You Blind? What, You Can’t See That?: the Impact of Colorblind Attitude on Young Adults’ Activist Behavior Against Racial Injustice and Racism in the U.S.

Abstract

Colorblindness and social dominance orientation (SDO) are social attitudes that contribute to the continuation of racism in the United States (U.S.). Colorblindness encourages people to no longer see race, so when race does matter, they cannot see it. SDO reflects the extent to which people support group equality. The current study was conducted to examine if those social attitudes affected young adults (age 18–35) activist behavior against racism in the U.S. Two hundred twenty-two participants completed a survey consisted of previously validated scales: Colorblind Scale as reported by Neville et al. (Journal of Counseling Psychology 47:59–70, 2000), Social Dominance Orientation7(s) as reported by Ho et al. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 109:1003–1028, 2015), and Activism Orientation Scale as reported by Corning and Myers (Political Psychology, 23:703–729, 2002). The survey was distributed at a University in the Mid-Atlantic region with results revealing that colorblind attitude and social dominance orientation significantly associated negatively with activist behavior. I conclude with explaining the importance of combating colorblind ideology in the fight against racism in the U.S.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    For the purpose of this study, when referring to the U.S., the States, America, and the American society and public, it is in reference to the US population.

  2. 2.

    Question number 44 “Participate in a protest march or demonstration fighting racism and/or racial injustice?” scored .38 on the factor loading (Corning and Myers 2002) but I believed it to be an important question for the current study.

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Correspondence to Kendell A. Daughtry.

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Appendices

Appendix 1. Survey

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Appendix 2. Sample

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Daughtry, K.A., Earnshaw, V., Palkovitz, R. et al. You Blind? What, You Can’t See That?: the Impact of Colorblind Attitude on Young Adults’ Activist Behavior Against Racial Injustice and Racism in the U.S.. J Afr Am St 24, 1–22 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-019-09445-7

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Keywords

  • Colorblind
  • Social dominance orientation
  • Racial centrality
  • Activism
  • Racism
  • Social attitude