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“Unparalleled valor, clockwork military precision and deadly accuracy” are the focus, the author says. The book will be published Nov. 8.

THE ROOTS OF PC

“Everyone’s a little bit racist, but it may not be your fault,” says Georgia Institute of Technology psychologist Paul Verhaeghen, who blames racism, sexism and ageism on popular culture that showcases stereotypes.

“There’s one idea that people tend to associate black people with violence, women with weakness, or older people with forgetfulness — because they are prejudiced. But there’s another possibility that what is in your head is not you, it’s the culture around you,” Mr. Verhaeghen says. “What you have is stuff you picked up from reading, television, radio and the Internet. And that’s the question we wanted to answer: Are you indeed a racist, or are you just an American?”

His study measured the influence of such media fare and was published in the British Journal of Social Psychology. The findings suggest that while we’re guilty about our gut reactions, they’re “normal,” and prompted by the din of pop culture.

“What is more important is your behavior, rather than your gut reaction,” Mr. Verhaeghen says. “The second thing is that there’s a reason for political correctness. At least, as studies suggest, it might be a good idea to not put stereotypes out there too clearly, because if you do, people will internalize them.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 45 percent of Americans say U.S. society is divided into the “haves” and “have nots.”

• 27 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

• 47 percent overall say Republicans in Congress are doing more to help the “haves.”

• 20 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats agree.

• 29 percent overall say the Obama administration is doing more to help the “have nots.”

• 39 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats agree,

• 45 percent overall say the Obama administration treats both groups “the same,” 32 percent say Republicans treat both groups the same.

Source: A Pew Research Center-Washington Post poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 22 to 25.

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