Massive Study Shows Sharp Prejudice Decline Since Trump Was Elected… Don’t Expect CNN To Report

It’s an undisputed fact in the media that we’ve become more prejudiced since Donald Trump started his campaign.
“We know this because enlightened opinion keeps telling us so,” Ross Clark wrote in an article for Spectator USA published on Thursday.
“The New Yorker, for example, ran a piece in November 2016 declaring ‘Hate on rise since Trump’s election’, and quoting a list of incidents collected by the Southern Poverty Law Center — including the experience of a girl in Colorado who was allegedly told by a white man: ‘Now that Trump is president I am going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find’. TIME magazine, too, ran a story in the same month announcing ‘Racist incidents are up since Donald Trump’s election’.
“In March 2017 the Nation asserted ‘Donald Trump’s rise has coincided with an explosion in hate groups’, claiming that 100 racist organizations had been founded since Trump began his presidential campaign.”
This all sounds terrible until you look into it. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s way of cataloging so-called hate incidents is terminally flawed.
Hate crime numbers are up, but that’s probably because more locales are reporting hate crimes. (The raw number of hate crimes was also significantly higher during the Clinton administration, even with 11,000 agencies reporting in 1996 vs. 16,000 agencies reporting now, according to Reason’s Robby Soave.)
But it all feels right to the left and to the media. Trump is coarsening the political debate and has made it safe for racists to come out of the closet. That’s the story and they’re sticking to it.
“It sounds vaguely plausible, but is it true?” Clark wrote. “Not if a new paper by a pair of sociologists at the University of Pennsylvania is anything to go by. Daniel J. Hopkins and Samantha Washington set out to measure the effect of Trump’s election on anti-black and anti-Hispanic prejudice, using a randomly-selected panel of 2,500 Americans whose changing opinions have been under study since 2008.”
In their study, Hopkins and Washington tracked “the self-reported attitudes and prejudices of white respondents using a nationally representative panel between 2008 and 2018.”
“The normalization of prejudice or opinion leadership both lead us to expect that expressed prejudice may have increased in this period, especially among Republicans or Trump supporters,” they wrote.
This is particularly true if you follow the narrative pushed by the establishment media. The study’s authors, however, set out to see if the rhetoric used by Trump “activated” racist attitudes.
“But our findings indicate the opposite, a result more consistent with theories of thermostatic response in which the public moves away from the direction of current policymaking,” Hopkins and Washington wrote.
The study found that both anti-black prejudice and anti-Hispanic prejudice declined between 2012 and 2018. There was a steep drop in anti-black prejudice between the November/December 2016 and October/November 2018 wave.
“That timing is instructive: the decline was most pronounced after November 2016, and so after Trump had been elected president,” the study reads.
“The decline was apparently not driven by Trump’s candidacy — or by white Americans’ reactions to his campaign rhetoric in 2015 and 2016 – but instead by their reactions to his presidency itself.”
There was a similar drop in anti-Hispanic prejudice after Trump’s fall 2016 election, but the study authors note that this decline was “driven by shifts among people who identified as Democrats in 2012.”
Clark noted a similar phenomenon in Britain, where hate incidents were connected to the Brexit vote but turned out not to be linked to it at all: “A murder of a Polish man in the town of Harlow in August 2016 was widely attributed to Brexit — but eventually declared by police not to have been a hate crime at all. Similarly, a smashed window in a Spanish restaurant in South London on the night of the Brexit vote was initially widely reported to be an expression of euphoria on the part of xenophobes — but was later revealed to be an attempted burglary.”
Hopkins and Washington conclude that “It is also possible that Trump’s rhetoric clarified anti-racist norms … But given that the declines in prejudice appear concentrated in the period after Trump’s election, it seems quite plausible that it was not simply Trump’s rhetoric but also his accession to the presidency that pushed public opinion in the opposite direction.”
Clark, meanwhile, has another theory of his own: Since Obama was mixed-race and his presidency led to “a more fractious period in race relations,” having a white person in the White House makes people less prejudiced and more reassured.
There could be a different very plausible explanation altogether: Americans aren’t as racist as we thought they were and the general trajectory of ignorance is on a downward arc.
This, by the way, is a long-term, longitudinal study — expensive and comprehensive, using the same observations over a long period of time. It’s both expensive and comprehensive. And it has found that Donald Trump hasn’t made us hateful or brought out our hatefulness. The most logical explanation is that this is just a convenient narrative that isn’t based in fact.
But that doesn’t sound good on CNN, does it?
Massive Study Shows Sharp Prejudice Decline Since Trump Was Elected… Don’t Expect CNN To Report Massive Study Shows Sharp Prejudice Decline Since Trump Was Elected… Don’t Expect CNN To Report Reviewed by Your Destination on May 19, 2019 Rating: 5

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