Betsy Cooper analyzes PRRI survey results and finds:
Fully two-thirds (67 percent) of people who talk with Muslims at least occasionally agree that Muslims are an important part of the American religious landscape. In contrast, fewer than half (45 percent) of those who have never spoken with a Muslim in the last year believe that American Muslims are an important part of the religious community here.
Social interaction with Muslims also influences views on U.S. refugee policy. Among Americans who have had at least occasional conversations with Muslims, nearly six in ten (58 percent) say the U.S. should allow refugees from Syria into the country provided they go through a security clearance. Americans who report no interactions with a Muslim are split: 46 percent are in favor of allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., while 45 percent believe that they should not be allowed into the country at this time. [link]
I’m actually surprised at how low the high end of that scale is and how high the low end is. That is, I would think that more people who know Muslims would believe they are an important part of the religious landscape. And I am surprised that people who don’t know any Muslims like Muslims like them this much. In feels like this is a partial criticism of the contact hypothesis, at the same time that it is a confirmation.
Trump and some of his advisors (most notably Stephen Bannon) may be operating from a broad, Huntingtonian “clash of civilizations” framework that informs both their aversion to multiculturalism at home and their identification of friends and foes abroad. In this essentially cultural, borderline racialist worldview, the (mostly white) Judeo-Christian world is under siege from various “other” forces, especially Muslims. From this perspective, the ideal allies are not liberals who prize tolerance, diversity, and an open society, but rather hard-core blood-and-soil nationalists who like walls, borders, strong leaders, the suppression or marginalization of anyone who’s different (including atheists and gay people, of course) and the promotion of a narrow and fairly traditional set of cultural values.
For people who see the world this way, Putin is a natural ally. He declares Mother Russia to be the main defender of Christianity and he likes to stress the dangers from Islam. European leaders like Marine Le Pen of France, Nigel Farage of Great Britain, and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands are Trump’s kind of people, too, and on this dimension so are the right-wingers in the Israeli government. And if Islam is the real source of danger, and we are in the middle of a decades-long clash of civilizations, who cares about the balance of power in Asia? [link]
Eric Foner writes:
Reconstruction poses a challenge to Americans’ historical understanding because we prefer stories with happy endings. Unfortunately, the overthrow of the South’s biracial governments, accomplished in part by terrorist violence, was followed by a long period of legally enforced white supremacy. Yet this itself offers a timely lesson – that there is nothing inevitable or predetermined in the onward march of freedom and equality. Reconstruction and its aftermath remind us that rights in the Constitution are not self-enforcing, and that our liberties can never be taken for granted. [link]
Last year, during the Presidential campaign, Osita Nwanevu wrote:
In 2012, Alternative Right ran an essay called “Is Black Genocide Right?” by Colin Liddell. “Instead of asking how we can make reparations for slavery, colonialism, and Apartheid or how we can equalize academic scores and incomes,” he wrote, “we should instead be asking questions like, ‘Does human civilization actually need the Black race?’ ‘Is Black genocide right?’ and, if it is, ‘What would be the best and easiest way to dispose of them?’” [link]