Explicit Talk about Race

CSI talk about race report; racially explicitThe Center for Social Inclusion has an exciting new report out called “Let’s Talk about Race: How Racially Explicit Messaging Can Advance Equity.” That’s right—no more dancing around race because we’re afraid of alienating people or making them uncomfortable. CSI’s research shows that you have to address race head-on if you want to change attitudes about fiscal policies that are explicitly or implicitly tied to race.

Here’s an excerpt from the summary:

The results from our testing show that race-explicit messages move people toward progressive fiscal policies and that people like and agree with messages that have a multiracial cast. While the testing revealed information in a number of areas, the following findings stand out:

  • Progressive policy messages that specifically name race are successful with the general public.
  • The majority of people are holding two frames at once on policy issues and race, both progressive and conservative.
  • Even people with high implicit bias, when watching a progressive, racially explicit message, agreed with progressive fiscal policies.
  • Talking about race does not elevate individual implicit bias.
  • Racially diverse spokespeople are better received than White-only spokespeople.

This shows us that we can talk about race more explicitly than ever before. Not only does this finding support on-the-ground efforts to highlight the experiences of people of color, but it also can be used to inform communications strategies for a range of issues, from housing to education to health care and beyond.

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