White Americans say anti-white racism has increased and has become a bigger problem than anti-black racism, U.S. researchers suggest.
Study co-authors Samuel Sommers of Tufts University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard asked a nationwide sample of 208 blacks and 209 whites to indicate the extent to which they felt blacks and whites were the targets of discrimination in each decade from the 1950s to the 2000s.
Both white and black groups acknowledged little racism against whites during the 1950s but substantial racism against blacks. However, whites say racism against whites has increased significantly as racism against blacks has decreased, the researchers say.
On average, whites rated anti-white bias as more prevalent than anti-black bias in the 2000s by more than a full point on a 10-point scale, with 11 percent of whites giving anti-white bias the maximum rating of 10 compared to only 2 percent of whites who rated anti-black bias a 10.
Blacks reported only a modest increase in their perceptions of so-called reverse racism.
"Not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality -- at their expense," Norton and Sommers say in a statement. "It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment."
The findings are published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.