Does anti-Semitism among African Americans simply reflect anti-White sentiment?

  • Simes J
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Abstract

In his classic essay (1967) titled "Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White," writer James Baldwin argues that African American resentment of Jews reflects generalized anti-White sentiment. The current study examines levels of anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States among African Americans and other racial/ethnic groups. Using General Social Survey (2000) data for a nationally representative sample of adults (n = 1,118), this research investigates whether variation in anti-White attitudes explains variation in anti-Semitic attitudes. Multiple indicators are used to operationalize anti-Semitic and anti-White attitudes. One such indicator is the degree to which one opposed living in a Jewish (or White) neighborhood. Control variables include measures of perception of wealth for Jews and Whites. A series of logistic regression analyses offers mixed results. One analysis indicates that while some anti-Semitic attitudes are strongly associated with anti-White attitudes, African Americans are still significantly more likely than White, Latino, and Asian groups to express anti-Semitic views when the level of anti-White sentiment is held constant (p < .05). In a second analysis the respondent's race is not a significant effect on expressed anti-Semitism when controlling for anti-White attitudes. © 2009 Western Social Science Association.

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Authors

  • Jessica T. Simes

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