About the same time the staff at NBC's Saturday Night Live was putting the finishing touches on last weekend's “Whites” (“Still calling the shots until around 2050”), UCLA psychologists released a study showing that some real Anglo Americans aren't so psyched about the so-called browning of America.
White Republicans and men were even less enthused than their female or Democrat-voting counterparts, according to the study published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
The problem here, according to the researchers, is that many whites appear to see theirs as the racial identification that best defines what it is to be American:
UCLA psychology professor Yuen Huo, the study’s senior author, says:
Whites have long benefited from being seen as the ethnic group that best represents what it means to be American. Thinking about a future in which whites are no longer a numerical majority threatens this claim to the American identity and, we have found, results in a reluctance to embrace diversity and greater support for newcomers to assimilate to American society.
The study wasn't a survey or poll, however. It was more like a psych experiment.
Academics split 98 Anglos into two groups and told one that whites would remain the majority until at least 2050 and the other that minorities could take over demographically as soon as 2043.
The folks who believed whites had until 2050 to lose their majority status appeared to be more positive, agreeing with the sentiment with an average 5.67 out of 7 points.
Those who were told minorities would become the majority sooner rather than later gave an average 5.15 out of 7 thumbs up. It was even fewer for Republicans (4.5 versus 5.8 for Democrats) and men (5.1 versus 5.7 for women), according to UCLA.
Another study led by Huo involved 194 white Americans. Seventy-three percent felt that white folks best represented the country. Only about 1 in 4 (27 percent) saw minority groups “as equally representative of American values and ideals.”
Those participants also felt more strongly that minorities have worsened whites' tax burden and access to social services, the study found.
UCLA doctoral psychology student Felix Danbold:
We see a significant reduction in the endorsement of diversity when white Americans are exposed to current projections of future demographics. Most Americans view diversity in positive terms, but many white Americans who see the actual demographic projections, and the loss of their majority status, end up being less enthusiastic about it.