by Eric Lendrum
A recent study by Yale University indicates that if the Democratic Party continues overtly promoting “anti-racism” rhetoric, it could lead to a mass alienation of their own base in upcoming elections, as reported by the New York Post.
The study was conducted by Yale’s Micah English and Joshua Kalla, whose goals with the survey were to find out “how racial attitudes shape policy preferences in the era of Black Lives Matter and increasing liberal views on racial issues.” But, utilizing an online survey method, they soon found that issues based explicitly on race where less likely to galvanize the party’s base than issues based more on economics.
To determine this, the study asked voters about various issues such as student debt cancellation, the Green New Deal, universal healthcare, and legalizing marijuana, amongst others. These issues were presented in three different ways to various respondents: They were either framed around “racial justice,” framed as “economic justice,” or explained completely neutrally. Actual rhetoric from Democratic politicians was incorporated into each method of questioning, and the issues were all emphasized as being part of the Democratic Party’s platform.
The study subsequently found that White voters, even those who identify as liberal and supportive of Democrats, were less likely to support an issue if it was based on race, and would instead prefer if it was based on economics. Conversely, black voters were more supportive of race-based issues than economics-based issues.
The conclusion drawn upon by English and Kalla simply attributed the different responses from White voters to racism, claiming that even though it is not representative of “old-fashioned racism…racism remains a pernicious force in White Americans’ policy preferences.”
“Despite leftward shifts in public attitudes towards issues of racial equality,” they wrote in their report, “racial framing decreases support for race-neutral progressive policies.”
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