From The Angry Independent over at Mirror On America

See the story of Georgia Bar Owner Patrick Lanzo. I guess this is another example of someone who simply opposes Obama’s policies.

Attention James Carville: Blacks don’t need a study to tell them what racism looks like. We know it when we see it.

A recent study by the James Carville group Democracy Corps has proclaimed that race was not a factor driving anti-Obama sentiment. Somehow they concluded that racism was not involved in the vitriol directed towards the first Black President. [1] Some would like us to believe that the increased level of hatred & animosity towards this President (as compared to previous Presidents) is simply a coincidence….that race is not an underlying factor. Frankly, as a Black American, I don’t need a study to tell me what racism looks like. I know it when I see it. But if someone decides to do a study to identify racist attitudes, it should at least reflect reality.

So what’s wrong with the Democracy Corps study? It’s grossly flawed. The main problem with the study has to do with the way that researchers gathered their information. When I learned about how authors of the report reached their conclusion about racial attitudes toward Obama, I hit the ceiling. Why a so-called Progressive organization would want to provide credibility to Fox News and Conservative Talk show talking points is beyond me. Why they would want to do it with a flawed report is even more of a mystery.

So how did Democracy Corps come to the conclusion that race is not playing a role in anti-Obama sentiment? Because the subjects of the study told them so. That’s right! Democracy Corps researchers (in association with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) essentially gathered a group of older whites together for focus groups and took their word for it. This report apparently relied heavily on self-reporting – as if the participants were really going to call themselves racists. Here is a summary of the methods used (taken from the report): [1]

The Cleveland groups comprised of white, non-college weak partisans or independents – defined as self identifying ‘weak’ Democrats or Republicans, Democratic- or Republican-leaning independents, and non-partisan independents (those who do not affiliate closer with either party). Additionally, we examined combined data from Democracy Corps surveys conducted over the last four months that show Republicans enjoy a 17-point partisan identification advantage with this group. These voters also self-report to have voted for John McCain by a 20-point margin in the 2008 election.
These voters are white, “strong” or “weak” Republicans who ideologically self-identify as conservative or moderate and who voted for John McCain AND the Republican congressional candidate in 2008. The groups, conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, were comprised of voters aged 45-60, with one group of women and one of men. Our combined survey data reveals that the Georgia group definition fits more than three-quarters (77 percent) of conservative strong or weak Republicans of the 45-60 age group, and an even higher proportion – 85 percent – of white strong Republicans of the same age.

However, any good social scientist or anyone remotely familiar with research, particularly studies pertaining to race and prejudice, understands the problems associated with relying on self-reporting. Self-reporting is a notoriously poor method, particularly for obtaining accurate information about a persons racial attitudes.

Commenting on a study published earlier this year in the Journal Science about unconscious racial bias, Professor Anthony Greenwald of the University of Washington stated:

The study is consistent with decades of psychology research pointing to the same thing: People are really bad at predicting their own actions in socially sensitive situations.

“That point is getting renewed attention as researchers develop more extensive evidence establishing reasons to distrust self-report measures concerning racial attitudes,” said Anthony Greenwald, professor of psychology at the University of Washington, who was not involved with the study. [2] [3]

Researchers have known for a long time that respondents are much less likely to come clean about their prejudices and racial attitudes in self reporting surveys, interviews, or in settings where they are dealing with researchers face to face. Settings such as focus groups, where other participants may be present during the process, may create even more embarrassment and an even greater reluctance on the part of participants to come clean about personal prejudices.

Rest of this article at link above.

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