respondents' statements. Do they themselves practice what they claim to value (i.e. individualism, hard work) or is it just a politically correct way of thinking? How honest were these responses, and can a generalization be safely made from them to all whites in the United States? Although it is a commendable start, more research is necessary before conclusions can be generalized.

Further research could possibly answer some questions that the reader is left asking after reading The Scar of Race. It would be interesting to see what research would reveal with Latinos as the target of the research. That might put a whole new interesting twist on the racial politics agenda, especially with the controversial issues of immigration and Proposition 187. It would be interesting to see how whites respond to the Latinos situation in this country, since most Latinos hold the same individualistic values that white America supposedly does. One has to wonder--would further research show that an open wound still exists, or is it really just the ugly scar that the Sniderman and Piazza propose it is? -- Latinos Unidos ,

Monica R. Diaz       Back to top...

Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 12:20:59 -0600 


From: David Kershaw <dckersh@odin.cmp.ilstu.edu> 
Subject: THE SCAR OF RACE (Kershaw) 

Paul M. Sniderman & Thomas Piazza, THE SCAR OF RACE, (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1993) Review by:David Kershaw Mailto:luisarturo@aol.com (preffered) or dckersh@odin.cmp.ilstu.edu  

Too often people jump to support assumptions that seem plausible, but are not grounded in fact. A good bit of black separatism, for instance, is based on notions of the deeply held and immovable racist views of whites. However, these views have not been tested and are usually defended in terms of anecdotes. For example, one day I was told by an anti-racist activist, that 80% of whites are firmly racists, and therefore, it was appropriate to speak generally about whites as being racist (a race biased, negative stereotype in itself). I asked him where he got his numbers. He said from his personal experiences; those whites he had met were allegedly almost all racists. Obviously, the whites he met through his personal experiences should not be taken to be a genuine representation of whites as a whole; by his nature of being an anti-racist activist he places himself in a position to seek out white racists. However, he just would not agree and probably still bases his goals on improper assumptions and incomplete evidence. The point is, here was a person against racism clinging to biased opinions simply because no one really knows how much racism exists, what people's real motives are, or how permanent white racism is against pressure to change.

Paul M. Sniderman & Thomas Piazza are firmly against unsubstantiated claims about what is racist, where racism exists, and the extent that racism exists. They suggest the dangers of such actions are wrongly impeaching institutions that help to overcome racism, masking true prejudice, and undermining the seriousness of the race debate. The SCAR OF RACE is an attempt to verify the truth of some of the claims surrounding race and race policy.

Sniderman & Piazza begin THE SCAR OF RACE with an overview of the race issue. Frankly, they do not believe there is a race issue. Rather, there are race issues. The consensus view (one race issue) furthered by some is essentially that whites know which side of the race issue they stand on. Contrary to other issues, whites are seen to have strong views on race regardless of the specific details of a particular race policy. In deciding whether to support an issue, whites will check their feelings about blacks and see if they believe they deserve the basic rights as citizens. This is the only issue. Whites, it is assumed, will either be for policies for blacks or against them, and most whites will be unalterably against them.

To test the validity of this theory Sniderman & Piazza use the National Election Study (NES), the General Social Survey (GSS), and a survey of their own to gauge white peoples' opinions on a variety of race policies. They hypothesized that the results would probably show that white people will not always either vote all-for or all-against policies to help African-Americans. Being unanimously in opposition to policies to help African-Americans would be indicative of "the race issue," the gut feeling against giving blacks basic citizenship rights. However, they did expect to find some consistency between some policies. The four NES questions used were split between questions asking for opinions, for or against: 1) social welfare policies (increase government spending, government make every effort to improve social and economic position of blacks) and, 2) race conscious policies (preference in hiring and promotion, preference in college admissions).

The results showed people often maintain the same stance on similar issues. For example, responses against increased government spending corresponded often (.39) with reponses against government making an effort to improve the social and economic position of blacks. However, the correlations between the two types of policy yielded far less consistency in response. The correlations between the policy types never rises above .25. This indicates that white across the board support or opposition to policies that assist blacks does not occur regularly (evidence against "the race issue" position).  

The questions taken from the GSS produced similar results. From that survey, opinions were gauged on race policy issues such as busing, school integration, fair housing laws, potential voting for a black presidential candidate, government spending for African-Americans, and general government obligations to help African-Americans. Only the correlations between willingness to vote for a black president and support school integration and between more spending and obligation to help resulted in numbers greater than or equal to .3 (.3 and .33, respectively). Both represented, according to Sniderman & Piazza, policy bundles that should be consistent based on their nature. The rest ranged from .07-.22. Again, the correlations were low suggesting that white opinions vary from issue to issue and they are not consistently against (or for) all policies that assist blacks.

Furthermore, the data from their survey resulted in outcomes similar to that of the NES and GSS. However, because the perfect correlation value of 1.0 was never reached in any of these studies, the consensus view does not hold. Race does not evoke the across the board response it once did. This indicates that there are a number of issues that stand on their own and there is some other reason for the lack of correlation. Admittedly, it is true that the correlations were not zero either, however it is not clear completely why the consistency exists. They suggest old-fashioned prejudice plays some role here. The consistency should not be interpreted to mean the respondents were consistently against pro-African American policy, they warn.

Their second objective is to discover whether or not, contrary to what some suggest, a good many whites are willing to espouse negative stereotypes about blacks and to show the characteristics of those who hold these negative stereotypes. However, they also seek to discover if those responses are all inherently based on a dislike of African-Americans.

