The study polled roughly 200 white people and 200 black people drawn at random from a national census and asked them to rate racist attitudes against blacks and whites in each decade from 1950 to 2000.
Both groups felt racism against black people was substantial in the 1950s and both groups agreed the situation had markedly improved.
However, white respondents to the survey indicated that racism is now on the rise against white people. Eleven per cent of people responding to the survey even gave anti-white racism a maximum rating of ten points.
The authors said the research showed America has not yet reached a "post-racial" era, despite the election of Barack Obama as the country's first black president.
The findings left at least one of the researchers scratching his head:
"It is a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment," said Samuel Somers, an associate professor of psychology at Tufts who co-authored the study.
One expert, however, offered some insight into what might be driving the findings:
David E. Berstein, a professor of law at George Mason university, told the New York Times that the US policy of affirmative action, which sees universities and employers overtly favour black candidates over whites, had led many whites to complain about the unfairness of the system.
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