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A tea party demonstration. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty. A tea party demonstration. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty.  

Conservatives more racist than liberals, says government-funded study

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Robby Soave
Reporter

Mixed-race people are more likely to be considered black by conservatives, who are subconsciously attempting to “justify racial divisions,” said the authors of a new government-funded study.

The report, originally released earlier this month, has begun attracting criticism from those who see political bias in the results.

The study was conducted by graduate students and faculty in the psychology department of New York University. Researchers asked participants to look at pictures of mixed-race people and say whether they were black or white. The study found that conservatives were more likely to think of a mixed-race person as black than were liberal participants.

This relates to what social psychology researchers call the “one drop rule,” which states that people of mixed racial heritage are often lumped in whatever racial category has the lowest social standing.

“Conservatives… may maintain traditional boundaries associated with the hierarchical social order — and, as a result, they categorize multi-racial individuals according to the most socially subordinate group membership,” said an NYU press release about the study.

Seeking causes for this purported racism, the study gauged conservatives’ views by asking them whether “we should do what we can to equalize conditions for groups.” A “no” answer was indicative of a conservative who opposed equality.

The study’s authors then made the connection: conservatives want to link mixed-race people with blacks as a means of preserving historical inequities.

“It seems reasonable to conclude on the basis of these results that bias in the process of racial categorization may reflect, among other things, the motivation to defend and uphold traditional racial divisions that are part of the historical legacy of the United States,” wrote the authors.

The study was paid for via a grant from the National Science Foundation — a government agency — and the NYU College of Arts and Science.

Not everyone accepts its conclusions, however.

“Universities love spending their time and our taxpayer dollars trying to prove the white man is racist,” wrote the editors of The College Fix.

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