>From survey questions that asked respondents if they agreed with negative stereotypes of African-Americans, the discovered that whites were quite willing to espouse negative stereotypes of African-Americans. 61% of respondents held the view that blacks on welfare could get a job if they wanted, 43% said blacks needed to try harder, 42% believed black neighborhoods are run down (meaning a result of being black, not poor), 36% said blacks have a chip on their shoulder, 22% think blacks are more violent than whites, and only six percent said blacks are born with less ability than whites. The last figure in particular was seen to be indicating the change in assumptions about blacks over the last 40 years. However, does the high incidence of negative views inherently mean prejudice? Not necessarily, suggest Sniderman & Piazza.

They point out, using another survey's data, that African-Americans actually hold many of the same negative stereotypes as whites and, at times, to an even stronger degree. The greatest discrepancy between black and white respondents occurs with 40% of black respondents seeing blacks as irresponsible compared to only 21% of whites. These results, according to Sniderman & Piazza, suggest that some other factors apart from racism are also at work to promote these stereotypes. They suggest that negative media portrayals, a "kernel of the truth," ideology, and overgeneralizing from personal experiences might also account for some of the negative stereotyping. However, they stress that these negative stereotypes were not across the board (only 2%) and only 39% of the population had one or two negative views, and 22% held no negative stereotypes.

The "kernel of truth" assertion by Sniderman & Piazza should not be overlooked. If the evidence supports negative stereotypes to some degree, those stereotypes cannot be disavowed completely as evidence of white racism. Some evidence of truth in reality that they cite includes the fact that although African Americans make up only one person in every ten in America, African-Americans committed one of every two murders in 1990, and six of every ten robberies in 1989. However, this should not be taken to mean that Sniderman & Piazza think it is acceptable to hold these views. In fact, they will later recognize that these stereotypes can have negative policy outcomes.

One issue they may have overlooked here would be class prejudice. It might have been interesting to see the results of a question that asked if respondents thought whites on welfare could get a job if they really wanted. Although it would not help us separate the race prejudice from class prejudice, it could show (I hypothesize) that only responding to and overcoming racist views will not rid us entirely of negative stereotypes of African-Americans.

Next Sniderman & Piazza attempt to identify the kind of person who is most likely to believe the negative stereotypes. A correlation of the number of negative stereotypes held by whites and their education, income, age, and political ideology showed only conservative ideology and years of education (negatively) were relatively good predictors of having negative stereotypes.

Years of education yielded a correlation of -.31 and the conservative ideology a .25 correlation. Unlike the past, it does not seem America is becoming more tolerant generation to generation. Sniderman & Piazza looked at the percentage agreement with the statement "most blacks on welfare could get a job" and discovered a liberal with high school or less was as likely as a higher educated conservative to hold a negative stereotype. They do note that not agreeing with a negative portrayal is the exception rather than the rule. The highest educated liberal group is the only group with a significant majority not to hold negative stereotypes.

Sniderman & Piazza then attempt to determine the extent that negative stereotypes are based on old-fashioned prejudice. They draw from Adorno et al.'s work about ethnocentrism, that true bigotry is based in a person's desire to show their groups superiority by demeaning other groups. They hypothesized that this prejudice would manifest itself in negative stereotypes of all "outgroups." To measure actual levels of bigotry in the survey respondents, they compared holding negative stereotypes of Jewish people with holding negative stereotypes of blacks. The negative stereotypes "Jews engage in shady practices" and "Jews are pushy" moderately correlated with the negative stereotypes of blacks (above .3, except for one). The stereotype "Jews don't care about non-Jews" correlates somewhat less (.24-.3). When broken down by age and education level, this consistent ethnocentrism exists in all levels.

Another assumption Sniderman & Piazza chose to examine was the belief, held by some modern race thinkers, that racists use traditional American values of "hardwork, individualism, self reliance, obedience, and discipline" to further their race agenda. First, Sniderman & Piazza argue that they are inappropriately lumping together individualism with authoritarian values. They also argue that authoritarianism really may not be fairly called an American value (German perhaps), although individualism is one of America's traditional values. They expected, if this allegation was true, that those who are against proAfrican-American policies should also rank individualistic values as important (the correlation should be fairly high). In a survey that measured attitudes on race policy issues, they included a list of measures for authoritarian and individualistic values that the respondents were to rank as important or not. The results showed that individualistic values were unrelated to believing that "blacks fail to make an effort," unrelated to opposing government spending for blacks, and unrelated to opposing government ensuring fair job treatment. However, authoritarian values were related to these three measures. They suggest this is proof of the weakness of the argument that racists are using the individualistic values to promote their own agenda.

So, to this point, it appears that the state of affairs is not quite as bad as we would have guessed. Unfortunately, the cynic in us all would then have to ask the question, "Well just because people say something does that mean that they act in a consistent manner?" Perhaps because Sniderman & Piazza realize we are a bunch of cynics, they address this question.

Some race scholars suggest that being an overt racist is unfashionable, and therefore socially acceptable means must be available before many racists (whites) will discriminate. To see if this is the case, they set up interviews with whites to ask them questions about whether they would recommend government assistance to help person x get a job after losing their previous job. Person x would be randomly assigned to be white or black, to be male or female, to have (or not) a traditionally acceptable marital arrangement, and to either have been previously a dependable worker or not. The complex research design allowed for the interviewee to have a socially acceptable means to discriminate against the black job seeker. It would be expect that whites would be recommended for assistance more often than the blacks.

