By Stephanie M. Baran
[Updated: 17/12/2013 - Read the PDF version here]
In order to examine the association between political affiliation and opinions about racialized and gendered beliefs, this study analyzes data collected through an online survey posted on several social media websites. The study employs a series of logistic regressions to examine the association between opinions about racism, feminism and party affiliation. The study finds that people who are more tolerant are less likely to be affiliated with right wing parties. However, while there is a significant relationship between political affiliation and racial beliefs, feminist beliefs are not associated with political affiliation.
With the emergence of the Tea Party and the election of President Barack Obama, scholars have found that the appearance of pro-white and anti-black/brown sentiment has increased (Atkinson and Leon Berg 2012; Barreto et al. 2011; Cohen 2003; Redlawsk, Tolbert, and Franko 2010). A recent Associated Press study finds that the percentage of Americans having overt anti-black beliefs held firm between 48 percent in 2008 and 47 percent in 2010, but rose slightly to 51 percent in 2012. The amount of Americans explicitly holding pro-black beliefs declined slightly from 47 percent in 2008, to 46 percent in 2010 and to 41.9 percent in 2012 (Pasek, Krosnick, and Tompson 2012). Overt anti-black attitudes rose by 6.4 percentage points from 2008 to 2012 and pro-black attitudes declined by 4.1 percentage points in that same time (2012). Moreover, the study found that in 2012, 79 percent of Republicans held anti-black views while 71 percent held such views in 2008 (Pasek et al. 2012). Bonilla-Silva (2003) notes that tolerant attitudes are included in the framework of racial ideology and often are expressed in this pattern: prejudice/tolerance, attitudes and discrimination.
Intersections of race and gender and the ideologies that relate to these policies about healthcare, welfare, and affirmative action, for example, are found in each of the major political parties in the United States (Bafumi and Herron 2009; Lee and Roemer 2006). Right-wing rhetoric, including the push for voter-identification laws, restrictive and punitive immigration laws, anti-choice legislation, as well as right-wing disrespect toward the president suggests that there is a connection between right-wing parties and racial beliefs (Barreto et al. 2011; Durrheim et al. 2011; Redlawsk et al. 2010). However, connections between identities—including political party identities—and beliefs are never simple or complete; the connection between beliefs and policy positions can be messy (Kluegel 1987; Neblo 2009; Prewitt-Freilino et al. 2012).
This research examines people’s ideologies, policy positions and identities. And since racialized beliefs are always already gendered, the study looks into the beliefs about feminism and welfare. Is there is a connection between political affiliations and either racialized and gendered beliefs, or policy positions? Further, is there is a connection between racial beliefs and political party affiliation? This study works to identify how participants’ racial and gendered beliefs inform their policy positions and political identities. It also examines how news sources inform people’s viewpoints.
There have been extensive studies examining people’s beliefs about governmental race-conscious policies. These studies find that racialized beliefs impact how people discuss programs such as affirmative action and welfare (Hudson 1999; Reyna et al. 2006; Sears et al. 1997).
Political affiliation is the political party that an individual feels best fits with their ideological views (Gilens 2009). In order to fully understand the relation between political party affiliation and various beliefs, scholars must examine about group identity and belief formation in relation to political affiliation. Cohen (2003) found that group identity formation relates to how people feel about certain social issues. If a policy is supported by a specific party, eventually it is internalized into the belief system of that party’s members, even if they originally had said something contradictory to that viewpoint (Cohen 2003).
When whites perceive policies are not specifically benefitting people of color, they are more likely to support the candidate based on their policies even if they are a person of color (Citrin, Green, and Sears 1990). However, if the politician is viewed as promoting policies that are more beneficial to people of color than to whites, that politician is not supported by whites and race becomes the primary focus of the election (Knowles, Lowery, and Schaumberg 2010).
