University of Rochester Study Finds Racial Bias Is Strongest in the Cotton Belt

rochesterA study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester finds that White southerners who live in the Cotton Belt of the Deep South where slavery was most entrenched continue to hold stronger negative attitudes toward African Americans than Whites in other parts of the South.

Researchers analyzed Census data, voter registration data, and opinion polls conducted with more than 39,000 White southerners. The results showed that Whites in the region where slavery was the most prevalent are more likely than other white southerners to be registered Republicans and to express opposition to measures aimed at increasing opportunities for African Americans.

Avidit Acharya, an assistant professor of political science and economics at the University of Rochester and one of three authors of the study, stated, “The data clearly demonstrates that the legacy of the plantation economy and its reliance on the forced labor of African Americans continues to exacerbate racial bias in the Deep South.”


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