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Symbolic Racism of Color: How Asians and Latinos View Affirmative Action
Unformatted Document Text:  Abstract Although there have been numerous studies in the social sciences that address attitudes toward social policies for racial minorities, few studies have attempted to substantively address the racial attitudes of Asian and Latino Americans, particularly in a multi-racial comparative way. This paper provides a critical advancement to symbolic racism theory by arguing that symbolic racism is no longer a white-only sentiment. Racial minorities do possess symbolic racism and this blacks-targeted racism also affects their attitudes toward other racial minority groups. Symbolic racism is originally developed to explain the continuing whites’ hostility toward black candidates and blacks-related policies after the demise of the Jim Crow system. This hostility is based on whites’ resentment toward preferences for blacks that is rooted in denying the continuing role of discrimination. However, this conceptualization unfortunately excludes plausible discrimination from Asians and Latinos to blacks as well as whites’ antagonism toward Asians and Latinos. I argue that not only does symbolic racism affect whites’ attitudes toward race-related policies, but also influences Asian and Latino attitudes toward outgroup members and toward racial policies in a similar but often lesser magnitude. The results confirm my hypotheses. Symbolic racism is not only the strongest predictor of whites’ opposition to affirmative action, but also the strongest predictor of Asian and Latino opposition after controlling for biological racism and ideology. I conclude by arguing that Asians and Latinos do discriminate against others and the nature of the discrimination has a similar tone as whites’. Although mostly new to this country, Asians and Latinos are not immune from learning a white’s view of prejudice. 1

Authors: Fu, Mingying.
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Abstract
Although there have been numerous studies in the social sciences that address
attitudes toward social policies for racial minorities, few studies have attempted to
substantively address the racial attitudes of Asian and Latino Americans, particularly in a
multi-racial comparative way. This paper provides a critical advancement to symbolic
racism theory by arguing that symbolic racism is no longer a white-only sentiment.
Racial minorities do possess symbolic racism and this blacks-targeted racism also affects
their attitudes toward other racial minority groups.
Symbolic racism is originally developed to explain the continuing whites’
hostility toward black candidates and blacks-related policies after the demise of the Jim
Crow system. This hostility is based on whites’ resentment toward preferences for blacks
that is rooted in denying the continuing role of discrimination. However, this
conceptualization unfortunately excludes plausible discrimination from Asians and
Latinos to blacks as well as whites’ antagonism toward Asians and Latinos. I argue that
not only does symbolic racism affect whites’ attitudes toward race-related policies, but
also influences Asian and Latino attitudes toward outgroup members and toward racial
policies in a similar but often lesser magnitude.
The results confirm my hypotheses. Symbolic racism is not only the strongest
predictor of whites’ opposition to affirmative action, but also the strongest predictor of
Asian and Latino opposition after controlling for biological racism and ideology. I
conclude by arguing that Asians and Latinos do discriminate against others and the nature
of the discrimination has a similar tone as whites’. Although mostly new to this country,
Asians and Latinos are not immune from learning a white’s view of prejudice.
1


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