The initial results show the opposite was generally true or they were accepted at near equal rates for government assistance. Liberals and conservatives both tended to give slightly more assistance to women job seekers. Most of the time blacks were recommended for assistance more than the whites. Conservatives leaned a bit more toward overall less promotion of government assistance, but was only slightly affected by the black claimant's breaking of the traditional marriage value. However, when the conservative is faced with a person who was undependable and lost his job, he is against assistance. However, the conservative is surprisingly willing to give benefits to a dependable black worker who lost his job, even more than the liberal. They suggest that this may be due to their negative stereotypes; "they are normally lazy, but not this one, this one is different"; and consequentially, the conservative favors assistance.

Finally, it seems apparent that whites do not manifestly use any acceptable excuse to be discriminatory. There is no double standard of action by whites toward whites and black individuals. If anything is true, whites are more willing to help black individuals than white individuals.

However, are these people telling the truth? Critics are likely to allege that these interviewees were probably tipped-off to the nature of the study and acted in a socially acceptable manner. This is a possibility. However, because these experiments are anonymous, the threat is lessened because there are fewer impacts (social, legal, and economic) that can occur to the participants.

Unfortunately, the lack of double standard does not hold at the group level. Whites act one way toward whites as a group and another toward blacks as a group. The equal opportunity experiment sought to see if whites would act consistently with two groups who had generally comparable claims for government services (to ensure equal opportunity to succeed). In the experiment, survey respondents were asked either one of two nearly identical questions with the group being different in half. Overall, the white respondents who were liberal tended to promote, overall, more government action. However, the support for women was stronger in both ideologies than it was for blacks (considerably so for conservatives.) At various education levels, the highest educated people were even-handed in their application between the groups. However, those with the least education were far more uneven in support of government action in favor of women. Liberals with some college were less uneven in their treatment than the similarly educated conservatives. Sniderman & Piazza suggest this double standard is due to lack of exposure of the less educated to and familiarity with abstract ideas. However, they do not expand much on this intuitive conclusion.

Having dealt with white actions, Sniderman & Piazza return to negative stereotypes and discuss how they affect policy selections. They begin by noting that those who are prejudiced (those with consistently high levels of negative perceptions) will be against pro-African American policies constantly. However, Sniderman & Piazza believe that the opposition to some policies, from some people, will be due to the acceptance of a few negative stereotypes (not all negative stereotypes). These people they claim are not prejudiced, but the stereotypes they believe can impact the policies they support.

Which are those stereotypes which impact white decisions? From survey data, they discovered that certain policies suffer from whites holding negative stereotypes. White's support for spending for blacks and for government ensuring fair treatment is undermined when they believe: 1) those on welfare can get jobs, that 2) blacks need to try harder, or 3) that black neighborhoods are run down. From a Lexington, KY survey, they also discovered that if whites thought blacks were lazy, irresponsible, or arrogant they were more likely to oppose more government spending (vice versa for viewing blacks as self disciplined, or hard working). Lack of support for affirmative action correlated with the stereotypes "those on welfare could get jobs" and "that black neighborhoods are run down." In all, the other negative stereotypes correlated at much lower levels and were not good predictors of support for a particular policy.

However, Sniderman & Piazza were not content with simply predicting that certain negative stereotypes correlated with opposition to a particular policy. They sought to see if the type of policy impacts negative impressions of blacks. In an experiment, interviewees were split into two groups. Interviewers asked one group first about their impressions about African-Americans and then about what they thought of affirmative action. The second group received the same questions in the reverse order. Results showed those who were first asked about affirmative action were much more likely to have negative views (lazy, irresponsible, and arrogant) about African-Americans. This further confounds current impressions about whites' race attitudes, they argue. Not only are whites' attitudes alterable, the type of policy used can be the prompter to change. In this case, a tool to try to break down racism may be erecting racism. Although, this experiment was limited and may not be representative of the population at large. Furthermore, it was not redone down the road to see if the "mere mention" of affirmative action led to permanently altered views of African-Americans (which is unlikely).

The finding that whites' attitudes are alterable is very much in contrast to most assumptions about white attitudes. Again, Sniderman & Piazza set out to verify the assumptions. This time they proceed with a "counter arguing" experiment. In this experiment they had interviewers alternate asking white survey respondents if they supported a particular policy issue: for example increasing government spending to help blacks. After recording their response, a counter arguing position was read to try to persuade the respondent to change his answer. The goal is to see how committed the person was to an ideology.

Sniderman & Piazza got 44% of respondents to change position on spending more for blacks and 42% to change their position on ensuring fair job treatment. However, for fair housing they only got a 24% change rate and only a 20% change rate on affirmative action policy. This further suggests that white attitudes are much more pliable than previously though. However, this does not mean for every issue (perhaps race conscious and equal treatment policies). Unfortunately, the side swapping tended more toward the arguments against proAfrican-American policies for the "government spending" and "ensure fair job treatment" issues. Those who were pro fair housing laws were less likely to swap sides than those against them. Also, those initially opposed to affirmative action in college swap sides slightly more than those initially in favor of affirmative action (23% v 17% swap rates respectively). Other data reviewed showed social agendas had more responses to counter argument than either equal treatment agendas or race conscious policies (slightly more). Sniderman & Piazza suggest whites are much more undefined in their race attitudes than was expected (more of a nonattitude really). What occured as a result of the questions was their first definitions of policy stances on those issues and that is why counter arguing was so successful. Also, they notice that initial stayers are more predictable down the line, and ideology is some what a predictor of which position they will ultimately end up at, except when the initially have negative impressions about blacks' effort to help themselves.

