University of Michigan Study Finds That Intelligence Is No Cure for Racism

University-Michigan-logoA study conducted at the University of Michigan has found that intelligent people tend to be just as racist as their less intelligent counterparts. Smart people are just more adept at hiding their racism, the study found.

The study, supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, was conducted by Geoffrey Wodtke, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the university. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

“High-ability whites are less likely to report prejudiced attitudes and more likely to say they support racial integration in principle,” said Wodtke. “But they are no more likely than lower-ability whites to support open housing laws and are less likely to support school busing and affirmative action programs.”

Wodtke observes, “More intelligent members of the dominant group are just better at legitimizing and protecting their privileged position than less intelligent members. In modern America, where blacks are mobilized to challenge racial inequality, this means that intelligent whites say — and may in fact truly believe — all the right things about racial equality in principle, but they just don’t actually do anything that would eliminate the privileges to which they have become accustomed.”


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  1. Joyce Garcia says:

    Hello, Friends,

    I read with much interest the findings of this scientific study. I trust that this is not a surprising finding to the you. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam was unshakeable in the assertion that the character of the white population, however educated, was racist. At some level, I believe that some people of African descent recognize this truth that racism is better masked by the more educated white person. There’s always a problem with a masquerade…deception! How do you manage and deal with deception when the deceiver, in many instances, is the source of one’s livelihood? Problematic, to say the least. So many white people will tell you, “I’ve never been racist.” This statement comes from a blind mind. Those that believe this type of statement is, in effect, willing to be lead by the blind mind. Lord, have mercy! Thanks for allowing a space to respond to academic findings.

    • Ms. Garcia: All white people in the United States have benefited from the structure of racism, whether or not they have ever committed a racist act, uttered a racist word, or had a racist thought as unlikely as that is. Just as surely as Blacks suffer in a white society because they are Black, whites benefit because they are white. And if whites profited from a racist structure, they must try to change it.
      To benefit from domination is to be responsible for it. Merely to keep personally free of the taint of racist attitudes is both illusory and inadequate. Just to go along with a racist structure, to accept the economic order as it is just to do one’s job within impersonal institutions is to participate in the racism of the 21st Century.
      How many whites in the 21st Century are engaged in doing the type of work that Tim Wise does on a daily basis? Please name them all?

      Educated whites are more racist and intolerant than lower station whites should not come as surprise to anyone that has a modicum of intelligence. So-called higher intelligent whites and more educated whites know how to mask and camouflage their bigotry and racism better than lower station whites. Lower station whites are more honest and authentic than their better educated brethren.
      Hopefully you will accept my mini critique of your comment on the above subject.
      Thank you

      • Art Fuller says:

        Racism is so ingrained inthis society that most people have not thought about the fact that neither Black or White are ethnicities but simply the currently accepted politically accepted name and meaning as the previous ones.
        And note that this makes the whole process of racism easier to promote and distinquist. When one has lived long enough, they can tell that a difference in name is not a change in heart.

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