You probably remember being in school and looking across the cafeteria at all the mysterious, differently-hued people huddled at their own table on the other side of the room and asking yourself, "Why are all those weird [black/ white/ Asian/ Latino/ Unidentifiable] kids sitting together? No wonder we are so racist." Then you continued telling racist jokes to your own racially homogenous table.
Well. A new study of racial attitudes among students at a liberal arts college reveals that had you all eaten together, you could have eradicated racism! At least on your own little campus. What a jerk you were/ are:
This was where the researchers noted a significant difference beyond eating patterns. Those who didn't regularly eat with people of a different [racial] group were 54 to 60 percent less likely to report a positive racial environment on campus. The gap was similar for all ethnic and racial groups.
Talking about race in class didn't do jack for racial attitudes. Only eating together in the caf. Which everyone is too mortified to do, in the real world! So we'll all remain suspicious and apart forever. You can't just expect us to go sit with strangers. That's crazy.
Stories about how you always ate with an integrated group because you're just a natural trailblazer go in the comments.
[Inside Higher Ed, photo via AP]