Finally, Sniderman & Piazza try to briefly describe some of the characteristics of white decision-making in regards to the three issue agendas: social-welfare, equal-treatment, and race-conscious. The social welfare agenda process is characterized by whites thinking about fairness and effort. Fairness in part is are they suffering by continued or past racism. Effort is how much the white person believes the African-American is contributing to his own betterment (does he deserve assistance). Effort is highly affected by ideology and level of prejudice a person has. Effort and fairness work together to define what policy will be acceptable to an individual. The race conscious policy arena is characterized by conflict between alternative values, they say, and ideology. There is little consensus in favor of these policies. The fairness of job allocation by race is brought into question; there are deep resentment fostering potentials. The equal treatment agenda can be seen as the issues of the 1950s and blacks fighting to be equal citizens. Whites are genuinely not against these programs. Whites against these policies are unlikely to support any other race policy. Although some room exists for different opinions on government intervention. In the end, they suggests, these policy agendas must be seen in terms of race, ideology, policy, and politics. White responses, and therefore appropriate policy, require a realistic appraisal of the forces behind a policy decision.

Aside from an appeal to scholars to seriously try to validate or dispute assumptions about racism and whites, THE SCAR OF RACE also seemed to be setting up a defense of anti-affirmative action feelings. From the evidence they gathered, it would seem that whites are not racists en masse, that their views or race are malleable, and that education works. However, they are not equally accepting of all race policies. Particularly, the are against affirmative action (race preferences). Furthermore, this stance against affirmative action is firmly held and based (at least significantly) in nonracist values. They also assert that affirmative action in fact causes negative stereotyping of blacks. With all that in mind, affirmative action should be scrapped for other policies that will work (welfare), the book seems to suggest. Admittedly, it is not a bad argument.

However, this underlying agenda takes away from the books seriousness to some degree. It is important in itself to try to discover the validity of assumptions about white racism. By having mixed motives it might be too easy to dismiss the seriousness of their findings. This should not happen.

Unfortunately, for all that THE SCAR OF RACE tells us, it brings us no further to knowing how much racism exists. How can we know how to structure our responses to racism if we do not know the amount of racism that exists? This issue must be addressed.

Finally, what do the book's findings suggest about current approaches to racism? It suggests that some black separatists' views are essentially false and biased negative stereotypes. It also suggests that perhaps our approaches to combating racism are falling because we do not completely know the nature of what motivates people or where racism really exists.     Back to top...

Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 12:48:32 -0500 
From: Aricka Latrece Vinson <alvinso@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu> 
To: gmklass@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu 
Subject: Scar of Race (A. Vinson) 

The Scar of Race by Sniderman & Piazza, The Belknap Press (1993) Reviewed by A. Vinson mailto:alvinso@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu  

When you look in the mirror you see your facial characteristics, hair, and basically your general appearance. When you come into contact with each and every person again you see their basic characteristics and unless the person is your identical twin or multiple still their are differences. The same applies to race because it is an obvious difference that cannot be denied yet, when it comes to discussing this fundamental difference all hell breaks loose! Race carries with it too many feelings, opinions, ideas and prejudices. Hence, the ugly scar that is affixed to race.

The negative stereotypes and characteristics that exist about different races has not magically surfaced, they have been embedded in our culture. These prejudiced beliefs and feelings have continued to exist because they are passed on through generations evolving and creating new prejudices that will again be found generations down the line. Somewhere there is a toddler draped in a white sheet with a little hood signifying that racism and prejudice continues, but still we say that people do not discuss race. Race is discussed and racism is learned in private and eventually these feelings are made public.

Sniderman & Piazza discuss the public's view and reaction to race. They address the facts and fiction entangled in the web of race and from it they extract many of the reasons that people have such strong issues on the topic of race and the prejudice that goes along with it in some cases. Labeling each and every negative statement about affirmative action, welfare, or African-Americans in general are not signs prejudice and the two authors eventually convinced me of that assumption. Although they covered a variety of topics in their book prejudice, the reasons it exists, race and the programs associated with blacks need to be touched upon because of their interesting approach to convince readers that "all whites are not prejudiced, neither are their motives."

It is obvious that this book is trying to reach some group in order to convince them that not "all" whites are a certain way. This attempt to dispel a negative generalization of all whites is not done through the traditional way of appealing to one's moral beliefs. Instead, Piazza & Sniderman use data that they have collected themselves and surveys used by others as pieces of evidence that although some whites have prejudiced views of blacks again, not "all" whites have this view. They assert this view and suggest that "consistency is the mark of prejudice." Which means that one comment does not necessarily make a person prejudiced. Also, the overwhelming idea held by society that just because people have negative images of Blacks they are prejudiced is not correct. Piazza & Sniderman present an interesting compilation of data which generally demonstrates that if people consistently respond negatively to issues involving other groups such as Jews, then labeling their ideas as prejudiced would be correct. The reasons behind one's responses are crucial in determining if that person is basing their remarks solely on race.

