Racism on college campuses is rooted in the small things people say and do

While overt and blatant expressions of prejudice seem to have declined on American university campuses over the last few decades, racism is still evident in the small things that white students say and do. This is especially true for those who think that minorities are too sensitive about race issues, says Jonathan Kanter of the University of Washington in the US. He is the lead author of a study in Springer's journal Race and Social Problems.

The study is the first to ask white American students how inclined they are to deliver statements that contain so-called microaggressive messages about people of other races. Microaggressive messages refer to brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults. These might appear to be harmless, but are in fact forms of everyday racism or discrimination.

Thirty-three black and 118 non-Hispanic white undergraduate students aged between 18 and 35 years old were included in the study which was done at a large public university in the Southern/Midwest United States, where towards black people is stronger than elsewhere in the US. Participants completed online questionnaires about their self-reported likelihood to engage in microaggression, and real situations where they did so. Furthermore, participants reported on contexts during which they had experienced microaggressions.

The results suggest that the likelihood of students engaging in microaggressions across five common contexts goes hand in hand with several known measures of prejudice. Specifically, who reported that they were more likely to be microaggressive were more likely to endorse colorblind, symbolic, and modern racist attitudes. They also held significantly less favorable and attitudes towards Black people. This was especially true for white students who thought that minorities are too sensitive about matters related to racial prejudice. Almost all of the black respondents experienced being called "too sensitive" to be racist in some form or another, and linked it to hostile feelings toward .

"These findings provide empirical support that microaggressive acts are rooted in racist beliefsand feelings of deliverers, and may not be dismissed as simply subjective perceptions of the target," says Kanter. "The delivery of microaggressions by white students is not simply innocuous behavior and may be indicative of broad, complex, and negative racial attitudes and explicit underlying hostility and negative feelings toward black students."

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More information: Jonathan W. Kanter et al, A Preliminary Report on the Relationship Between Microaggressions Against Black People and Racism Among White College Students, Race and Social Problems (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s12552-017-9214-0
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Citation: Racism on college campuses is rooted in the small things people say and do (2017, August 31) retrieved 17 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-racism-college-campuses-rooted-small.html
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Aug 31, 2017
Junk science.

Aug 31, 2017
The writer with this statement seems to be a racist
Quote Article Writer
"Things that white students say and do"

Aug 31, 2017
This is especially true for those who think that minorities can't think for themselves and have to vote a certain way, then ostracize and harass those who don't. That isn't just micro aggressive racism, that is outright blatant racism.
Also endorsing a color blind modern attitude, is what we should all want. We would be lucky if everyone did this. If you tools would quit bringing up this racist BS, a lot more would endorse a color blind modern attitude and racism might just go away faster...

Aug 31, 2017
The 'soft' sciences are particularly vulnerable to junk, fad, politicized science because they are reliant on anecdotal evidence and statistical manipulations. They rarely follow the scientific method.

Aug 31, 2017
Racism is in the basic human nature. It will go away for good, soon but not because of some moral good. Racism will disappear because with gene editing race will soon become optional and changeable anytime we want.

Aug 31, 2017
Here come the Maoists.

Aug 31, 2017
Here come the Maoists.

And the labellests just showed up to.
Racist, sexist, misogynistic,, Maoists, communists, American, Canadian, capitalists, homophobic, pathological liar, sociopath, leftist, liberal, etc...etc.
Label someone if you can't win a argument.
He will defend himself even if he thinks the label is good.

Sep 01, 2017
A new pathological definition needs to be included in the DSM. Hyper-sensitivity to heterogeneology. It's becoming comical, like a Woody Allen neuroses; '...Did they just say "I like those kind of people" ...like, whaddus that eevin mean? Y'know ? Am I those people, or not? Should I be worried that I'm one of those people, but what if I'm not? I think... that if I'm not one of those people then I'm obviously being excluded and for what? It's a Jewish thing I'm sure of it!'

Sep 01, 2017
Huh. I guess this does mean that crackers are superior because only they have the ability to demean other minorities.

Guess I was wrong.

And it must be true because as we know white academies are more intelligent, more sensitive, and more egalitarian than just about anybody else on the planet.

So they can afford to be honest.

Spellcheck keeps typing academes as academies but I think I'll leave it that way because it's funny haha.

You got a problem with that?

Sep 02, 2017
And thank you barakn for your typical driveby nonresponse. Racism and bigotry are basically tribal. Tribal behaviors provoke a tribal response. And so tribal behaviors like black lives matter and black women objecting to white guys with dreds

-is going to provoke a tribal response.

Why can't academies own up to this? The white liberal media knows all about it which is why they began spotlighting and misrepresenting thuggery like trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in the lead up to the election.

Sep 02, 2017
This is exactly what I was afraid of, because I'm white and I can't figure out the rules.
When I was a kid "colorblind" was good. But now I guess that's just treating everyone like they're white - and racist. But attempts to acknowledge each individual's unique ethnic identity seems problematic too. Should I bow to people who look Asian? Offer tobacco to indigenous persons? But that's pandering to my stereotypes - definitely racist.
So I live in fear that someting I say or do, or don't say or do, will prove that I'm actually racist, even though I don't want to be.
I guess you could say that I'm hypersensitive to being considered racist - which I'm pretty sure is racist.

Sep 02, 2017
Speaking of racist college campuses how about this one?

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