Sunday, June 28, 2009

Black anger: The General Social Survey asked respondents what the circumstance was the last time they got angry in the past month. I looked at the percentages by race:

Percent distribution

Involved work 39.7
Involved family 29.1
Involved government officials 9.4

Involved work 26.3
Involved family 41.7
Involved government officials 9.0

Evidently, the remaining respondents could not recall a specific event. My question is, why are blacks so much more likely to get angry at family than others?

If it were the pre-civil rights era, I might guess that blacks were afraid to show anger toward whites out of fear of getting into trouble, but that just doesn't seem credible now. More plausibly, blacks get treated better by others than they do by fellow blacks, an argument made by Michael Levin in one of the great 1990s race books--Why Race Matters. Read it if you haven't.


  1. It's not 13%, but I imagine some of the work / family gap comes from differences in unemployment rates.

  2. Anonymous6:26 AM

    Black people tend to have much more extensive extended family, and stay in contact with their family, than white people do. It would be hard to get angry at family, if they are small, and aren't around very much, so white people would have less chance to get angry at their family.

  3. Anonymous7:04 AM

    this is off this topic but could you comment on this:

    it seems to go against the common wisdom that people who retire early die early. thanks


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