In short, yes.
Nick Winter recently published a paper in The American Journal of Political Science arguing that social security was in effect racialized in the exact opposite way as Affirmative Action had been racialized: In this article I argue that the framing of Social Security in political discourse has associated it symbolically with race. The linkages are subtle and symbolic, and they serve to associate Social Security with whiteness in a mirror image of the association of welfare with blackness. In turn, these associations have racialized white opinion on the program. After discussing the theoretical mechanism by which issue frames can unconsciously associate policies with citizens’ racial predispositions, I review the frames surrounding Social Security. Then, drawing on two decades of nationally representative survey data, I demonstrate the racialization of opinion among whites. Using a variety of measures of racial predispositions, I find that racially conservative whites feel more positively about Social Security than do racial liberals. I conclude by considering the implications of these findings for our understanding of racialized politics and for the connections between race, whiteness, and contemporary American politics.
Nick Winter, 2006. “Beyond Welfare: Framing and the Racialization of White Opinion on Social Security”, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 5, issue 2 (April 2006)