A 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.”