Americans have become accustomed to liberals dropping terms like “equity” and “disparity” into conversations about wages, workplace representation, or educational achievement.
But our college campuses have produced a new field of research to explore the alleged effects of so-called historic systemic racism. Dog names.
The conservative website Campus Reform recently reported that left-wing professors “applauded a Social Psychology Quarterly study purporting to show a disparity in the time dogs were adopted based on racial associations with the animals’ names.”
Worded differently, the study conducted by researchers from UCLA and Ohio State found that dog names inspire racism.
The study, published in June, looked at more than 1,600 names of canines adopted over a six-month period at a busy shelter in Columbus, Ohio.
As the study noted, “We find that as dogs’ names are increasingly perceived as White, people adopt them faster.”
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“Conversely, as dogs’ names are increasingly perceived as nonhuman (e.g., Fluffy), people adopt them slower. Perceptions of Black names are likewise tied to slower times to adoption, with this effect being concentrated among pit bulls, a breed that is stereotyped as dangerous and racialized as Black.”
“These findings demonstrate the remarkable durability of racialized names,” the study continued. “These names shape people’s behavior and their impressions of others even when they are attached to animals—not just humans.”
Continuing, the researchers added, “Pet adoption is a deeply intimate social exchange, and adopters may rely on subtle cues, including implicit biases that have been shown to affect people’s behavior elsewhere in social life.”
“Research also shows that dogs are racialized, such that some breeds are stereotyped as ‘dangerous’ and therefore ‘Black,’ whereas others are perceived as ‘cute’ and therefore ‘White’, making race even more salient to dog adoption.”
As an example, they identified “Maggie” as an example of a white name, while “Leroy” was typical of a black one. As if no white people are named Leroy.
The study concludes that “dogs with White names are preferred relative to dogs with nonwhite names,” and thus get adopted faster even among pitbulls, which the authors claim are the breed most often hit by implicit bias.
Yet they recommend against giving all dogs a “white” name.
“This would do nothing to combat the beliefs that allow these inequalities to persist, both in the context of the dog shelter and in the wider world,” they wrote. “
“We therefore advise against this practice because this would be akin to leaning into bias. We cannot alter our behavior as a society to accommodate those with racist inclinations, even when those inclinations manifest in unlikely places.”
Campus Reform gathered from Twitter some of the leftist responses to the research.
One example among those who called the study “fantastic,” “amazing” and a “must read” was the observation of University of Texas Assistant Professor of Sociology Chantal Hailey. Hailey maintained, “Anti-blackness is so pervasive it even expands to dog names.”
And, of course, we get the obligatory reply that sums up life in the Biden era, from Timothy Welbeck, who directs something called the Center for Anti-Racism Research.
“WhY iS EveRyTHinG aBOuT rACE? (sic)” Welbeck tweeted. “Because everything is about race…”
Yes, unfortunately, that’s how liberals want it. And Welbeck, by the way, is black, if you couldn’t readily tell by his name.
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