Research in Progress
Scholars of racial and ethnic politics have largely overlooked an important race-related disposition that strongly impacts salient policy preferences: racialized paternalism. This is a consequential and common disposition; rooted in a desire to improve outcomes for an out-group and a belief that the out-group is incapable of improving their own outcomes without interference. Importantly, I argue that this attitude is not motivated by animus. This leads these paternalists to endorse restrictive—albeit well-intentioned—policies imposed upon the out group, which they hope will help the group overcome deficiencies. With data from the AmericanNational Elections Studies (ANES) and a pre-registered national survey, I assess the impact of this novel construct with a suitable proxy and a measure that I have developed, which I call Black Paternalism. I demonstrate that this disposition is associated with higher support for policies that are racialized and paternalistic, but not for policies that are merely racialized. Further with a survey experiment on state takeovers of local school boards, I demonstrate that racialized paternalism motivates significantly higher support for this policy when applied to a Black as opposed to a White school board.