Is Blindness Contagious? Examining Racial Attitudes among People of Color with Close Interracial Relationships Academic Article uri icon


  • Are people of color with close relationships with whites more likely to embrace colorblind racial ideologies (CBRI)? Using restricted data from waves 1 and 2 of the Portraits of American Life Study ( N = 2,713), collected in 2006 and 2012, we test whether black, Latina/o, and Asian respondents are more likely to express colorblind racial attitudes if they have an intimate partner or close friends who are white. We use ordinal logit models to examine seven CBRI attitudinal items, controlling for the respondents socioeconomic characteristics, immigrant generation, national origin, gender, age, characteristics of the city, and region. Although black, Latina/o, and Asian respondents are less likely to express CBRI than whites are, respondents of color with close relationships with whites are more likely to minimize certain types of racism, even after controlling for other characteristics of the individual. We discuss the implications of these findings, considering the patterns of antiblack and anti-immigrant attitudes among groups of color and placing them in the context of the more negative attitudes often expressed by whites. We also describe how other demographic patterns in these attitudes could shape future trends in attitudes and suggest possible interventions.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 13.05

author list (cited authors)

  • Gonlin, V., & Campbell, M. E.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Gonlin, Vanessa||Campbell, Mary E

publication date

  • January 2017