Recently in Cross-Race Category

Researchers Try to Cure Racism

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Wired Science reports, " The results are still preliminary, have yet to be replicated, and the real-world effects of reducing bias in a controlled laboratory setting are not clear. But for all those caveats, the findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that science can battle racism.

"Any time you can get people to treat people as individuals, you reduce the effect of stereotypes," said Brown University cognitive scientist Michael Tarr. "It won't solve racism, but it could have profound real-world effects."


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My sister forwarded this picture in an email. We did a study in the lab once about artist sketches and race. This is classic!

What Racism Does....

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My sister Laura sent this - I posted it becasue it deals with race issues we are examining in the lab (not becasue I feel one way or another towards a political candidate - although I do).

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes
positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in
another when there is a color difference.

Ponder the following:

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including
a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe
disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while
he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain
killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
(The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption
in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings
and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline
problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many
occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer

What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?

You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality,
do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes
positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in
another when there is a color difference.

Educational Background:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in
the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is running an ad in Minnesota that local officials suggest distorts the skin color of the Democratic candidate for the seat, Ashwin Madia. Basic visual evidence seems to back them up.

Madia, a son of East Indian immigrants and a marine veteran, is pictured in the spot with a darker face and long shadows cast upon it. The ad accuses him of wanted to raise taxes, but the superficial aspects are the ones that have jumped out to observers.

The Do the Right Thing Effect

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In our lab we have developed a model that examines cross-racial identification and have linked it basic cognitive processes. The model makes clear predictions about how faces of famous individuals who are of other-races will be processed. This is a clip from a blog that Kim sent as it is relevant to our model.

I hesitated about posting this section as I have concerns about even copying and pasting something that has the "N" word in it. However, since the text comes directly from Eric Deggans and I presume it is a direct quote from a movie...well I decided to edit the quote anyway.

Ask the white person nearest you whether these ideas make any sense.
The Do the Right Thing effect - I named this for the moment in Spike Lee's legendary film where he confronts a racist pizzeria operator with the observation that the guy makes awful comments about black people but loves Prince, Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson.

"It's different," John Turturro's Pino Frangione insists. "Magic, Eddie, Prince are not [ivylea]iggers...They're not really black. They're black but they're not really black. They're more than black. To me, it's different."

And that's a dynamic no one can measure. It's been my experience as the occasional object of racism that there are some folks who feel badly about the idea of black people, but those attitudes can change for specific black people they feel they know.

So there are probably some Democratic voters who don't see Obama as a typical black person, and don't transfer those negative, generic feelings onto him -- particularly because he doesn't fit the easy stereotypes, even of black politicians. And as long as Obama has been running for president, there are many voters who didn't really get to know him until he clinched the Democratic nomination in July.

It's something people of color face every day: you're a symbol to the world until you get famous enough that you're not.



Politics Page...


But as strong and as clear as Biden was tonight I am not in anyway advocating taking a victory lap. Yes, Obama is six to eight points ahead in many polls and yes, McCain has chosen a radical religious right unqualified VP and yes, the economy is in bad shape because of exactly the kinds of policies of deregulation that McCain has prided himself on. But still, the corporatists own the media, and I'm sure as I'm writing this they are talking about how it was a victory for Palin because she didn't repeat the Couric interview debacle or because she didn't say that troops were on their way to Russia right now. No, this isn't over. Many Americans are still freaked out about gradients in skin tone and voter caging and fraud are very real threats. And fear and lies are always hard to combat no matter how disconnected from reality they are. The good news is, we've got a decent chance. But I can't shake the feeling our system is more messed up than we know and we could still lose this thing.

Eyetracking Study - CrossRace

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Equally attending but still not seeing : an eye-tracking study of change detection in own and other race faces. (2007)

The present study aimed to investigate whether the faster change detection in own race faces in a change blindness paradigm, reported by Humphreys, Hodsoll and Campbell (2005, Visual Cognition, 12, 249-262) and explained in terms of people's poorer ability to discriminate other race faces, may be explained by people's preferential attention towards own race faces. The study by Humphreys et al. was replicated using the same stimuli, while participants' eye movements were recorded. These revealed that there was no attentional bias towards own race faces (analysed in terms of fixation order, number and duration), but people still detected changes in own race faces faster than in other race faces. The current results therefore give further support for the original claim that people are less sensitive to changes made in other race faces, when own and other race faces are equally attended.

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