Archive for January 8th, 2009|Daily archive page

New experiment shows indifference to racism

An interesting experiment reported on by MSNBC indicates that the way people react to overt acts of racism and the way people say they would act to such acts are two different things.

The study involved 120 non-black students from York University in Toronto who were recruited for a purported psychology study.

A participant was directed to a room where two actors posing as fellow participants — one black, one white — waited. The black person said he needed to retrieve a cell phone and left, gently bumping the white person’s leg on the way out. The white actor then did one of three things: Nothing. Said, “I hate when black people do that.” Or used the N-word.

Then a researcher entered and said the “psychology study” was starting and that the student should pick one of the two others as a partner for the testing.

Half the participants just read about that scene, and half actually experienced it.

Those asked to predict their reaction to either comment said they’d be highly upset and wouldn’t choose the white actor as their partner.

Yet students who actually experienced the event didn’t seem bothered by it — and nearly two-thirds chose the white actor as a partner, the researchers report Friday in the journal Science.

The lead author of the study, Kerry Kawakami, said the results indicate that “just because a black man has been elected as president doesn’t mean racism is no longer a problem or issue in the States.”

A stimulus package for… the porn industry?

There are news reports that Larry Flynt of Hustler and “Girld Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis are planning to ask Congress for a $5 billion federal stimulus package.   Apparently, adult DVD sales are down 22 percent over the past year, so maybe porn isn’t as recession-proof as some previously thought.

Anyway, like that’s really gonna happen.  A $5,000,000,000 bailout for pornographers, about a third as much as the auto industry was seeking?  I think the auto industry is more than three times as important to our overall economic well-being as the porn industry.  The pornography industry makes about $13 billion per anum and, as Flynt and Francis admit, is in no danger of collapsing any time soon.

I’m sure that Messrs. Flynt and Francis also know this and are simply making this request to get publicity.  Maybe sort of like the folks that tried to hit up Virgin Galactic to film a porno on one of their space ships.

Incidentally, Francis, of “Girls Gone Wild Fame,” is scheduled to be tried in federal court in a few months on tax evasion charges, according to the LA Times.