Good timing…

An article at Salon on the Tea Party and “racial resentment”.

Young’s second point, that Tea Partiers view blacks as less hardworking, and hold more “racial resentment,” because of conservatism, not racism, is an interesting one. It is certainly true that the perception that blacks lack a strong work ethic, and look for “special favors” from the government, is consistent with conservative values and conservative politics; not an unreasonable assertion. But to stop here, and reduce racial resentment to conservatism, is at best premature; at worst, it’s irresponsible. In at least three other articles on this topic, I’m on the record saying that one shouldn’t conflate the apparent racism in the Tea Party movement with conservatism.

Apparently, Young doesn’t appreciate the capacity of social scientists to take the analysis further. If she did, I doubt she would’ve claimed that support for the Tea Party was simply a proxy for conservatism. Suppose that most Tea Party supporters are what some call “principled conservatives.” That is, they’re simply about a small federal government, fiscal discipline and free markets. In fact, our data show that when you account for/control for conservatism, and partisanship to boot, there’s still a strong statistical connection between support for the Tea Party — rather than conservative politics generally — and racial resentment. Indeed, ideology does matter: If one is conservative, he or she is 23 percent more likely than a liberal to hold racially resentful attitudes. Even so, we found that Tea Party supporters are even more likely than conservatives who don’t support the movement to believe that blacks simply need to work harder, and that the legacy of slavery and discrimination has no effect on blacks’ current condition in America society.


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