Recall early in grad school when I started thinking abt Black people’s attitudes toward in-group members and support for punishment, mentor said to me: “You have no control over how people will use the work you do. You do have a responsibility to consider it.” I agree.
FWIW, this hasn’t affected the kind of work I do and hasn’t stopped me from making what some might consider provocative scholarly claims. It has forced me to be careful and clear, both in the claims I make and in how I make them.
I’ll give an example. In my paper on Black Americans’ and ideological identification, I argue many Black folks are unfamiliar with the terms “liberal” and “conservative.” Some readers/reviewers worried it could be read as saying Black people were somehow less sophisticated.
In editing and revising and editing and revising some more, I worked to make sure that no one reading the paper in good faith could arrive at that conclusion. And use at front and back end statements like, “Let me be clear [abt what my argument is and what it is not.]”
Is it frustrating to have to be so careful when you know what it is you intend to say? Sure? But communication is not just about what we say. It’s about what others hear. And good science communication requires we attend to both. My 2 cents. <inspired by text w/@bd_highsmith>

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More from @hakeemjefferson

19 Jan
When you buy into the fantasy that America=white, criticisms of the nation are read as criticisms of the self. The 1776 Commission is not about defending "the greatness of the American founding." It's about defending the perceived greatness and infallibility of whiteness.
This is why @nhannahjones's #1619Project so upsets many white ppl. To acknowledge the truth of American history is to be forced to reckon w/ the most negative attributes of whiteness & white people's involvement in the oppression of Black ppl. And what an identity threat this is!
Read 5 tweets
13 Oct 20
Some are arguing that the long lines at polling places aren’t necessarily indicative of voter suppression efforts. We should wait before jumping to conclusions, they say. I disagree. Here’s why.
First, we know from @pettigrew_stats’ great work about the racial disparities in wait times. Who waits in long lines and for how long is not random. Minority voters wait much longer than white voters. That’s a problem.
The claim also conceives of voter suppression too narrowly. All the pre-work the president and his party has done to stoke doubt in the electoral system, to confuse, and to actively make it difficult to voter is voter suppression at work.
Read 7 tweets
7 Jul 20
Re @Harpers letter: one of the most successful campaigns in recent memory has been convincing folks that the greatest threat to freedom is the possibility of being shamed on Twitter or being in a college classroom where prof. at the front of the room doesn’t share your worldview.
And the fact that this letter is published as real, tangible, and consequential threats to freedom are put in stark relief makes it even clearer how far removed those who lead many of our cultural institutions are from the lived experiences of vulnerable people.
When you don’t have to worry about being shot by police and you’ve got all you need to make it through a global pandemic you can spend your energies worrying that ppl who could once say and do whatever they want must now have their views subjected to a sometimes hostile audience.
Read 5 tweets
29 May 20
On May 23rd, one day after @JoeBiden's comments on The Breakfast Club w/@cthagod, I polled a diverse sample of Black & White Americans using TurkPrime to collect data to share w/my Intro to American Politics class. @peyton_k and I looked at the data and made the plots below.
First, let's look at how people felt about Biden's comments. Here, we plot reactions and perceptions by race and partisanship. Interestingly, Black Democrats in this sample are no more upset by Biden's comments than White Democrats. Who's most upset? Republican respondents.
There was also an item that asked how important it is that Biden chooses a Black woman as his running mate. Black Democrats think it is slightly more important than White Democrats in the sample (.38 scale points).
Read 6 tweets
28 May 20
Spent bit of the day working on an R&R for paper w/@FabianNeuner & @jmping that interrogates racial divide in Americans' reactions to officer-involved shootings. We began this work in 2014(!) after killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. I wish this work were less relevance by now.
As I've watched videos of police interactions w/Blk folks these past few days, been reminded of the key finding of this work. The divide we observe is largely not abt some kind of identity-based motivated reasoning, wherein Whites & Blks are looking to defend the racial in-group.
The divides we observe manifest largely because Whites and Blacks differ so much in their prior beliefs and expectations about the fairness of the criminal justice system and the likely culpability of Black victims.
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr 19
I have some modicum of self-restraint, so I've avoided this A+ bait @jamesnewburg sent my way. I do have a few quick thoughts, though.

First off, this could all be very real and that'd be exciting. Some Whites becoming more racially liberal is a good thing.
@jamesnewburg First off, it is neither necessary nor convincing to say that White liberals are more racially progressive than Blacks, particularly if your only evidence is response to racial resentment questions. Also, be sure to read Kam and Burgess (2017)…
Are White liberals, for example, more supportive of policies like reparations than Blacks? What about affirmative action and other explicit racial programs? What about various economic policies that are implicitly racialized?
Read 10 tweets

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