*Latinos who immigrate to America bring negative stereotypes about Blacks, as they identify more with white supremacist ideology, according to a 2006 study.
Paula D. McClain, a Duke University political science professor and lead author of the study, found that living in the same neighborhoods with Black Americans fuels the negative opinion Latino immigrants have of Blacks.
“Given the increasing number of Latino immigrants in the South and the possibility that over time their numbers might rival or even surpass black Americans in the region, if large portions of Latino immigrants maintain negative attitudes of black Americans, where will this leave blacks?” the researchers wrote, per Duke Today. “Will blacks find that they must not only make demands on whites for continued progress, but also mount a fight on another front against Latinos?”
In an interview, McClain added: “We’re actually pretty depressed about a lot of our findings.”
The findings were published in the August 2006 issue of the Journal of Politics and was funded by the Ford Foundation.
Here’s more from Duke Today:
The findings are based on a 2003 survey, conducted in English and Spanish, of 500 Durham, N.C., residents, including 160 whites, 151 blacks and 167 Latinos. Durham was chosen for the pilot study because North Carolina has the fastest-growing Latino population in the country, and because Durham’s black population includes residents at all socioeconomic levels.
The goal was to understand how Latino immigration — a population largely new to the South in the past decade — affects group dynamics in the South, which has historically been defined by the relationship between blacks and whites.
Researchers found that 58.9 percent of Latino immigrants — most Latinos in Durham are from Mexico — feel that few or almost no blacks are hard-working. About one-third, or 32.5 percent, of Latino immigrants reported they feel few or almost no blacks are easy to get along with. More than half of the Latino immigrants, or 56.9 percent, feel that few or almost no blacks could be trusted.
“One might think that the cause of the Latinos’ negative opinions about blacks is the transmission of prejudice from Southern whites, but our data do not support this notion,” the researchers wrote.
The researchers concluded that Latino immigrants bring their views about the racial hierarchies in their own countries to the U.S.
“The finding that these negative attitudes are modulated by a sense of linked fate suggests possibilities for the formation of connections to black Americans in the absence of the presence of an extant American Latino community,” the researchers wrote.
“These new Latino immigrants may behave in ways similar to the Chinese in Mississippi in the mid-19th century, and the Cubans in Miami in the mid-20th century — identification with whites, distancing themselves from blacks, and feeling no responsibility to rectify the continuing inequalities of black Americans,” the researchers wrote.
“Black and Latino leaders need to recognize that there is a tremendous potential for conflict and that Latino immigrant attitudes toward black Americans may be a part of that,” McClain said. “There is also a potential for a backlash against Latino immigrants from black Americans.”