Scholars contend that symbolic racism is important when whites make policy preference decisions in relation to people of color (Citrin et al. 1990; Knowles et al. 2010; Schlesinger 2011). Symbolic racism is typically defined as “a coherent belief system combining the following ideas: “racial discrimination is no longer a serious obstacle to blacks’ prospects for a good life; and …..their demands for better treatment, and the various kinds of special attention given to them are not truly justified” (Henry and Sears 2002, 254). Even while people state that they are not racist, often times their actions and words support symbolic racism by perpetuating the idea that racism and discrimination are a thing of the past, because there is no overt evidence of perceived racism (Bonilla-Silva 2010; Ferber 1998; Silva and Forman 2000). Symbolic racism uses race-neutral terminology to express discrimination about race salient topics, such as crime and welfare (Silva and Forman 2000).
Color-blind and symbolic language gives the impression of equality and inclusion; while removing responsibility and allowing whites to be implicitly racist. Van Dijk (1992) shows that while whites made comments that racism was in the past, they made racial judgments without the understanding that those comments are prejudiced. Bonilla-Silva and Forman identifies the use of coded language as: “I’m not racist, but…..” or “Some of my best friends are black”(Silva and Forman 2000). These phrases imply color-blind racism which is connected to post-racial rhetoric. Post-racial rhetoric supported by the election of President Obama drives the idea that racism is in the past; therefore, people feel like it is normal to express coded racist thoughts. This is due to post-racial rhetoric and color-blindedness identified by scholars of post-civil rights racism that gives whites a license to blame blacks and people of color for their situations, instead of looking at the long history of discrimination (Bonilla-Silva 2010; Lopez 2010; Wise 2010). However, while research on post-civil rights racism shows that while people may believe in post-racial rhetoric, racial animus still exists quite explicitly in society (Bonilla-Silva 2010; Kinder and Mendelberg 2000; Logan 2011; Schlesinger 2011).
In Bonilla-Silva and Forman’s research, surveys and in-depth interviews on three different college campuses found that the racial prejudice of white students has been grossly underreported (Bonilla-Silva and Forman 2000). They also found that students gave different responses in surveys than they did during in-depth interviews. The findings suggest that the students were unaware that they were using coded language (Bonilla-Silva and Forman 2000).
Color-blind and symbolic racism are established within a structural system that fosters an ease for whites to gain unearned access and privileges that are denied to other social groups. Grillo and Wildman (1991) note that whites feel that they are the center of everything and need not confront or acknowledge their privilege. Several studies note that the identities formed to protect white supremacy will always be in opposition to other racial groups (Sears and Jessor 1996; Sniderman and Tetlock 1986). This identity is associated with opposition to social programs such welfare and affirmative action, and with support for criminalization and mass incarceration (Sears and Jessor 1996; Gilens 2009).
Bobo (1998) found that dependent on education, there is a connection between increasing education and the protection of social dominance. Hiel and Mervielde (2002) find that social dominance orientation (SDO) correlate to more authoritarian attitudes and right-wing voting patterns were more likely to align with SDO. Social domination orientation (SDO) is defined as “a general attitudinal orientation toward intergroup relations, reflecting whether one generally prefers such relations to be equal versus hierarchical…reflects the individuals tendency to order social groups along a superior-inferior dimension (Hiel and Mervielde 2002: 965; Pratto et al. 1994; Sidanius et al. 1996) Their studies found that respondents who hold these viewpoints and higher levels of ‘dominance-based prejudice’ had a high dislike for people who violated established social norms (Hiel and Mervielde 2002).
Racial resentments are the fear that those of other races might get ahead of whites, and in the end, whites would be a marginalized minority (Feldman and Huddy 2005; Parker, Baltes, and Christiansen 1997). A racial threat is defined as a situation in which white people feel a perceived threat from a subordinate group (Blalock 1967; Barreto (2011). Barreto (2011) and Quillian (1996) also note that a perceived threat may not always be realistic, but it is a way to blame others to remove personal responsibility for their actions.
