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Racism Tolerance

February 3, 2009

People are more likely to oppose racism in theory than in practice.


Undercover racism….I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Most people say they’re not racist, but how they act doesn’t always match up. This according to Kerry Kawakami of York University and Jack Dividio of Yale University. The researchers had non-black participants witness a racist incident in which a white actor posing as a fellow participant uttered a racial slur against a black actor who had left the room. Those who witnessed it on videotape were outraged, and 80% of them said they’d refuse to work with the racist person on a team. But those who witnessed the incident in real life said nothing, and few had any qualms about working with the racist individual on a team. Dovidio says while most people are against racism in the abstract, few are willing to act to oppose it.

JOHN "JACK" DOVIDIO (Yale University):
Ignoring racism is a sure way to guarantee that racism will continue to operate in our society.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.