Racial Resentment and Public Opinion across the Racial Divide | CD Kam, CD Burge | Political Research Quarterly

Research on racial resentment has been meticulously developed, tested, and analyzed with white Americans in mind—yet black Americans have also responded to this battery for the past three decades. To date, little to nothing is known about the implications of responses to the racial resentment battery among black Americans. A burgeoning literature on blacks’ intragroup attitudes suggests that over time, black Americans have increasingly attributed racial inequality to individual failings as opposed to structural forces. As such, unpacking blacks’ responses to the canonical racial resentment battery may provide further insight into the micro-foundations of black public opinion. Using survey data from 1986 to 2016, we engage in a systematic quantitative examination of the role of racial resentment in predicting black and white Americans’ opinions on racial policies, “race-coded” policies, and nonracialized policies. Along the way, we highlight the existence of wide heterogeneity among black respondents and call for further investigation that identifies similarities and differences in the foundations of white and black public opinion.

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