Racial Bias and Support For Foreign Conflict

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funeralxempire
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16 Jun 2021, 9:53 am

Racial bias makes white Americans more likely to support wars in nonwhite foreign countries -- new study

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The effects of American racial bias and anti-Asian sentiment do not end at the nation’s borders. The racial attitudes of white people also influence their support for American military intervention abroad, according to our working paper on U.S. foreign policy and racism.

White Americans who hold racist beliefs are significantly more likely to endorse aggressive military interventions over diplomacy or economic strategies in foreign countries at odds with the United States, if the residents of those countries are perceived as nonwhite.

This is particularly true when it comes to China.

Race and public opinion

Researchers have long known that race and racism powerfully shape white Americans’ views on domestic issues like social welfare and criminal justice.

Scholars have given less attention to how the racial resentment harbored by white people influences their foreign policy views, in part because the typical voter cares less about foreign policy than about domestic policies that affect their everyday lives.

But when tensions between the U.S. and another country escalate, as they have lately with Iran, North Korea and China, popular interest in foreign policy rises. That can influence policy decisions.

To analyze how racial attitudes affect support for U.S. military action abroad, we examined 30 years of public opinion data collected by one of the country’s longest-running national public opinion surveys, the American National Election Study. Our analysis focused on answers by white Americans from 1986 to 2016.

Specifically, we examined their responses to the “racial resentment” scale. Social scientists use this meticulously tested set of questions to assess anti-Black prejudice in the post-civil rights era. In recent decades, white Americans have become less willing to express explicitly racist views, such as opposing interracial marriage or supporting segregation. But they may still harbor bigoted perceptions, doubting Black Americans’ work ethic or commitment to self-reliance, for example.

The racial resentment scale is designed to capture this kind of discriminatory anti-Black views.

Social scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that white people who hold such views are also likely to hold negative views of other nonwhite U.S. populations, including Latinos, immigrants, Muslim Americans and Asian Americans.

Based on responses to the racial resentment scale in the most recent American National Election Studies – administered in 2012 and 2016 to about 3,000 non-Hispanic white respondents each – we found that racist attitudes are correlated with and meaningfully influence white Americans’ support for U.S. military interventions in other countries.

For example, people with racist attitudes favored more aggressive action against Iran. Thirty-five percent would support bombing Iranian suspected nuclear development sites, compared with 15% of whites with less racist attitudes and 31% of white Americans overall.

White Americans with racist views also favor military engagement against Muslim populations. For example, they are five percentage points more supportive of continuing the global “war on terror” than the overall white population, 46% to 41%.

Because a number of factors influence people’s foreign policy opinions – including educational status, income, gender, ideology, military service and partisan affiliation – we adjusted for these in our study. We also controlled for respondents’ reported attention to political news, their level of white ethnocentrism and their authoritarian leanings.

We find that racial resentment has a significant effect above and beyond these other variables.

Anti-China views

Racial resentment seemed especially influential in white American views of China – which has become an economic and political competitor to the U.S. over the last decade.

In 2012, of the 3,196 white Americans surveyed in the American National Election Study, 28% believed that China posed a “major” military threat to the U.S., 53% saw China as a “minor” threat and 19% did not see China as a threat. Racially resentful whites were 36 percentage points more likely to see China as a major threat than other white respondents, according to our analysis.

In 2016, 3,505 white Americans answered the same survey questions about China. Forty-five percent saw China as a “major” threat to the U.S. and 43% saw it as a “minor threat”; only 11% of whites believed that China presented no threat to the U.S.

Again, racial attitudes strongly shaped these perceptions. Our analysis found that whites with racist attitude were 20 percentage points more likely to consider China a major threat in 2016 than other whites.

While at first glance this might suggest that racial attitudes were less of a factor in 2016 than 2012, the lower percentage reflects the fact that a much higher percentage of Americans viewed China as a threat in 2016 than 2012.

This trend continued during the presidency of Donald Trump, who portrayed China as a great adversary, calling it a “threat to the world.” Today 22% of all Americans see China as the greatest enemy of the U.S., according to a 2020 Gallup poll.

A vicious cycle

Americans’ growing perception of China as a threat comes as both countries compete for control over the South China Sea.

China and the U.S. routinely deploy weapons and engage in military planning and exercises in the South China Sea. U.S. President Joe Biden frames tensions between the two countries as a competition between democracy and autocracy. He has described relations with China as one of the top priorities of his administration.

