October 19, 2013
It has sometimes been suggested that whites are more altruistic than other races. Whites welcome other races into their homelands in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, but blacks do not welcome other races into their homelands in Africa. In fact, in Zimbabwe blacks have expropriated whites and in South Africa blacks murder whites on an extensive scale.
Recent evidence for greater altruism in whites than in other peoples has been published by Lisa Leslie and her colleagues at the University of Minnesota. They examined race differences in charitable giving as an expression of altruism (Leslie, Snyder & Glomb (2013). They studied charitable giving in a sample of 16,429 employees in a university. 54% of participants were female. Most participants were staff (78%) rather than faculty. The breakdown of the sample was Asian (6%), Black (5%), Hispanic (2%), Native American (1%), White (84%), and non-resident alien (3%). They gathered data on the amount each employee donated during the organization’s annual month-long charitable giving campaign.
Employees were invited to donate to charities for alleviating or eliminating poverty, the support of education, and the treatment of illness. In examining the race differences in the amount of charitable giving, they controlled for salary, position, and age because these are likely to affect the amount of charitable donations. They found that women donated $31 more to the workplace charity drive than did men, consistent with other research showing that women are more altruistic than men They also found that all the minorities donated less to charity than did whites by an average $26. However, blacks gave more than whites to the black charity. These results show that whites are more altruistic than other races in giving more to charities that support all races. Blacks support their own race through charitable giving but provide less support than do whites to other races.
Leslie, L.M., Snyder, M. & Glomb, T.M. (2013). Who gives? Multilevel effects of gender and ethnicity on workplace charitable giving. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 49–62.
The original paper is available here.