An example of this is the emergence of the Tea Party and its rhetoric. Skocpol and Williamson’s (2012) study on the Tea Party found that the party held various racist and sexist views. This research was completed through qualitative interviews with self-identified Tea Party members throughout of the United States. Skocpol and Williamson found that while women have had a role in organizing Tea Party rallies and meetings, often women are relegated to traditional gender roles found in a patriarchal, sexist society (Skocpol and Williamson 2012: 43).
In reference to the welfare state, Skocpol and Williamson (2012) found that Tea Party members oppose welfare spending (Gilens 2009; Skocpol and Williamson 2012). Their research regarding welfare spending also closely mirrors that of Gilens examination of American attitudes towards the topic. Skocpol and Williamson and Gilens found that respondents express severe opposition to welfare spending based it being unethical and that welfare recipients lack work ethic and generally going to those that are deemed undeserving (Gilens 2009; Skocpol and Williamson 2012).
Black and Latina women often receive extra attention from the Tea Party (Skocpol and Williamson 2012). This is of course not new, as scholars have found that welfare is often racialized and gendered by whites upon women of color by the using the stereotype ‘welfare queen’ (Collins 2004; Hooks 1996; Roberts 1997, 2002). In racial ideology, welfare queen is synonymous with moral deviation and economic drain and disruption of the American way of life (Collins 2000; Lubiano 1992; Mildred 1994). Scholars note that this term gained notoriety during the presidency of Ronald Reagan and continued through today (Collins 2000, 2004; Hooks 1996; Roberts 1997, 2002). These racist statements are key to the maintenance of racialized and gendered oppression against people of color (Collins 2000; Hooks 1996; Roberts 1997, 2002).
Scholars also found that Tea Party participants are motivated to protect white supremacy and identify a perceived racial threat (Barreto et al. 2011; Skocpol and Williamson 2012). Within the Tea Party, there exists a dominant white supremacist ideology, racial beliefs and a fear of out-group anxiety (Barreto et al. 2011). Barreto and his colleagues completed a study that included 35 follow-up interviews from randomly selected respondents from the 2010 Multi-State Survey on Race. The study also conducted a content analysis which examined 1,079 articles from 31 official Tea Party websites and found that people who support the Tea Party do not use explicit racist language but they use highly coded language (Barreto et al. 2011). Nonetheless, they have negative opinions about people of color, LGBTQ and immigrants (Barreto et al. 2011).
The Tea Party is highly critical of undocumented immigrants (Barreto et al. 2011; Skocpol and Williamson 2012). This adds to the research Huddy (2001) completed that found those who have a more nativist identity are more likely to oppose policies that would help immigrants, to view immigrants negatively, and to believe in the moral value of immediate assimilation. Out-group anxiety is defined as when the majority of society feels as though they are losing power due to the perceived irrational threat (Jost and Thompson 2000; Sears and Jessor 1996; Sniderman and Tetlock 1986).
Political Identity and Social Dominance
The foundation of a political identity is important to the formation of beliefs and to the maintenance of social dominance (Barreto et al. 2011; Cohen 2003; Cohrs and Asbrock 2009; Hiel and Mervielde 2002; Pratto et al. 1994). The structure of white supremacy perpetuates political identity and furthers color-blind ideology (Brown et al. 2003; Hartmann and Bell 2011; Lipsitz 2006; Omi and Winant 1987; Winant 2004). Other research has shown that white people will vote against their economic interests in order to maintain the dominant racial hierarchy (Lee and Roemer 2006; Feldman and Huddy 2005; Huddy 2001; Sears et al. 1997).
In addition, the obvious connection between white supremacy and racism is essential in the understanding of how political affiliation is connected to these structures (Andersen 2003). Asbrock and Cohrs (2009) found that those who identify with right-wing party affiliation are more prejudiced and have more color-blind racism tendencies. Those affiliated with right-wing parties felt that there was a stronger indication of becoming an out-group (Cohrs and Asbrock 2009). This study found that right-wing parties and other socially dominant groups feel animosity when there is perceived competition or a perceived racial threat (Cohrs and Asbrock 2009). This study had two samples of 82 and 176 respondents and examined the levels of out-group anxiety and social dominance theory. The study found that even if the ‘threatening groups’ held the same traditional values as the dominant or right-wing groups, the ‘other groups’ are perceived as a ‘moocher class’ and viewed a detrimental to the society at large (Cohrs and Asbrock 2009).
Gainous (2012) found that those who identify as Republican and, in particular, Republican men are more likely to oppose welfare policies. Gainous (2012) also found that Republicans are more often in favor of using the small, limited government argument against social welfare programs. However, other scholars showed that this was not necessarily true due to liberal and conservative party ideologies that both use conceptualizations of American individualism to highlight arguments about welfare (Gilens 2009; Kinder and Mendelberg 2000; Lipsitz 2006). The use of this argument connected with symbolic racism (Peffley, Hurwitz, and Sniderman 1997; Pyszczynski et al. 2010; Saucier and Miller 2003; Silva and Forman 2000). Gainous (2012) also found that those who have no college, and are more right leaning, are more likely to not support social programs based on racial prejudice.
Petchesky (1981) argues that the right-wing movement has increased in strength by its consistent ‘pro-family’ message, having the ability to reach a large media audience. Right-wing ideology tries to impress upon people that they are fighting for individual personal freedom, but it is really about control of individual bodies (Petchesky 1981). Patriarchy is integral to the construction of what womanhood is and what motherhood should entail (Roberts 1993). For example, reproductive justice for white women was considered outside the realm of what was essential to be a woman – that voluntary birth control would ruin the [white] family (Roberts 1993). However, this same ideology was not placed upon black women’s bodies. There was a direct correlation with racist and color-blind birth control policies and the desire to stop black women from having children (Davis 2003; Roberts 1993). For example, Margaret Sanger, an early 19th century birth control advocate, stated that birth control would remove the ‘unfit’ from producing children, thus removing the amount of ‘undesirables’ (Roberts 1993; Sanger 1922). Roberts (1993; 1997) noted that black women, historically utilized in eugenic procedures by white folks were sensitive about these birth control methods. Black women were disproportionally sterilized, required to have Norplant/Mirena inserted in their bodies, and labeled welfare queens (Collins 2000; Davis 2003; Roberts 1993, 1997, 2002).
The intersection of race and gender are imperative to the discussion of feminist politics in reference to color-blind racist ideology. Mainstream literature has focused on the struggle that white women experience in reference to political ideologies; however, it does not include the realities that women of color experience in relation to left and right ideologies. Specifically, the lived experiences that black women encounter. Black women theorists revolutionized the fight against the white, patriarchal cultural norms regarding body politics and welfare. Roberts discussed in Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, the experiences and race-conscious policies that are placed on black women. These experiences adversely affected them throughout time and continue to do so into the present (Roberts 1997). Welfare and other social policies are explicitly racialized and feminized towards black women (Collins 2004; Hooks 1996, 2000; Roberts 1997, 2002). Welfare ‘reform’ of the late 1990s continued the assault on women of color, specifically black women by political ideology (Roberts 1997, 2002).
Racial ideology regarding reproductive rights and welfare also extends to criminalization of black men and women. The structure of white supremacy extends to the criminal justice system and adversely affects black men and women (Collins 2000, 2004; Davis 1998; Ferguson 2001; Roberts 1997). Roberts (1997) found that black women were being subjected to the Norplant birth control while in prison. Young, black, male children, however, are channeled into the school to prison pipeline from disciplinary action that occur in their schools (Ferguson 2001). The gendered and racialized prison population is the result of a white supremacist, patriarchal social structure (Davis and Shaylor 2001; Davis 1998; Ferguson 2001; Roberts 1997; Schlesinger 2011).
