Can knowing someone of a different race early in life make you more liberal?

Juan Siliezar in The Harvard Gazette:

White men who had a Black neighbor when they were growing up are more likely to be Democrats and less likely to be Republican, an influence that can last several decades later.

That’s according to a Harvard study published Friday in Science Advances that takes individual-level data from 650,000 Americans recorded in the 1940 U.S. Census. Using machine learning, the analysis links those records to contemporary voter files to see if there are correlations between early contact with African Americans among white males and later political affiliations. The paper includes only men because the common practice of surname changes at marriage made it difficult to accurately track women.

The scientists say that correlation suggests the white men who had a Black neighbor may also be likelier to skew toward more racially liberal politics and hold other more-liberal stances because of their affiliation as registered Democrats than those who did not have a Black neighbor.

More here.