As the authors try to support their assertion that not all whites are in opposition to policies and programs designed to benefit African-Americans they address the reasons behind whites reactions. If asked, "What do you believe to be the main factor behind whites reactions towards Blacks?" The answer would probably indicate race and the main or only factor. The authors dispel this belief by their surveys which tend to point the finger at one's political idealogy as being most influential. This is not to say that race is not a factor, it is just a secondary factor to political idealogy. Which means that when a person refuses to support government spending on Black programs it could be that the person's views as a conservative-republican are against any type of federal spending. Actually, the authors presented evidence which indicated that many conservatives are in favor of assisting Blacks and the liberals were just the opposite. So, when people are quick to judge one's actions they need to take into consideration the motives behind those actions. The conservative who is supporting his ideals against government spending now faces the chance of being labeled when as stated before they were simply following their political beliefs. It is because those that are prejudiced are focused on that others are being thrown into the same category unjustly.

Many of the underlying reasons that creates or enforces one's prejudice can be related to a variety of reasons. In the authors' section on the Psychology of Prejudice they uncover two main factors that play a role in active prejudice, those being: 1) personality and 2)ethnocentrism. The role personality plays in prejudice should be pretty obvious. Some people are just outright prejudiced and they practice it daily. On the other hand some people have prejudices which simply means that they have these ideas and beliefs, but they do not act on them. Therefore I do not find the personality aspect as problematic as the issue of ethnocentrism.

Many of the comments that I hear made by people of various backgrounds I attribute to ethnocentrism. Characteristics of ethnocentrism are relating everything to one's own group and/or looking at other groups contemptuously in comparison to one's own group. This occurs daily and is very upsetting especially when a person makes a statement based on their ideas and feelings of disgust of others and their statement is taken as fact. For instance, Forbes (for whatever reasons) stated that many people could help themselves and become better and be "like me." I don't believe that he stated this to intentionally offend or upset others, but he failed to realize just like many others that it is simply not true. Someone who is born into poverty does not have the same chances and opportunities as Forbes, but that is not to say that a person does not want to do better. Michael Jackson is very well endowed economically, so his child could compete with a Spielberg child who is also born into wealth. People are so naive to a point that it becomes insulting when they assume because they are wealthy, yet have never actually been hungry one day in their lives, that someone on the other end can compete equally.

Equality is absent financially and educationally speaking in some instances because the playing field is not level. The authors mention a fact that on standardized tests African-Americans score lower regardless of income and that this signifies a fact. I was inclined to agree, but depending upon the individuals and their acquisition of wealth I have to disagree. If only those African-Americans who are born into wealth (a small percentage) and went to the boarding schools or even public schools in wealthy areas are compared, then I think the results would be different. It is at this point where the authors & the creators of standardized tests are exhibiting ethnocentrism at its best. Flip the situation and the results will be staggeringly different.

For example, I was enrolled in a course in which we studied various dialogs in different cultures. The class was predominantly white with three African-Americans. We took an exam on Black English Vernacular after studying it for weeks and every white person scored lower than the African-American students. The students did not fail, but their averages were a bit lower. When the grades were distributed there was an uproar to the instructor Dr. Visor. Dr. Visor was flooded with complaints that the test was unfair because "the Black students know this stuff already." This statement of course started a debate in which the Blacks students responded that the BEV test was their equivalent of the standardized test. This test demonstrated that prejudice exists even in the tests administered to students.

This prejudice crosses over to politics and has made a lasting impression on the political arena. The authors reverted back to the election of 1964 between Johnson (Democrat) and Goldwater (Republican) to explain how race and politics go hand in hand. Up until that point republicans were "racially tolerant" and that after that the parties switched significantly and made race an issue in politics then & now. When election time rolls around race becomes a central issue and each side represents an alternative to the other. Many of the issues that are important in political debates involve race, but they should not. The authors point out that people who vote on the policies are not voting on race and should not be penalized. However, because many issues go hand in hand with race when one votes against a policy it does signify that they are making a statement about race. The one issue that has race & politics carved into it is affirmative action.

The issue of affirmative action is too closely associated with Blacks and unjustly so. Now when the word is even spoken it automatically creates the image of a Black person taking a job from someone white, or kicking down the door of a school and letting hundreds of African Americans walk in. Although this seems a bit extreme these are the ideas that people who are truly prejudiced hold and this is also the image portrayed in the media to people who have yet to make up their minds on the issue. Piazza & Sniderman point out that many people who did not hold negative images of Blacks now do so as a result of affirmative action which is unfortunate. The truth is affirmative action now that it has been around for some time is helping more than just Blacks. As a result of broadening AA it is benefitting women, other minorities, men, and whites (in some areas). I know of an African American woman who is a college graduate that was turned down because there weren't enough minority teachers. It was explained that in the Chicago Public School system white teachers are considered the minority and that they would be given "preference" over Black teachers with the same qualification. There are many instances like these but the popular belief is that AA only helps Blacks cheat whites out jobs. No one ever considers that AA does not mean "free-ride." If it was that easy African Americans would not hold the lowest paying jobs, live in poverty stricken areas, and be the minority in universities. AA does involve providing assistance, but it also involves qualifications. A law firm will not hire the world's greatest African American doctor because there are qualifications needed in addition to providing assistance. There are a large amount of people that are not aware of some of the above mentioned instances, but Sniderman & Piazza argue that if they were aware that it might lead them to change their views.

The idea of whites being open-minded is the central theme of Sniderman & Piazza. They continually stress that not all the reasons behind whites views are unjustified and that generally they have the same ideas as some Blacks. The authors are attempting to clear up some of the myths held by both whites and Blacks. They are appealing to the Black audience and saying, "No, not all of us are effected by the 'Scar of Race.'"       Back to top...

Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 07:48:14 -0500 
From: "Kristin Goff" <KGOFF@suntan.vid.ilstu.edu> 
To: gmklass@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu 
Subject: "The Scar of Race" (GOFF) 

"The Scar of Race" By Paul M. Sniderman and Thomas Piazza (Reviewed by Kristin Goff --Illinois State University)  

Normal Police Chief Walt Clark noticealby fidgeted and swallowed hard as a young, female, African-American student asked the question he knew was inevitable: "Do you feel the American judicial system is racist?"

"That's a very difficult question," Clark finally reasoned, after an extended train of "umms" and "uhhs."

"Not according to anything I've seen. I've worked with many judges, lawyers and other police officers, and I can't say that I've ever seen intentional racism. I go to five different diversity training groups on a regular basis, and I've come to realizr through discussion in these groups that we're all fundamentally the same. We all want to be safe, happy, we all want to make a good living..."

Clark spoke smoothly once he got started, but initially broaching the subject of race was noticeably an extremely difficult experience for him. At first he very timidly tested the waters. He was very careful about the words and expressions he chose -- so careful he seemed to be quietly tiptoeing around a landmine. It was evident he did not want to ruffle any feathers, and give someone cause to argue with him.

Racism has become the hot-button topic in the United States, and thus has caused most Americans to tiptoe around the issue rather than address it openly and honestly, according to Sniderman and Piazza . The willingness of individuals to stamp the racist label on one another for every generic purpose has stifled real progress in the realm of racial understanding, the authors assert. When a person opposes any policies designed to help African Americans, like Affirmative Action, they are labeled racist. The authors assert this liberal use of racist labels "poisons" the root of race relations in the United States and stunts the topic as nothing more than a glorified form of "political abuse."

To complicate race matters further, the authors relate, race is not a cut-and-dry issue as it was a generation ago. According to the book "An America Dilemma" written in the 1940s by Gunnar Myrdal, race was a moral issue then, a matter of the heart, and thus very easy for people to decide what side to choose. But today, Americans are faced with a mysterious facade of confusing issues they are often not adequately educated about, and are reluctant to explore because of the sensitivity of the issue. Government spending to help minorites is not the same as Affirmative Action, and Affirmative Action is difficult to relate to public housing. A generation ago individuals only had to think about whether they advocated spending to help minorities, not whether they wanted minorities to have equal rights, equal pay and equal treatment. The authors decide race is an extremely complex issue that is difficult to discuss.

After deciding this, the authors then provide evidence to back up their thesis that race perceptions are often imprecise and tentative. The authors manipulate their subjects in every direction to prove exactly how imprecise their views on race can be. In one of the more interesting studies done, a group of white subjects were divided into two groups, asking the first group "1) What is your perception of blacks? 2) What is your perception of Affirmative Action?" For the second group they simply reversed the order of the questions. Surprisingly, this influenced a difference in the answers. The first group had more positive perceptions of African Americans because they had not been forced to conjure negative imagery of Affirmative Action, the authors relate.

Then, with the "Laid-off Worker Experiment" the authors prove their thesis further by proving through a complex survey method that racial and political stereotypes are less sturdy than ever. The experiment consisted of the respondants being questioned if they would advocate government assistance for a person who had been laid- off. The authors experimented with several different variables like white and black, male and female, dependable and undependable, married and single, children and no children. Again, surprisingly, political stereotypes of conservatives and liberals relating to race attitudes were not typical. The results show that conservatives, who are typically in favor of less government and typically do not favor Affirmative Action, favor government assistance for black males over white males and females.

Seeking remedies to racial confusion the authors compare African Americans to Jews. The authors argue that Jews were once a hated group in society, and now they excel in areas like education, family unity and lawfulness -- all areas African Americans are now criticized in. The authors imply that these problems are not the reason African Americans are viewed contemptfully by some. "It is the fact of their difference, in and of itself that renders them vulnerable. Our results thus point to the persisitence of fundamental irrationality are the core of prejudice, now as much as ever (pg.168)."

The authors conclude that education is the key to change, that only through discussion and critical analysis of racial issues will the answers be found.

Were the authors' research methods fair and respectable ways to find the answers they were looking for? Was it fair of them to trick respondants into saying things they assumed they would say? Yes. The authors admitted frequently their research was contrived and conniving. It was interesting to have some answers to the constant "what if" questions everyone wants to know the answers to, but have always been afraid to ask. I think this method of research is bold and gutsy -- definitely not mainstream work.

At times, though, the authors do contradict themselves. At the start of the book they note a survey that proved that Affirmative Action is not a "litmus test" for racism, and then they prove quite the opposite later in the book with their reverse question experiment.

Also, I thought the authors' comparison between Jews and African Americans wore a little thin. Yes, both groups are held at a contemptful angle for some individuals in society, but the color of a person's skin is much different than a religion. A bigot cannot easily label a Jewish person upon first glance, as he can African Americans.

The authors could have relayed their data in a more interesting fashion, rather than simply explaining experiment after experiment throughout the book. Back to top...

