So a couple of political scientists tested this with blacks. Would they be more likely to agree with the premise that blacks should rely on themselves if they were exposed to statements from prominent blacks saying they should? They found that not only were they more likely to agree if blacks said it than whites, they were more likely to agree even if the African American were someone like Clarence Thomas (who presumably votes against their interests but is black), compared to someone like Ted Kennedy (who presumably votes FOR their interests but is white).
Now I had a problem with this. I didn’t have a problem about the FINDINGS necessarily. But I had a problem with how the findings were EXTENDED. The political scientists in this case thought that taking the cue in this case automatically meant changing POLICY PREFERENCES. You believe blacks need self-help more than anything else? You support reducing government aid for welfare.
However it doesn’t have to work like this. All sorts of black folk–nationalists particularly–could believe that blacks should rely on themselves while still believing the government should take responsibility and do their part.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Does Obama Shape Black Opinion: A Survey Experiment
An interesting piece by Lester Spence: