Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Study of racial attitudes in Durham reveals surprising results

A study of racial attitudes in Durham surprised researchers by revealing that Hispanics held many negative views about blacks. Those conducting the study also determined that Hispanics apparently brought these attitudes to the area with them because the study showed whites having positive attitudes toward blacks. Overall, black attitudes toward Hispanics were tolerant.

Here's a quick summary from the study leader:

"What surprised us most was the high level of negative stereotypes on the part of Latino immigrants," said Paula McClain, a professor of political science at Duke University and the study's lead author. "We were also, I guess, pleasantly surprised at the low level of stereotypes of blacks held by whites in Durham. Less than 10 percent of our sample of whites held negative stereotypes of blacks. And that blacks were more tolerant of Latino immigrants than Latino immigrants were of blacks."

While it doesn't receive a great deal of attention, there are tensions between blacks and Hispanics in parts of the country. As these stories indicate, the tension is real in LA. Potentially, the most explosive demographic time bomb planted by the tremendous influx of Hispanic immigration into the country is the friction it creates between the two groups. Some may dismiss it all as a class issue instead of racism. However, doing so may cloud the reality of the situation and will not make it go away.

BTW: As far as Dr. McClain's quote that "we were also, I guess, pleasantly surprised at the low level of stereotypes of blacks held by whites in Durham," is concerned, she wouldn't be guilty of doing a little stereotyping would she? Surely not.

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