Why we must talk about race to win better policy Research conducted in partnership with Westen Strategies, LLC In this presentation you will learn: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What CSI does How race is coming up in policy debates What CSI and Westen Strategies LLC
has tested and lessons learned How to apply these lessons training the field What new research we are doing and what more needs to be done. The Center for Social Inclusion The Center for Social Inclusion works with communities of color and other allies to develop strategies for dismantling structural racism and increasing well-being for all. Ideas we develop policies that translate strategic ideas into concrete plans for structural transformation. Leadership we support the ability of community leaders to impact policy debates.
Structurally Transformative Policies Communications we develop tools and strategies for productive conversations about race. Leadership Communications What we mean by race communications
Strategy Engagement Cognition subconscious bias and framing Messaging CSIs communications Several rounds of empirical testing research CSIs role: strategy
Partnership with the Kirwan Institute and hiring Westen Strategies Developing methodology and research that the field can use Driving strategies to translate research into usable tools Building the capacity of leaders to use what works Linking short term and long term strategies Research goals Improve conversations on race, policy & opportunity Eliminate the use of race as a wedge Reframing race Can we win talking about race?
Conventional wisdom: avoid race CSIs research shows: talk right about race Not only can we talk about race, but we must talk about race Empirical evidence shows if we talk about race, we win big and when we dont, we lose
Race in the Obama age The election of Barack Obama energized advocates of a postracial America on the Right and the Left Times of crisis lead to out grouping Race is still constantly used as a wedge to defeat progressive policy Supporters of progressive policy dont know how to talk about race
Our opponents talk about race all the time How race gets triggered cognitively Implicit Bias: Unconscious bias developed through networks of association on race Using symbols to trigger Symboli
c Racism: The use of unconscio images, code us racism words, and metaphors that implicitly signal race How the context of the debate shaped our messages Healthcare:
Subprime: Right set the debate as this will help criminals (read: Latino immigrants) Obama administration capitulated Right blamed people of color, ACORN, CRA Again, Left had no effective response Result:
Range of messages that swing voters would be willing to hear shrunk and shifted right We want more explicit, progressive messages We have to speak to swing voters Research methodology Goal: blend emotion with policy to create deployable messages Chose current policy debates in which race has played a substantial role Developed storyboards
Healthcare and Subprime Lending Emotional, visual, and ready for deployment Pitted progressive messages directly against a conservative message Race-explicit messages: Brought up race through images and audio and took on race wedge Race-implicit messages: Brought up race through images and didnt take on race wedge Race-neutral messages: Avoided race in audio and used images of all White people Online dial-test of 900 registered voters Watched conservative and progressive messages
Rated each message from 0-100 Chose which message they preferred Completed a questionnaire Conservative healthcare message Race explicit healthcare message Healthcare messages After each message, we asked respondents: On a scale of 0 to 100, how much do you agree or disagree with the message you just saw? Please give a rating from 0 to 100, where 100 means you totally agree, and 0 means you totally disagree. Average agree/disagree rating (0-100) Explicit race progressive 76.2
Populist (explicit) 74.9 Implicit race progressive 70.2 No race progressive Conservative 68.1 63.9 Subprime lending messages After each message, we asked respondents: On a scale of 0 to 100, how much do you agree or disagree with the message you just saw? Please give a rating from 0 to 100, where 100 means you totally agree, and 0 means you totally disagree. Average agree/disagree rating (0-100)
Implicit/Explicit race No race 80.5 69.6 Explicit race 66.9 Conservative 66.7 What worked? Take on race wedge Healthcare
This is not about illegal immigrants or welfare White men are losing jobs at record numbers and Blacks and Latinos have lower-paying jobs and often cant afford insurance no matter how hard they work Subprime We likely got the order wrong in the explicit message, illustrating how something as subtle as the order of the statements can affect the effectiveness of a message. Attitudes toward healthcare for immigrants depend on framing
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Agre Disagre e e I wouldnt be for any health care bill that covered immigrants. 64% 23% If illegal immigrants pay for their own health insurance under Obamas health care plan, that would be better than having 12 million people in this country without health care.
58% 22% Training the Field Health Care Implementation Fiscal Policy Anti-Health Reform Conversation inInMS addition to its constitutional infringements, we believe the system proposed by the PPACA is seriously flawed, favors dependency over personal responsibility, and will
ultimately destroy the private insurance market. -Letter by Gov. Barbour and 20 other Republican Governors to Sec. Sebelius We must stop Obamacare and control the growth of health care costs on our state budgetwe must always stand up for our conservative values of faith and family, the right to life, protecting our Second Amendment rights and fighting illegal immigration." -Lt. Governor Phil Bryant Formula for addressing the race wedge Formula Health Insurance Exchange message 1) Describe problem universally and in emotional terms
We all need to be able to see a doctor when were sick. No insurance, no doctor. Were all one tumor away from financial ruin. 2) Explain shared fate in racially-explicit terms The health care problem facing Americans cuts across class, race, and ethnicity. White men are losing their jobs in record numbers or working without coverage, and black and Latino Americans tend to have lower-paying jobs and cant afford insurance no matter hard they work 3) Take on the race wedge and reframe enemies and victims This isnt about President Obama or illegal immigrants, its about American citizens. It isnt about welfare, its about people who work for a living and still cant afford insuranceor who lost their insurance when they lost their job.
4) Address the deficit wedge by frame-breaking the idea that government spending is bad* Some politicians argue that we cant afford to make sure we can all see a doctor. Some want to protect insurance companies. But health Insurance exchanges create more competition amongst insurers. Thats good for the economy and good for citizens. How many Mississippians will die without insurance or risk their homes before are leaders act? * 5) Present universal solution in emotional terms Its time that the people we elected to represent us do the job we hired them to do.* To make sure that its not up to insurance companies to decide who to cover, what to cover, and how much to charge for it Next Steps Pushing more explicit messages
Were publishing a full report on testing and training in one month; Were continuing to train; Current messages are middle of the fight The possibility of what messages could be viable is much better if we can set the debate. We need your help to find viable opportunities Exploring new issue areas
Immigration Implicit bias testing and illegal immigrant language Medicaid Expansion as social safety net Big picture questions for long term success The long-term goal is changing the frame
Our current messages are not the end game How do we balance long-term framing against the need for short-term campaign victories? How can we use the short term to lay the foundation for the next level of discussion? What beyond messages and language is necessary to change frames? How can we get ahead of the next fight and set the debate? Can we create the next fight? Q+A
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