Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Khari Brown


This paper examines the association between race blame attitudes with support for policies aimed at improving the nation’s large cities among White and Black Americans. Although legislative safeguards protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, Blacks trail Whites on nearly all quality of life indicators. By extension, the quality of life within cities with disproportionate and segregated Black populations is decidedly worse than in other cities. That said, the current study largely finds that black and white Americans maintain different motivations for supporting increased or decreased funding for large urban American cities, which often serves as a code word for Black cities. According to the General Social Survey (2014), among whites, individuals that believe that racial inequality result from a lack of Black effort are more likely than others to believe that that the government does not need to offer any additional help to large American cities. This relationship, however, does not hold up for Blacks, suggesting perhaps that the word “city” operates as a code word for Whites that spurs racial resentment.