Many analysts, including high-ranking U.S. military personel, view the risks of violent conflict between the U.S. and China as relatively low.

But all that saber-rattling in the South China Sea, and years of heated presidential rhetoric under Trump, have domestic implications. Studies suggest that when politicians describe the relationship between the U.S. and China as a “great power competition,” it stokes anti-Asian beliefs among white Americans.

These anti-Asian beliefs, in turn, make white Americans more likely to see China as a major threat, according to our research – one potentially worthy going to war over. We document a vicious cycle of racial animosity with potentially global consequences.


Note: Read the article because it has lots of citations/links that I've failed to include:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/racial-bias- ... 23296.html

I feel like this isn't a very shocking finding. Once one has dehumanized a group of people they will find it much easier to justify violence against those people even if they wouldn't personally engage in that violence.


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Fnord
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16 Jun 2021, 9:58 am

While the conclusion seems intuitively correct, I would like to seem the original thesis the article was based upon.


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funeralxempire
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16 Jun 2021, 10:00 am

Fnord wrote:
While the conclusion seems intuitively correct, I would like to seem the original thesis the article was based upon.



It's the first link included in the article.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/djkl9ads9y603 ... t.pdf?dl=0


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Fnord
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16 Jun 2021, 10:09 am

Hmm...

Quote:
Abstract

In this paper, we examine the factors associated with public attitudes toward foreign policy among white Americans and argue that racial attitudes play a central role in the attitude formation of white Americans on issues of foreign policy.  To analyze this hypothesis, we perform three quantitative studies across three iterations of the ANES.  While the independent variable (racial resentment) remains constant across studies, Study 1 focuses on the 2012 ANES, which includes dependent variables of interest regarding public opinion on Iranian nuclear development, the Global War on Terror, and the military and economic impact of China. Study 2 uses the 2016 ANES which allows for further analysis which extends to public opinion on the so-called "Islamic State", whether the U.S. should accept refugees from the Syrian Civil War.  In addition, Study 2 will look at two of the same items as Study 1 -- the GWOT and the perception of China as a military power. Study 3 turns to the ANES Cumulative survey, which covers 1986 - 2016.  Here, we analyze the connection between racism and more universal attitudes pertaining to U.S. foreign policy: defense spending levels , foreign aid, isolationism, feelings about the military, and whether the U.S. should use military force to solve problems in the world.  Overall, we find strong evidence that racial attitudes play an important yet understudied role in the foreign policy attitudes of white Americans.
Hmm...

The rest of the paper (I have only skimmed it, so far) seems to support the Abstract.

I have bookmarked the link.  Thanks!


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Mr Reynholm
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16 Jun 2021, 11:35 am

Well if a new study says so, it must be true.



funeralxempire
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16 Jun 2021, 11:48 am

Mr Reynholm wrote:
Well if a new study says so, it must be true.


...it's probably worth at least considering before the kneejerk dismissal occurs. :nerdy:


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16 Jun 2021, 1:00 pm

Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.


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funeralxempire
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16 Jun 2021, 1:09 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.


It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner.

You're not wrong that it's very difficult for the average peasant to exert significant pressure, but saying that everyone has blood on their hands ignores that some have far more. If you've consistently supported anti-war candidates in local primaries you have far less than someone who openly supported pro-war candidates, even if that support failed to make a difference.


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16 Jun 2021, 1:36 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.


It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner.

You're not wrong that it's very difficult for the average peasant to exert significant pressure, but saying that everyone has blood on their hands ignores that some have far more. If you've consistently supported anti-war candidates in local primaries you have far less than someone who openly supported pro-war candidates, even if that support failed to make a difference.


I don't see it as an oversimplification. I see it as an understanding that we can't keep playing the game of voting for the perceived lesser of two evils and ignore all of the crimes the candidates we support.

Whether one openly supports these wars, or is merely ignorant about the wars, it makes no difference. Ignorance is no excuse.


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funeralxempire
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16 Jun 2021, 1:48 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.


It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner.

You're not wrong that it's very difficult for the average peasant to exert significant pressure, but saying that everyone has blood on their hands ignores that some have far more. If you've consistently supported anti-war candidates in local primaries you have far less than someone who openly supported pro-war candidates, even if that support failed to make a difference.


