10 percent who do not support civil rights for all racial groups are likely to exhibit intentional, explicit discrimination by any measure. The data indicate that these hardcore discriminators view their own group as threatened by racial outgroups (Duckitt, 2001). They view that threat as both economic, in a zero-sum game, and as value based, in a contest of “traditional” values against nonconformist deviants. Moreover, even the 90 percent who report support for equal opportunity laws show less support when specific remedies are mentioned (see Chapter 8).
Physical attacks on racial outgroups have frequently been perpetrated by proponents of segregation (Green et al., 1999) and are correlated with other overt forms of discrimination (Schneider et al., 2000). Hate crimes are closely linked to the expression of explicit prejudice and result from perceived threats to the ingroup’s economic standing and values (Glaser et al., 2002; Green et al., 1998; for a review of research on hate crimes, see Green et al., 2001).
Extermination or mass killings based on racial or ethnic animus do occur. These are complex phenomena; in addition to the sorts of individual hostility and prejudice described above, they typically encompass histories of institutionalized prejudice and discrimination, difficult life conditions, strong (and prejudiced) leadership, social support for hostile acts, and socialization that accepts explicit discrimination (Allport, 1954; Newman and Erber, 2002; Staub, 1989).
Our report focuses more on the levels of discrimination most often addressed by social scientists. In most cases involving complaints about racial discrimination in the United States, explicit discrimination is expressed through verbal and nonverbal antagonism and through racial avoidance and denial of certain opportunities because of race. Racial segregation is, of course, no longer legally sanctioned in the United States, although instances of de facto segregation continue to occur.
Even as a national consensus has developed that explicit racial hostility is abhorrent, people may still hold prejudicial attitudes, stemming in part from past U.S. history of overt prejudice. Although prejudicial attitudes do not necessarily result in discriminatory behavior with adverse effects, the persistence of such attitudes can result in unconscious and subtle forms of racial discrimination in place of more explicit, direct hostility. Such subtle prejudice is often abetted by differential media portrayals of nonwhites versus whites, as well as de facto segregation in housing, education, and occupations.
The psychological literature on subtle prejudice describes this phenom-