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 09:04:35 -0500 
From: "Douglas S. Phelan" <dsphela@ODIN.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> 
Subject: Review: REACHING BEYOND RACE (Phelan) 
To: POS334-L@h-net.msu.edu 

Sniderman, Paul M. and Carmines, Edward G. REACHING BEYOND RACE. Harvard University Press, 1997 Review by: Doug Phelan E-mail: dsphela@odin.cmp.ilstu.edu  

In order for current policies to work in today’s society, we must reach beyond race when establishing the targeted group of such policies. By reaching beyond race and striving towards more color blind policies, the ill effects of prejudices can be eliminated. Prejudices will be avoided because color blind policies will use fairness in determining who shall receive help, regardless of their race. Paul M. Sniderman uses many studies to support this claim in his book REACHING BEYOND RACE. Is this truly the answer that Sniderman is looking for? It is made clear that whites who dislike blacks also dislikes affirmative action, but Sniderman points out that whites who likes blacks also dislikes affirmative action. The liberals vote one way, following the party’s line, while feeling another way as studies show. Oppostition to affirmative action is not because of race, rather it is because of an individuals human nature to be self-interested. The liberal party is viewed as the party that is sympathetic to the minorities, that is why they have to support programs such as affirmative action. If they don’t, they may lose their party support, again suggesting self-interest is the motivating force. On one hand Sniderman says the answer is color blind policy, while on the other he suggests race has nothing to do with the negative feelings towards affirmative action. How would a color blind attitude towards policy create support for programs like affirmative action? According to Sniderman, it cannot, although his research and analysis is certainly informative of the underlying feelings of the American public. Sniderman spends 1/3 of his book analyzing studies done on affirmative action, all of these studies supporting his claim of color blind politics. The first study was the 1992 National Election Study which found that racial prejudices only slightly changed the support, or lack of, for affirmative action. Even the most racially tolerant 1 percent of whites surveyed disfavored affirmative action in hiring 80% of the time, while the most prejudiced disfavored it 90% of the time. The question asked was not racially neutral, it was specifically about black individuals. In the Two Meanings Experiment, another study, showed that whites favor an extra effort given to blacks being considered for admission to an college, but strongly opposed preferential treatment. Sniderman continually relies on studies with much the same results, all pointing towards support of color blind policies. Affirmative action plans geared towards a specific race are less likely to be supported than plans which are race neutral. This thought has merit, it addresses class distinction, rather than race. The white man seems to be worried that race specific plans would discriminate against themselves. What about the white person born into poverty and raised in the same neighborhood as the same black person applying for admission into college? Certainly both should receive an extra advantage when the final decision of admissions is made. Sniderman seems to believe that our society has advanced to such a state, linking the importance of the liberals to change their attitudes towards race specific policies. The "standard" view there is a liberal predicament because they have not been able to persuade the right to support the merits of the liberal cause. Sniderman believes this idea greatly underestimates the liberal predicament. In fact, the real predicament is the liberals failure to persuade itself to support their own cause. Liberals are seen as a "two faced man", in that they say what they believe they should, as liberals. What if the liberal nametag was removed? How would they respond to questions about policies such as affirmative action? Sniderman addresses this question in one of the more interesting studies in his book called the List Experiment. The List Experiment involved giving half of a random sample a list of three items which may make people upset, and which of the three would upset the person being questioned. The other half had the same question, only a fourth item was added, involving black leaders asking the government for affirmative action. The end result was that 57% of liberals were angered by the item involving affirmative action, compared to 50% of conservatives. Likewise, 65% of democrats were angered compared to 64% of the republicans. This suggest that affirmative action is as unpopular on the left as it is on the right. Sniderman suggest this reluctance of the liberals to express their true feelings openly is the key to advancing to color blind politics. Going a step further, of those whites whom feel they are highly committed to race equality, 59% were angered by affirmative action when covertly asked about it. Liberals are attempting to maintain supports for a program in which they themselves are divided upon. These liberals which are holding back their true feelings will splinter and eventually destroy the democratic party. Amongst the liberals, there are the radicals, which can also be referred to as the academic liberals. These radicals believe that affirmative action plans should be race specific, specifically towards the blacks. This idea drove some of the liberals away from the democratic party, creating a party shift. During this period, the democratic party became associated with the blacks and affirmative action. The radical liberals viewed the democratic shift as punishment for their stance on affirmative action, and claim that the root to the problems associated with affirmative action is racism. The moderates and conservatives are racist. Sniderman suggests that affirmative action is not a liberal policy, in fact that liberals trying to help affirmative action are themselves racist. If the race specific policies can be replaced with race neutral policies, many blacks would benefit from the new programs that would be generated and supported by Americans. One solution to this dilemma is to make affirmative action class based rather than race based. The plans should be targeted towards the economically disadvantaged, which would be strongly supported by the white population. I believe this would be favored by the white population, but only for a period of time until the black stigmatism is replaced by the economically disadvantaged stigmatism. In other words, whites disfavor the affirmative action plans targeted at the black race because they do not view any of "their" population included in this group. Once the black group is replaced by the economically disadvantaged, the white population will renew their anger against the this new class entitled to preferential hiring and admissions. The economically disadvantaged will replace the group of black individuals, and the white population will eventually replace their anger towards the black population with the anger of the economically disadvantaged. Sniderman’s answer to addressing prejudices is to eliminate race from the equation. Prejudice is not race restrictive, there is also class prejudice as is apparent by the feelings towards the homosexual population. Sniderman attacks racial prejudices, showing how white Americans whom consistently view blacks in a positive light mean what they say. The Welfare Mother Experiment and the Drug Search Experiment placed the respondents in the position to express negative feelings towards a black by giving the respondent an acceptable reason to do so. The participants responded just as equally, if not favoring the black individual over a white individual, suggesting that the participants held the black in the same light as the white. Sniderman’s point throughout this section of the book was to establish the fact that prejudice does not play a dominating role in politics. The most prejudiced, whether conservative or liberal, are prejudiced against all people, not just blacks. The difference is that the prejudiced liberals splinter their party, while the prejudiced conservatives do not. This does not speak well of conservatives, although Sniderman suggest conservatives are willing to support programs for blacks as long as they do not go against the party’s platform. What these studies, and the ones I do not mention, point towards is that Americans are willing to help those in need, as long as there is not race stipulation attached. The support of such policies which help the "worst-off" will not only gain wide support, but also help the those in the black population needing help at the same time. Whites are much more willing to support race neutral policies than race specific ones. William Julius Wilson suggest that whites are reluctant to support race specific policies because they believe they cannot receive the same assistance when needed. The white person cannot take advantage of the same benefits as the black person, which suggest there is self-interest involved. The opposition to such policies cannot be tied to a specific class of white people, whether they earn $10,000 per year, or $70,000 per year. This may suggest the prejudice base for the wealthier white people may be economically based rather than racially based. Sniderman used the manipulation of words to exploit the "true" feelings of the American people. Through his experiments, he discovered that liberals often do not publicly say what they personally feel and that Americans would accept a race neutral policy over a race specific one, just to name two of his discoveries. His approach to the experiments was enlightening, most of the time splitting the group of respondents into two groups, and asking different questions to each group. The results suggests there are strong feelings towards race neutral policies, which would benefit everyone, including the black population. There are also signs that the black population is not viewed as negatively as one might believe, in fact many times being viewed equally as positive as the white population. The ultimate solution to overcome race politics is to eliminate the race part of it, which many Americans would support. This change must come from the heart of the liberalism, without their conviction, this movement will come to a halt. Back to top...

