An Integrated Threat Theory of Prejudice
On the "worst of t imes" side of the ledger is the fact that the g reat legislative in i tiatives that were designed to improve interg roup re lations are becoming rel ics of the past. Certainly this has happened to school desegregation and the war on pov erty, and it appears to be happening with affi rmative action . Of the major legislative in itiatives of the 1 960's, on ly one stands unchal lenged today. Americans are sti l l strongly in favor o f civi l rights. Wh ite Americans general ly ag ree with t he premises underlying the other programs, but they increasingly object to the pol icies that are used to implement them. In a recent book, Kinder and Sanders ( 1 996) present data ind icati ng that attitudes toward government pol icies re lated to race are sharply d i vided by race . Nationa l op in ion pol ls ind icate that 90% of African-Americans favor racial preferences in h i ring , but on ly 46% of Wh ites favor such pol ic ies. Simi larly, 80% of African-Americans approve of the use of quotas in col lege admissions, but on ly 30% of Whites approve of quotas. On race-related pub l ic pol icies such as these, the divide between African-Americans and Wh ites is often as high as 50%. Furthermore , Kinder and Sanders bel ieve the opin ion gap between African Americans and Whites is growing .