I don't see it as an oversimplification. I see it as an understanding that we can't keep playing the game of voting for the perceived lesser of two evils and ignore all of the crimes the candidates we support.

Whether one openly supports these wars, or is merely ignorant about the wars, it makes no difference. Ignorance is no excuse.


You're still at fault even if you did everything you could legally do to prevent it? :chin:

I'm not saying there isn't a consistent logic to it, just that it's irreconcilable with any sort of reformist approach.
Good luck with the revolution and all though.


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16 Jun 2021, 1:51 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.
It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner...
A one-liner that is perhaps not even half as witty as you might think.


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funeralxempire
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16 Jun 2021, 1:53 pm

Fnord wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.
It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner...
A one-liner that is perhaps not even half as witty as you might think.



Wit is proportional to wisdom condensed. :nerdy:

(see, only moderately witty, it's just needlessly restating something everyone knew in an odd wording) 8)


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16 Jun 2021, 2:03 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.


It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner.

You're not wrong that it's very difficult for the average peasant to exert significant pressure, but saying that everyone has blood on their hands ignores that some have far more. If you've consistently supported anti-war candidates in local primaries you have far less than someone who openly supported pro-war candidates, even if that support failed to make a difference.


I don't see it as an oversimplification. I see it as an understanding that we can't keep playing the game of voting for the perceived lesser of two evils and ignore all of the crimes the candidates we support.

Whether one openly supports these wars, or is merely ignorant about the wars, it makes no difference. Ignorance is no excuse.


You're still at fault even if you did everything you could legally do to prevent it? :chin:

I'm not saying there isn't a consistent logic to it, just that it's irreconcilable with any sort of reformist approach.
Good luck with the revolution and all though.


I don't see hardly any people who voted for Biden breaking a sweat to steer him left, or protest his bombing of Syria. At least not on this site.

Forget about reforming either of the two major parties, it ain't gonna happen. I've been watching this s**t show for 40 years. It only gets worse with each passing decade.


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VegetableMan
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16 Jun 2021, 2:04 pm

Fnord wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.
It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner...
A one-liner that is perhaps not even half as witty as you might think.


It wasn't meant to be witty.


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16 Jun 2021, 2:06 pm

ANYWAY ... I believe the original topic was "Racial Bias And Support For Foreign Conflict".  Before dehumanizing a population, we set "them" apart by their race; that is, as a variety of people who are fundamentally different from "us".  And this dehumanization process inevitably results in "them" being devalued, and eventually targeted for destruction.  This is the way of all wars.


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funeralxempire
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16 Jun 2021, 2:08 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Anybody who votes for Democrats and Republicans has blood on their hands.


It's nice when problems can be oversimplified to the point every solution is a witty, nihilistic one-liner.

You're not wrong that it's very difficult for the average peasant to exert significant pressure, but saying that everyone has blood on their hands ignores that some have far more. If you've consistently supported anti-war candidates in local primaries you have far less than someone who openly supported pro-war candidates, even if that support failed to make a difference.


I don't see it as an oversimplification. I see it as an understanding that we can't keep playing the game of voting for the perceived lesser of two evils and ignore all of the crimes the candidates we support.

Whether one openly supports these wars, or is merely ignorant about the wars, it makes no difference. Ignorance is no excuse.


You're still at fault even if you did everything you could legally do to prevent it? :chin:

I'm not saying there isn't a consistent logic to it, just that it's irreconcilable with any sort of reformist approach.
Good luck with the revolution and all though.


I don't see hardly any people who voted for Biden breaking a sweat to steer him left, or protest his bombing of Syria. At least not on this site.

Forget about reforming either of the two major parties, it ain't gonna happen. I've been watching this s**t show for 40 years. It only gets worse with each passing decade.


There isn't a lot that would be accomplished by commenting about that issue on here, and people don't all share the same priorities. Should people utterly ignore domestic issues that directly impact themselves to prioritize those issues? It might be nice if it would happen but world peace doesn't keep a roof over one's head or keep their kids stomachs full.

I don't disagree that as much pressure as possible should be exerted towards anti-war goals, but I also empathize with how most people have more direct concerns even if it means they remain ignorant and apathetic towards other really important causes.


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the problem with capitalism is that eventually you run out of other people's resources and cheap labour to exploit
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