Lee and Roemer (2006) found that whites in right-wing parties will vote against their class interests in order to make it more difficult for people of color/blacks to access these welfare benefits. Scholars found that that those who identify as Republican are far more likely to vote against redistributive policies even if those policies could potentially have a positive effect on their own socio-economic status (Lee and Roemer 2006). Lee and Roemer used a National Election Survey, NES and Panel Study of Income Dynamics, PSID to analyze their data through a probit regression model to analyze their data (Lee and Roemer 2006). Lee and Roemer “suggest that voter racism decreases the degree of redistribution due to an anti-solidarity effect: that (some) voters oppose government transfer payments to minorities whom they view as undeserving. [They] suggest a second effect as well: that some voters who desire redistribution nevertheless vote for the anti-redistributive (Republican) party because its position on the race issue is more consonant with their own, and this, too, decreases the degree of redistribution in political equilibrium” (2006).
Similarly, some scholars found that anti-feminist sentiment is correlated with the right or Republican viewpoints (David 1982; Hiel and Mervielde 2002; Petchesky 1981). For example, David finds that the moral policies hailed by Reagan and present day Republicans are dressed up as positives, such as ‘pro-family’; but really these ‘policy prescriptions’ were imposed social control on women to get them away from working outside of the home, but working inside it (David 1982). Scholars thoroughly identified policies that police black women’s fertility and abilities as mothers (Collins 2000, 2004; Logan 1999; Lubiano 1992; Roberts 1993, 1997). This research correlated directly with the post-racial rhetoric about welfare emphasizing personal responsibility and individualism from both left and right ideologies (Andersen 2003). Variations of these ideologies are expressed by Republicans, Tea Party members and Democrats in race-conscious legislation and racialized statements (Barreto et al. 2011; Roberts 1997; Schlesinger 2011; Silva and Forman 2000; Wise 2010). By controlling what women do in and out of the home, internalized social control from these policies are controlling women’s bodies and reconstructing sexuality to be solely between men and women (David 1982).
While there is research on political and social identities, white supremacy and social dominance, there is very little work done on political party affiliation broken down into individual parties, such as Libertarian, Green Party– but rather broad terms – Republican and Democrat. Also, anti-feminist policies are situated on both the right and left spectrums. It may be equally present, but, it needs more examination.
Research has examined the association between political identities and social, racial and gender beliefs in particularly between Republicans and Democrats (Cohen 2003; Cohrs and Asbrock 2009; Feldman and Huddy 2005; Green, Palmquist, and Schickler 2004). This study examines the association between a broader spectrum of political affiliations and beliefs about racial and gender equality to understand if these beliefs are held people who identify with across in party lines. The research questions for this study are as follows: Is there an association between political affiliation and beliefs about racial equality? Is there an association between political affiliation and beliefs about gender equality? Similarly, if such associations exist, are they mediated by demographics—such as race, age, sex, or household income?
The study collected data using survey of 61 questions that was distributed on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Most questions in this survey come from previously distributed surveys such as the General Social Survey. Respondents of the survey read the statements and then answered on the basis of a Likert Scale – from strongly agree to strongly disagree. There were only a few questions that diverted from the Likert Scale and used most likely to not very likely, as well as specific questions about welfare policies and home sale policies in reference to people of color. The survey includes questions that measure political affiliation, beliefs about racial equality and policies that are understood to have racialized ramifications, beliefs about gender equality and policies that are understood to have gendered ramifications, and demographic characteristics. The full list of questions can be found in the appendix.
This survey combines multiple choice questions with a few write-in questions. For example, if the participant selects ‘economic disparity’ as their top issue that Congress should be focusing on, they are invited to write in an explanation. The answer could vary between: ‘everyone has equal opportunities, people need to work harder’; and ‘there needs to be more help and assistance for the middle class and poor and less for the wealthy in order to even out the disparity’. These answers point to notably different political affiliations and views. A full list of questions is available in the following appendix.
