White Americans feel they are more discriminated against than blacks, a new study reveals.
Sociologists from Harvard and Tufts universities asked 209 white and 208 black men and women to rate ‘racism’ against both ethnic groups since the 1950s on a scale of one to 10.
The results showed that while both blacks and whites saw anti-black racism decreasing over the decades, whites saw race relations as a ‘zero sum game’ where they were losing out as blacks ‘gained’ the advantage.
The results, published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, showed that on average blacks saw anti-white bias rising slightly from 1.4 in the 1950s to 1.8 today.
Blacks also perceived that racism against themselves had steeply declined from 9.7 in the 1950s to 6.1 in the 90s.
White respondents, however, saw a very different picture.
For the 2000s, 11 per cent of whites gave anti-white bias the maximum 10 out of 10 rating, compared with only two per cent of whites who did so for anti-black bias.
Whites believed that discrimination against them had increased from an average of 1.8 in the 1950s to 4.7 in the 2000s.
All those surveyed were asked: ‘Indicate how much you think blacks/whites were/are the victims of discrimination in the United States in each of the following decades.’
Responding to the results, researchers Michael Norton and Samuel Sommers said that despite predictions that Barack Obama’s election in 2008 would herald a ‘post racial’ America, this had not in fact occurred.
They concluded: ‘A flurry of legal and cultural disputes over the past decade has revealed a new race-related controversy gaining traction: an emerging belief in anti-white prejudice.
‘Whites believe…the pendulum has now swung beyond equality in the direction of anti-white discrimination.’
‘Whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality—at their expense.’
Citing several studies, researchers speculated that white people tended to see any focus on ethnic minorities as an ‘attack’ on white values.