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By Zoltan L. Hajnal

Regardless of the hopes of the civil rights circulate, researchers have discovered that the election of African americans to workplace has no longer significantly more advantageous the wellbeing and fitness of the black neighborhood. by means of transferring the focal point to the white neighborhood, this booklet indicates that black illustration could have a profound impression. using nationwide public opinion surveys, info on vote casting styles in huge American towns, and in-depth stories of l. a. and Chicago, Zoltan Hajnal demonstrates that lower than such a lot black mayors there's genuine, optimistic swap within the white vote and within the racial attitudes of white citizens. this variation happens simply because black incumbency offers concrete details that disproves the fears and expectancies of many white citizens. those findings not just spotlight the significance of black illustration; in addition they show the serious position that info can play in racial politics to the purpose the place black illustration can profoundly adjust white perspectives and white votes.

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Extra info for Changing white attitutes towards black leadership

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He vigorously pursued affirmative action and often put the black community first, but by the end of his tenure in Detroit, only a tiny fraction of white residents had lost their jobs or their homes because of his actions. 13 In fact, even if black mayors wanted to radically redistribute resources toward the black community, the reality is that in most cases they probably could not. Even in cities where they have a great deal of power, mayors generally cannot unilaterally redistribute wealth or reform the macroeconomy.

Thus, the prejudice model predicts that no matter how well the white community does under black leadership, black incumbency will ultimately 1:30 P1: KNP 0521857473c01 CUNY528B/Hajnal 0 521 85747 3 Black Leadership: The Possibilities Printer: cupusbw October 18, 2006 23 have no effect on whites’ attitudes toward blacks or on whites’ behavior toward black incumbents. Because racial prejudice is widespread, this model argues, there is little reason to believe that black officeholders can change the way white Americans think about race or the way they vote in black incumbent elections.

1 They also emphasize exit poll data from a range of congressional and gubernatorial elections that suggest race is no more an issue in biracial elections than it is in other electoral contests in America (Highton 2004; Citrin, Green, and Sears 1990). Several scholars have gone so far as 1 When asked if they would vote for a “qualified black candidate for president,” over 90% of white respondents answer yes (Schuman et al. 1997). The number of whites who say they would vote black are even higher for other political offices (Williams 1990).

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