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:24:35 -0700 
From: Edmund Stuhr <epstuhr@YAHOO.COM> 
Subject: Re: (Stuhr)Review of Doug Phelan's REACHING BEYOND RACE 
To: POS334-L@h-net.msu.edu 

I thought that this was a great review. I was wondering if you agreed with Sniderman or not. When I was reading the review I felt that you do agree with Sniderman. Other than that point I feel you did a great job with the review. In the review I was noticing that Sniderman has almost the same attitude than that of Wilson. I read Wilson's book and he felt that the reason that jobs were being lost in the inner-city was not only the fact that companies were moving into the suburbs, but also that there was a class barrier between these companies and hiring the poor. So i understoood what you were trying to say about Sniderman. I feel that Sniderman is correct by saying that we need color blind policies, but my question is does he give any solutions to this problem? I know he says that making A.A. based on social class rather than race is the answer, but does he give a way how to do this? This is a very toughy subject. If the liberals do this they are going to lose a lot of support from many prominant black groups. I don't think it is self intrest rather than group intrest. In my own opinion i think liberals who are in favor of affirmiative action should split from the democratic party. If they are that passionate about this subject than they should go their own route. The only other question that I have about this is does he mention anything about gender in the book. Because gender has been a hot topic for many politicans that could become a huge factor in what A.A. is all about. Other than that Doug you did a great job consturcting Sniderman thoughts.       Back to top...

Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 09:51:21 -0500 
From: "Douglas S. Phelan" <dsphela@ODIN.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> 
Subject: Re: (Stuhr)Review of Doug Phelan's REACHING BEYOND RACE 
To: POS334-L@h-net.msu.edu 

Thank you for the response, I agree with Sniderman, I just don't know if it is possible to accomplish what he desires. It would be great to live in a society without prejudices. I did not know that Wilson had the same feelings, would it be correct then in assuming Wilson favors assimilation? Sniderman certainly does because he feels the minorities would benefit greatly from this. Also, Sniderman does not address gender, only race. I wonder if he would also like a gender blind society as well.   Back to top...

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 11:14:13 -0500 
From: robert joseph nuckolls <bjnuckol@RS6000.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> 
Subject: Re: Review: REACHING BEYOND RACE (Phelan) 
To: POS334-L@h-net.msu.edu 

Doug, I enjoyed reading your review. Because of its many obvious controversial aspects, reading, writing, and discussing anything remotely related to affirmative action can be quite difficult.

Upon reading your review, it appears the book has more than its share of studies to support or discredit beliefs or issues surrounding affirmative action. It would be interesting to learn, were the research and studies helpful towards your comprehension of the book, or were they a detriment?

It appears that over the past several years, more discussions have been generated towards policies which are not racially specific, but racially neutral. From your review, it appears Sniderman discusses this issue a great deal of the time. Were the discussions "one-sided", or do they allow for the opinions of others, related to this area, to be expressed?             Back to top...

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 21:46:53 -0500 
From: "Douglas S. Phelan" <dsphela@ODIN.CMP.ILSTU.EDU> 
Subject: Response: Robert Nuckolls 
To: POS334-L@h-net.msu.edu 


Thank you for the comments. The studies in REACHING BEYOND RACE made me realize that you can use numbers to project any theory you would like. I do believe that Americans want to help the disadvantaged, I do not understand the race stigma. The book did seem one-sided, basically attacking the liberal party while suggesting color-blind politics. It was interesting that Sniderman suggests the liberal party has just as many racists as the conservative party. It is sad that such a comparision can even be made. Good luck in your future.

Doug Phelan Back to top...