Question of the Month

Neoliberalism and black politics?

Has neoliberal ideology among black elites narrowed our conceptions of what’s possible in black politics as well as our focus on means to electoral politics & lobbying? If so, is this a good or bad development for blacks’ quest for social justice?

Latest Posts

Live webcast with Michael Dawson
November 2, 2011

Ask UChicago with Professor Michael Dawson at 11am on Wednesday, November 2!

He's Black.
September 8, 2011

Is Obama Black, Bi-racial, or Post-racial? Michael answers in a Zócalo Public Square chat.

Severe Hardship, Dashed Hopes
July 27, 2011

We are entering a period when for blacks there is a dangerous and growing confluence of severe economic hardship and dashed hopes.

Racial Divides in Public Opinion

Since the fall of 2000, Michael Dawson has collaborated with several colleagues in collecting and analyzing data on the racial divide in public opinion between blacks and whites. The selected data highlight some of the areas, including evaluations of the Katrina disaster, where racial differences are both prominent and politically salient. These data are being used in several scholarly projects as well as by students for their research and training. We will be adding new data to this section, such as the racial divide in evaluations of President Bush and former Presidents Clinton and Reagan.

We are also grateful to Principal Investigators Mark Sawyer and Cecilia Lacayo of the 2007 Orange County Social Survey for allowing us to include data on evaluations of the Katrina disaster by Latino and white residents of Orange County. These data provide an interesting contrast to the data on black-white differences in evaluations of Katrina. The Orange County Social Survey was conducted to analyze ethnic and racial group conflict in Orange County, California. It involved samples of the overwhelming Latino and immigrant city of Santa Ana and the overwhelmingly white wealthy suburbs that surround it. The study was funded by the Dean of the Social Sciences through the UCLA Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics.

Click on images to enlarge. Tables and graphs prepared by Julie Lee Merseth.

Presidents
Reparations
Economic Interests
Katrina

PRESIDENTS

Feeling thermometers
Please rate the following people on a scale from 0 to 100. Ratings between 50 and 100 mean that you feel favorable and warm toward that person. Ratings between 0 and 50 mean that you don’t feel too favorable and are cool toward that person.



Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?


Do you support or oppose President Bush’s proposal for government funding of faith-based social service programs?


Which point on this seven-point scale concerning the policies of the Bush administration comes closest to describing your opinion? Would you say that so far the policies of the Bush administration are:


Does George W. Bush represent the interests of people like you?


Did you vote in the 1996 presidential election?


Which candidate did you vote for in the 1996 presidential election?


In talking to people about elections, we often find that a lot of people were not able to vote because they were not registered, they were sick, or they just didn’t have time. Did you happen to vote in the election for President this November?


Which candidate did you vote for?


If the Presidential election were held today and the following candidates were running, who would you vote for?


President Clinton has been consistently popular among Africans Americans. What do you think are the most important reasons for this popularity? [Select up to 3 - randomize]


After completing two full terms President Clinton will soon be leaving office. How important do you think each of the following reasons was to why Clinton was able to successfully complete two terms in office?


How do you think President Clinton will be remembered?


Earlier this year former President Reagan passed away. How do you think former President Reagan will be remembered?


REPARATIONS

Do you think blacks: have achieved racial equality, will soon achieve racial equality, will not achieve racial equality in your lifetime, or will never achieve racial equality?


Do you think the federal government should or should not apologize to Asian Americans for the internment camps that existed in this country during World War II?


Do you think the federal government should or should not pay money to Asian Americans who were put in the internment camps as compensation for that internment?


Do you think the federal government should or should not apologize to African Americans for the slavery that once existed in this country?


Do you think the federal government should or should not pay money to African Americans whose ancestors were slaves as compensation for that slavery?


Do you think the federal government should or should not apologize to African Americans for the system of anti-black violence and legal segregation know as “Jim Crow”?


Do you think the federal government should or should not pay money to African Americans as compensation for the system of anti-black violence and legal segregation know as “Jim Crow”?


Do you think that reparations should or should not be paid to survivors and their descendants of large, violent, 20th century anti-black riots such as those that occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Rosewood, Florida?


ECONOMIC INTERESTS

Do you think that what happens generally to black people in this country will have something to do with what happens in your life?


On the whole compared to white Americans, would you say that the economic position of black Americans is much better, somewhat better, about the same, somewhat worse, or much worse?


Please indicate which statement is more true to you: America’s economic system is fair to everyone, or America’s economic system is unfair to poor people.


KATRINA

From the 2005 Katrina, Race & Politics Study:

Do you think that Kanye West’s remarks were unjustified, somewhat justified, or justified?


Which statement do you agree with most? Most residents of New Orleans who were trapped by the flood wanted to leave the city but simply did not have the resources to evacuate, or most residents of New Orleans who were trapped by the flood were too stubborn to evacuate.


In your view did this disaster show that racial inequality remains a major problem in this country, or don’t you think this was a particularly important lesson of the disaster?


Most of the people stranded in New Orleans following the hurricane were African American. Do you think the government’s response to the situation would have been faster if most of the victims had been white, or don’t you think it would have made any difference?


From the 2007 Orange County Social Survey:

Was the response to Hurricane Katrina good or bad?


If the majority of victims of Hurricane Katrina were white, would the response have been faster?


The victims of Hurricane Katrina have gotten more than they deserve from the government.


The victims of the fires in San Diego have been treated the same as the victims of Hurricane Katrina.