The political affiliation variable is broken down into several dummies: Libertarian, Tea Party, Republican, Democrat, Green Party, and Communist/Socialist. Libertarian respondents are included in the variable right. Many Libertarians draw lines that differentiate themselves from other Republicans and Tea Party members. However, given American Libertarians conservative views on welfare, spending, and “post-racial” rhetoric, it seems that they cannot be included in a left spectrum (Barreto et al. 2011). The mean and standard deviation of republican is included in Table 1, and is respectively .11 and .34. The mean and standard deviation of right is .20 and .40. Therefore, collecting the right-wing spectrum variables widened the scope for the survey.
The first group of questions identifies various print/online and televised news sources that the respondent feels that they can trust the most and trust the least. The next variables measure degrees to which people have internalized racial beliefs. The study asks questions about welfare, housing policies, the criminal justice system, work ethic, education, affirmative action, reparations and presidential candidates and recent legislation discussed in the news. The questions respondents answered were regarding racial beliefs such as ‘Affirmative action is reverse racism’, ‘Blacks should be paid for the work of their ancestors’ and ‘I would vote for a Black woman president’. The survey also included questions about the racial identities of potential presidential candidates. The questions were broken down into black man, black woman, Latino, Latina, white man, and white woman as president and the likelihood that the respondent would vote for that race or gender. The scales are organized with 5 agreeing with racist policies and 1 disagreeing with racist polices.
The next group of variables measures the degree to which respondents have internalized sexist beliefs. These questions examine beliefs about abortion rights, social norms about women as caregivers, and workers outside the home. Examples of statements in this section include ‘Preschool children are likely to be at a disadvantage if their mother works’, ‘Women should have access to a legal abortion, regardless of circumstance’ and ‘Women are just as emotionally suited for politics as men’.
The final sets of variables are demographic which measure gender, location, income, education and race. The scales used in this study are important to understand the beliefs across party affiliation.
There were 137 respondents in the first round of survey data. The dependent demographic variables of Right and Republican have been recoded into binary 1/0 coding. The scales in the study were constructed by adding the scores of each inclusive variables and then dividing by the number of variables in the scales. The scales that were created and measured in this research are a racism scale, feminism scale, anti-criminalization scale, post-racial ideology, racial equality and news scale. The reason for the scale variables was a measure to keep the ‘not sure’ information intact. It shows a great deal of variability–as people are unsure if affirmative action is reverse racism, so potentially, by answering they can feel like they do not have to confront their feelings about the matter. This similar pattern also appeared in various other scale level variables.
[To view Table 2, See Appendix of PDF Version]
The racism scale included the questions that were about race or racial policies, such as affirmative action. The feminism scale included questions regarding gender equity questions, such as mothers working outside of the home. The anti-criminalization scale included questions about policing and incarceration, such as people deserve to be punished. The post-racial ideology scale included questions regarding post-racial rhetoric, such as people of color having the same opportunity for jobs. The racial equity scale included the questions about racial equality, such as access to healthcare. The last scale created was the news scale which included all the questions about internet and television media outlets. These scales are organized by agreement with racist policies to disagreement with racist policies or from would be considered right viewpoints to left viewpoints. However, the news and post-racial scale were reversed in order to correlate with racist numbered as 1 to anti-racist numbered as 5 as indicated by Table 3 to correlate with the order in the other scales. Table 1 illustrates the same variables; however, these are broken out by race. The reason that I have this broken down by race is to show the breakdown for each one of these questions in the survey.
In order to assess the associations between political affiliation and beliefs about racial and gender equality, the study estimates a series of logistic regressions using Stata 12. The study uses the dependent variables right and republican in a logistic regression against three models. For each Tables 3 and 4, the unadjusted models 1.1 and 2.1 analyze the dependent variables and the scales. The second models 1.2 and 2.2 regresses all of the scales together with the dependent variables. The last models 1.3 and 2.3 contain all of the scales and demographics. The last model for both independent variables used demographics to control for each of the scales.
