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Overt and Covert Racial Attitudes Towards African Americans and Native Americans
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by Melissa K. Tibbits and Dennis R. Combs - Pennsylvania State University (Tibbits); University of Tulsa (Combs)
Contemporary theories of racial attitudes have stated that two distinct forms of racism exist in America today–overt and covert. Recent studies have suggested that racial attitudes towards African Americans have become increasingly covert in their expression while overt racism has declined. However, racial attitudes towards other minority groups, such as Native Americans, have not been consistently studied in this regard. This study examined self-reported overt and covert racial attitudes of 55 White college students towards Native Americans and African Americans. The results showed higher levels of overt and covert racism towards Native Americans as compared to African Americans. Social desirability and socioeconomic status were not related to racial attitudes. Possible reasons for differences in the expression of racial attitudes between the two groups are discussed.