Yesterday, as Bruce Springsteen’s new album Wrecking Ball was released, a study done by the University of Minnesota was also released. Its thesis is white students are more apt to be unconsciously racist if they listen to white musicians like Springsteen.
The study examined the behavior of 138 students. They were given a range of different genres of music to listen to and then were asked how they would disseminate money to different racial groups on campus. The study concluded that after listening to Springsteen and groups like The White Stripes, white students overwhelmingly allotted funds to white groups. However, when they listened to Akon, Fergie and Gwen Stefani, the white students distributed funds more equitably.
I guess this means the Obama re-election campaign team will be dropping Springsteen’s “We Take Care Of Our Own” from its playlist. They can’t have their white, liberal college based supporters donning white robes taking care of their own after listening to The Boss, now can they?
This study is silly in several respects.
First, there is the bias of the researchers. The last I checked Gwen Stefani and Fergie are as white as Springsteen. (Fergie’s Latin roots go back three generations.) So why are Stefani and Fergie not considered white by the researchers? Is it because Stefani and Fergie make hip-hop music?
Second, most of Springsteen’s music was made with The E Street Band. Who was the most prominent member of The E Street Band? The late Clarence Clemons. The Springsteen sound would not be what it is without Clemons’ saxophone solos perhaps none better than “Jungleland”.
Third, why are the researchers making race a criteria by which to allocate funds in the first place? It doesn’t make for a color blind America.