Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blame Whitey

Previous research suggests that narrow identification with one’s own racial group impedes coalition building among minorities. Consistent with this research, the 2008 Democratic primary was marked by racial differences in voting preferences: Black voters overwhelmingly preferred Barack Obama, a Black candidate, and Latinos and Asians largely favored Hillary Clinton, a White candidate. We investigated one approach to overcoming this divide – highlighting one’s negational identity.

...we propose a different approach for dealing with narrow racial identification in a sociopolitical context. Recent research suggests that affirmational identity – who or what we are – may not be the only source of identification. Groups to which we do not belong to may be equally informative to our sense of self, with individuals being able to identify negationally by focusing on what they are not. Thus, an individual could focus on being Black, an affirmational identity, or on not being White, a negational identity.

Clearly, the authors think it is permissible to encourage people to think of themselves as not white as a means to an end of getting them to vote for the non white candidate. I wonder what these authors would think about encouraging people to think of themselves as not black as a means to an end of getting them to vote for the non black candidate.

Kind of sounds like they are encouraging politicians to embrace racism.

via Jonah Lehrer