Last month I wrote about how
Trump won the election due to white Americans’ exposure to diversity caused them to support Trump and his anti-immigration policies over Clinton and Sanders. That is, whites high in racial/ethnic identification exposed to more diversity irrespective of political leaning would vote for Trump for President and not Clinton or Sanders. It is commonly said that more diversity will increase tolerance for the out-group, and all will be well. But is this true?
Craig and Richeson (2014) explored how the changing racial shift in America affects whites’ feelings towards the peoples replacing whites (‘Hispanic’/Latino populations) as well as the feelings of whites towards other minority groups that are not replacing them in the country. Interestingly, whites exposed to the racial shift group showed more pro-white, anti-minority violence as well as preferring spaces and interactions with their own kind over others. Moreover, negative feelings towards blacks and Asians were seen, two groups that are not replacing white Americans.
White Canadians who were exposed to a graph showing that whites would be a projected minority “perceived greater in-group threat” leading to the expression of “somewhat more anger toward and fear of racial minorities.” East Asians are showing the most population growth in Canada. Relaying this information to whites has them express less warmth towards East Asian Canadians.
In their first study (n=86, 44 shown the racial shift and 42 shown current U.S. demographics), participants who read the title of a newspaper provided to them. One paper was titled “In a Generation, Ethnic Minorities May Be the U.S. Majority”, whereas the other was titled “U.S. Census Bureau Releases New Estimates of the US Population by Ethnicity.” They were asked questions such as “I would rather work alongside people of my same ethnic origin,” and “It would bother me if my child married someone from a different ethnic background.” Whites who read the newspaper article showing ethnic replacement showed more racial bias than those who read about current U.S. demographics. Whites exposed to projected demographics were more likely to prefer settings and interactions with other whites compared to the group who read current demographics.
In study 2 a (n=28, 14 Dutch participants and 14 American participants, 14 exposed to the U.S. racial shift, 14 exposed to the Dutch racial shift), those in the U.S. racial shift category showed more pro-white/anti-Asian bias than participants in the Dutch racial shift category. Those who were exposed to the changing U.S. ethnic landscape were more likely to show pro-white/anti-black bias than participants exposed to the Dutch racial shift (study 2b, n=25, 14 U.S. racial shift, 11 Dutch racial shift). In other words, making the U.S changing racial/ethnic population important, whites showed that whites were, again, more likely to be pro-white and anti-minority, even while exposed to an important racial demographic shift in a foreign country (the Netherlands). Whites, then, exposed to more racial diversity will show more automatic bias towards minorities, especially whites who live around a lot of blacks and ‘Hispanics’. Making whites aware of the changing racial demographics in America had them express automatic racial bias towards all minority groups—even minority groups not responsible for the racial shift.
In study 3 (n=620, 317 women, 76.3% White, 9.0% Black, 10.0% Latino, 4.7% other race) whether attitudes toward different minority groups may be affected by the exposure to the racial shift. Study 3 specifically focused on whites (n=415, 212 women, median age 48.8, a nationally representative sample of white Americans). Half of the participants were shown information about the projected ethnic shift in America while the other half were given a news article on the geographic mobility in America (individuals who move in a given year). They were asked their feelings on the following statements:
“the American way of life is seriously threatened” and were asked to indicate their view of the trajectory of American society (1 = American society is getting much worse every year, 5 = American society is getting much better every year); these two items were standardized and averaged to create an index of system threat (r = .64). To assess system justification, we asked participants to indicate their agreement (1 = strongly agree, 7 = strongly disagree) to the statement “American society is set up so that people usually get what they deserve.”
They were also asked the following questions on how certain they were of America’s social future:
“If they increase in status, racial minorities are likely to reduce the influence of White Americans in society.” The racial identification question asked participants to indicate their agreement (1 = strongly agree, 7 = strongly disagree) with the following statement, “My opportunities in life are tied to those of my racial group as a whole.”
The researchers had the participants read the article about the impending racial shift in America and had them fill out “feeling thermometers” on how they felt about differing racial groups in America (blacks, whites, Asians and ‘Hispanics’) with 1 being cold and 100 being hot. Whites reported the most positivity towards their own group, followed by Asians, blacks and showing the least positivity towards ‘Hispanics’ (the group projected to replace whites in 25 years). Figure 2 also shows that whites don’t show the same negative biases they would towards other minorities in America, most likely due to the ‘model minority‘ status.
