Thursday, January 28, 2016

What the Stats Say

A recent Star Tribune survey found that black and white Minnesotans don't have much common ground when it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement, the police, or police use of force.

94 percent of black people have a favorable view of BLM. 0 percent (that's zero percent) have an unfavorable view. For white people, those numbers are reversed: just 6 percent favorable and 69 percent unfavorable, with 25 percent not sure.

Combine that with 62 percent of white Minnesotans who think cops are just as likely to shoot whites as blacks (vs. only 17 percent of black people who think that). And get this: 97 percent of white people have a favorable opinion of law enforcement, while only 26 percent of black people do.

Clearly, most white people in Minnesota don't know any black people.

I can't help pairing this data with stats from the Washington Post on Donald Trump's supporters. As the establishment Republicans are finding, these predominately white folks aren't the usual party supporters. They're the inverse of the "socially liberal, economically conservative" model (which I dare say describes the cosmopolitan Koch brother, for instance), yet they also diverge from the Ted Cruz-style economic and social conservative.

Trump's supporters are relatively economically liberal — they love Social Security, the minimum wage, and unions — but they're socially very conservative. They score particularly high on racial resentment, resentment of immigrants, and white ethnocentrism. As the story summarizes the data, "the Trump coalition unites resentment of minority groups with support for economically progressive policies."

What a topsy-turvy country this is. I don't know why I'm surprised; these are the same voters who supported George Wallace in '68 and Richard Nixon in '72, who made the Southern Strategy work for Reagan and the Bushes. They're just finally getting tired of being manipulated by big-business Republican leadership. It doesn't make them allies for social justice.

And from the Star Tribune's polling, there are probably more of them in Minnesota than I would have thought.

No comments: