Challenging liberal myths that are commonly assumed to be fact

Australia’s Neil Brown, described in the following opinion piece as a ‘Melbourne QC and former federal minister and deputy leader of the Liberal Party’ in the land down under, takes a look at two recent studies that, among other things, examined the racial attitudes of the participants. The results, as Brown correctly asserts, shatter the liberal myth about conservatives and race, as well as (finally) turn the microscope on liberals and their attitudes on racial issues:

[…] Shanto Iyengar, a professor of communications at Stanford University, has just completed some experiments in partnership with The Washington Post on the attitudes of people to giving aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The ABC here and its handmaiden lefties in the US have never let us forget that the evil George W. Bush did nothing to help in New Orleans and deliberately so because the victims were mostly black or Hispanic. But what does the research actually show?

Democratic voters, of course, voted to give more money to hurricane victims and for a longer period. Hardly surprising, that: Democrats, like Labor voters here, are keen on giving away other people’s money and, for them, a natural disaster is as good an opportunity for doing so as anything else.

But wait, what’s this? The research shows Democrats were prepared to give $1500 more to victims if they were white than if they were black. What, give less money to innocent victims just because they were black? I’m afraid so. Moreover, Democrats would give more money to whites than to other minorities such as Asians and Hispanics.

So it was left-wingers who used race as the big test.

Republicans, on the other hand, were not influenced by race at all. The Republicans’ view, as Iyengar put it, was more principled, as they supported individualism instead of handouts: “Independents and Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely to be affected by racial cues.” Even The Washington Post, on June 23, had to concede that this evident bias was disturbing.

But it gets worse. Iyengar’s study matches perfectly with an earlier study by Franklin Gilliam Jr of the University of California, Los Angeles, that shows although Republican voters support tough treatment of criminals, Democrats and others “support harsher measures when the criminal suspect they encountered was non-white”.

Now that’s not the way things are supposed to be. But if left-wingers and liberals use race in a way that right-wingers do not, in crime and now in something as deserving as hurricane relief, how about their attitudes on, say, social welfare? Surely, the Left would not discriminate on the grounds of race in that essential field?

Disturbingly, to use that ominous word, it turns out that Gilliam has done another study that looks at whether attitudes on welfare bludging are influenced by race and, you guessed it, they are influenced by it, but only if they are liberals. His exact words: “Depictions of white welfare queens also seem to induce whites who describe themselves as having liberal views about gender roles to arrive at extremely harsh views of African-Americans.”

This has to stop. Unbridled research such as this will end up destroying all our cherished myths.

When I read opinion pieces, I’ll generally do some research on the assertions made in them because opinion pieces (being what they are) sometimes contain facts that aren’t quite as clear-cut as the author makes them out to be. But in this case, Brown is exactly right. Here’s the Washington Post piece Professor Iyengar and and the WaPo columnist Richard Morin wrote about their study, with links to tables and figures included. Morin wrote a follow up to that piece here:

[Re: Katrina aid]: Democrats and independents were far more generous; on average, they gave Katrina victims on average more than $1,500 a month, compared with $1,200 for Republicans, and for 13 months instead of nine.

But for Democrats, race mattered — and in a disturbing way. Overall, Democrats were willing to give whites about $1,500 more than they chose to give to a black or other minority. (Even with this race penalty, Democrats still were willing to give more to blacks than those principled Republicans.) “Republicans are likely to be more stringent, both in terms of money and time, Iyengar said. “However, their position is ‘principled’ in the sense that it stems from a strong belief in individualism (as opposed to handouts). Thus their responses to the assistance questions are relatively invariant across the different media conditions. Independents and Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely to be affected by racial cues.”


Iyengar said he’s not surprised by the latest findings: “This pattern of results matches perfectly an earlier study I did on race and crime” with Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. of UCLA. “Republicans supported tough treatment of criminals no matter what they encountered in the news. Others were more elastic in their position, coming to support more harsh measures when the criminal suspect they encountered was non-white.”

Can’t believe I missed this study the first time around, so I’m glad Brown revived it with what he wrote in The Australian.

Not that I needed the confirmation, but if I had needed it, this just goes to show that members of the Democratic party pander to the black community not because they actually believe Republicans don’t have black citizens’ best interests at heart, but do it instead because of the guilt they feel over their own secret attitudes towards the black community – in addition to making the Republican party the scapegoat for beliefs that they (Democrats) harbor themselves. Mind, I’m not making a blanket condemnation, nor am I saying that there are no racists in the Republican party – I’ll be more charitable towards the Democratic party on the whole than they ever have been towards Republicans when discussing racial issues. But the problem does appear to be a little more widespread than ‘just a few’ liberals.


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