The study respondents were proportionally more white and democrat or left and from the Midwest. To look at the data more clearly regarding political affiliation, the dependent variables of right and republican were controlled for various races. There were more respondents who identified as white and republican, which corroborates previous literature. The dependent variable republican controlling for white included a mean of .10 and a standard deviation of .31. The dependent variable right controlling for white included a mean of .20 and a standard deviation of .41. It was far less common in the demographics for any other race to have republican or right-wing party affiliation. There was also a conscious effort to represent both cis men and women, as well as those who self-identify as gender nonconforming. While these particular demographics did not yield substantial responses regarding gender, it was important to include in the result tabulations.
The main limitation of this study is its sample size; there are only 137 respondents. Therefore, the results of this study are preliminary and should not be presumed to be generalizable. The preliminary testing of the survey brought the following flaws to my attention. The survey should have included a selection for widow in the marital status question. In addition, the survey should have asked if whites were lazy, to provide a reference category in regards to black and Latina questions. Other limitations include that this study was only online, so people without internet connectivity were excluded, including many homeless, elderly, and poor people. Finally, the sample is a convenience sample.
The results of this study find that as respondents become more tolerant, they are less likely to be affiliated with right-wing parties. However, the study did not find a correlation with political party and anti-feminist beliefs, which indicates further research is necessary. The study does replicate published literature about right-wing party tolerance regarding racial beliefs but gives little information about beliefs on the left side of the spectrum.
Table 3 finds that the racism scale and the variable republican have a significant relationship. In Model 1.1, it is two times as likely that people who do not identify as republican would not support such racist structures. This also holds in Model 1.1 that those unaffiliated with the Republican Party are more than three times less likely to support both criminalization policies and beliefs that racism is in the past. The analysis consists of a significant confidence interval for the racism scale, anti-criminalization scale and post-racial scale. However, these significances disappear when all other variables are regressed with the other scales and controlled for demographic dummy variables in Models 1.2 and 1.3. The findings of variable republican did not show any significance when controlling for other scales and demographics in regards to feminist policies. This could be due to individuals who vote republican and took the survey may not fully understand gender or feminist issues.
[To view Table 3, See Appendix of PDF Version]
However, the more interesting variable was the right variable in Table 4. The right variable includes republican and libertarian respondents. In Model 2.1, it was less likely that people unaffiliated with right-wing parties would support racist structures. In Model 2.2, the analysis showed an increase in the likelihood that people who were more tolerant would be unaffiliated with right-wing parties. For example, when controlling the variable right with all the other scales, it was three times as likely that more tolerant individuals would not be associated with a right-wing party. In Model 2.3, the significance is reduced a little, but still shows that it is about two times as likely that more tolerant individuals would not be associated with a right-wing party. This analysis shows a pattern of significance that when people are more tolerant, the odds that people will be affiliated with right-wing parties are less. The odds ratio stays significant even with the inclusion of the other scale variables and controlled for demographic variables.
Similar to republican and right, democrat and left were analyzed, controlled for the same variables and scales and contrary to the hypothesis; the analysis did not produce any items of significance. The analysis of this data about right-wing parties is consistent with literature regarding the topic of right wing parties and racial beliefs.
Discussion & Conclusion
The study sought to answer research questions regarding associations between political affiliation and racial and gender beliefs and are they mediated by demographics—such as race, age, sex, or household income. This research was completed by distributing a survey on social media sites from questions obtained from previously released surveys. The findings from this study show that as people become more tolerant, the less likely that they will be associated with right-wing parties.
Another part of the study was to find a correlation between left-wing parties and post-civil rights racism. For this particular study, the results were not statistically significant. However, these themes and ideologies inform the understanding of current racial policy and continue the possibility for color-blind rhetoric to remain strong and relevant. This dictates the need for further research to identify if left-wing supporters survey different than they interview.
Unscientific data, such as conversations and observations collected during this research project found that individuals who claimed to ‘be liberal’ or ‘not republican’ often share racist jokes in the company of friends, as well as, verbally express post-racial rhetoric following the pattern established most recently by Bonilla-Silva, i.e., “I’m not racist, but” (Bonilla-Silva 2010; Silva and Forman 2000; Wise 2010). While these findings corroborated current literature, further research is necessary.
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