Rebels or Racists? A Study of Pro-Confederate Flag Ideologies and Racial Discrimination

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Wurzer, Anna
Swingley, Sarah
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2021
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Rebels or Racists? A Study of Pro-Confederate Flag Ideologies and Racial Discrimination
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Research indicates that support of the Confederate Flag is related to racist beliefs and actions. The current study attempted to address what beliefs and behaviors are related to specific attitudes toward the Confederate Flag. We hypothesized that individuals who believed the flag was a symbol of heritage or rebellion would be more likely to have antisocial beliefs and behaviors than those who believe it is a symbol of racism. In our study, participants read an article expressing an opinion that the flag stands for heritage, rebellion, or racism and responded to questionnaires regarding internal and external motivations to respond without prejudice and white guilt. We examined how these variables affected a request to help a white or black person. All participants were white (N =187) and recruited from Amazon MechanicalTurk. The results indicated that those who disagreed with the article expressing the view that the flag stands for racism were less likely to provide help to the black person. These results are important in addressing the extent to which racial attitudes persist, as only by identifying areas of need can our society work towards equality.
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