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Want to Discourage White Racism? Encourage Unionization

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I am going to leave behind my usual critique that so much political science is writing in opaque language and using pointless modeling to “discover” things that historians have already explored for decades to recommend to you this paper by Paul Frymer and Jacob Grunbach that argues that if you want to reduce racism in the white working class, perhaps the best thing you can do is fight for them to join unions. The evidence is quite strong that white workers in unions have significantly lower levels of racial resentment than white workers outside of unions. There’s a cheap shot that lots of liberals like to take at white union workers to say they are racist, but in fact it’s largely non-union white workers who vote on racial resentment. Again, labor historians have known this for decades, but if you want fancy numbers and models to be convinced of this instead of the words of workers themselves, this is the paper for you.

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