Friday, February 03, 2006

Politics & Prejudice

In light of my last piece regarding the prejudice of NAACP head Julian Bond, I thought it would be helpful to look at some other instances of race in the news.

There is a study that claims to support a correlation between racial bias and political preference:
That study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did...
The analysis found that substantial majorities of Americans, liberals and conservatives, found it more difficult to associate black faces with positive concepts than white faces -- evidence of implicit bias. But districts that registered higher levels of bias systematically produced more votes for Bush.

So what is the lesson we are to draw from this? Anybody who has taken basic statistics knows that correlation is not causation. That means that this study cannot tell us conclusively that being more implicitly prejudicial, even on a subconscious level, would make one a Republican. Nor does it follow from the results that someone who is a Republican is more implicitly prejudicial than someone who is a Democrat.

The test used to provide these results was explained in this Slate article published a while back. I think most of our readers understand why this bothers me a bit.


Post a Comment

<< Home