So the researchers showed that by making the racial shift important, that led to more white Americans showing negative attitudes towards minorities—specifically ‘Hispanics’. This was brought about by whites’ “concerns of lose of societal status.” When whites begin to notice demographic changes, the attitudes towards minorities will change—most notable the attitudes towards blacks and ‘Hispanics’ (which is due to the amount of crime committed by both groups, and is why whites show favoritism towards Asians, in my opinion). Overall, it was shown in a nationally representative sample of whites that showing the changing demographics in the country leads to more negative responses towards minority groups. This is due to the perceived threat on whites’ group status, which leads to more out-group bias.
These four studies report empirical evidence that contrary to the belief of liberals et al—that an increasingly diverse America will lead to more acceptance—more exposure to diversity and the changing racial demographics will have whites show more negative attitudes towards minority groups, most notably ‘Hispanics’, the group projected to become the majority by 2042. The authors write:
Consistent with this prior work, the present research offers compelling evidence that the impending so-called “majority-minority” U.S. population is construed by White Americans as a threat to their group’s position in society and increases their expression of racial bias on both automatically activated and selfreport attitude measures.
Interestingly, the authors also write:
That is, the article in the U.S. racial shift condition accurately attributed a large percentage of the population shift to increases in the Latino/Hispanic population, yet, participants in this condition expressed more negative attitudes toward Black Americans and Asian Americans (Study 3) as well as greater automatic bias on both a White-Asian and a White-Black IAT (Studies 2a and 2b). These findings suggest that the information often reported regarding the changing U.S. racial demographics may lead White Americans to perceive all racial minority groups as part of a monolithic non-White group.
You can see this from the rise of the alt-right. Whites, when exposed to the reality of the demographic shift in America, will begin to show more pro-white attitudes while derogating minority out-groups. It is important to note the implications of these studies. One could look at these studies, and rightly say, that as America becomes more diverse that ethnic tensions will increase. Indeed, this is what we are now currently seeing. Contrary to what people say about diversity “being our strength“, it will actually increase ethnic hostility in America and lead towards evermore increasing strife between ethnic groups in America (that is ever-rising due to the current political and social climate in the country). Diversity is not our “strength”—it is, in fact, the opposite. It is our weakness. As the country becomes more diverse we can expect more ethnic strife between groups, which will lower the quality of life for all ethnies, while making whites show more negative attitudes towards all minority groups (including Asians and blacks, but less so than ‘Hispanics’) due to group status threat. The authors write in the discussion:
That is, these studies revealed that White Americans for whom the U.S. racial demographic shift was made salient preferred interactions/settings with their own racial group over minority racial groups, expressed more automatic pro-White/antiminority bias, and expressed more negative attitudes toward Latinos, Blacks, and Asian Americans. The results of these latter studies also revealed that intergroup bias in response to the U.S. racial shift emerges toward racial/ethnic minority groups that are not primary contributors to the dramatic increases in the non-White (i.e., racial minority) population, namely, Blacks and Asian Americans. Moreover, this research provides the first evidence that automatic evaluations are affected by the perceived racial shift. Taken together, these findings suggest that rather than ushering in a more tolerant future, the increasing diversity of the nation may actually yield more intergroup hostility.
Thinking back to Rushton’s Genetic Similarity Theory, we can see why this occurs. Our genes are selfish and want to replicate with out similar genes. Thus, whites would become less tolerant of minority groups since they are less genetically similar to them. This would then be expressed in their attitudes towards minority groups—specifically, ‘Hispanics’ as that ethny will most likely to become the majority and overtake the white majority in 25 years. This is GST on steroids. Once whites realize the reality of the situation of increasing diversity in America—along with their status in the country as a whole—they will then show more negative bias towards minority out-groups.
All in all, the more whites are exposed to diversity in the social context as well as the reality of the ethnic demographic shift in 25 years will be more likely to show negative attitudes towards all American ethnies (though less negative attitudes towards Asians, dude to being less criminal, in my opinion). As the country becomes less white, so to will the whites in America become less tolerant of all minorities and start banding together for pro-white interests—showing that diversity is not our strength. This, in reality, is exactly what liberals do not want—whites banding together showing less favoritism towards the out-group. However, this is what occurs in countries that increasingly become diverse.