Race

U.S. Race Relations Getting Better

Things are looking up across the board.

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Last week, the HumanProgress team gave a talk on Capitol Hill entitled "Don't worry, be happy." We focused on encouraging global trends ranging from growing wealth and increasing life expectancy, to falling crime and the shrinking gender pay gap in rich countries. Afterwards, the audience asked question after question about a topic that we didn't cover—race relations in the United States. Fortunately, HumanProgress.org does include data on race and racism. So, here are five charts on the progress that has been made in the realm of U.S. race relations.

Even after the Civil War ended the institution of slavery, the lynching of African Americans continued. That plummeted rapidly over the following decades and disappeared completely mid-way through the last century.

In 1942, some 68 percent of white Americans surveyed thought that blacks and whites should go to separate schools. By 1995, only 4 percent held that view. In 1958, 45 percent of white Americans would "maybe" or "definitely" move if a black family moved in next door. By 1997, that fell to 2 percent.

In the 1990s, nonlethal hate crimes against blacks—including simple assault, aggravated assault, and, most often, intimidation—still occurred, but were declining. By 2008, all were less common, with intimidation seeing the most dramatic decline.

Hate-crime murders of African Americans, similarly, decreased from 5 to 1 per year between 1996 and 2008.

According to the 2014 World Values Survey's most recent data on racist attitudes, the most racist country in the world was Azerbaijan, where 58 percent of the population was against racially different neighbors. In second place was Libya, where 55 percent of the population felt that way. The Palestinian Authority followed with 44 percent, India with 41 percent and Thailand with 40 percent.

The United States ranked 47th out of 60 countries surveyed that year, with only 6 percent of the population opposed to racially different neighbors. By that measure, the United States was less racist than the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru, to name just a few.

While U.S. race relations are far from perfect, they have improved greatly, and from a global perspective, they could be a lot worse.

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  1. “Last week, the HumanProgress team gave a talk on Capitol Hill entitled “Don’t worry, be happy.””

    Have they actually understood the lyrics of that song? It’s a hymn to stoicism.

    “Ain’t got no place to lay your head
    Somebody came and took your bed
    Don’t worry, be happy
    The landlord say your rent is late
    He may have to litigate
    Don’t worry (Ha-ha ha-ha ha-ha)
    Be happy (Look at me, I’m happy)”

    This better captures the mood they’re trying to create.

  2. But Dylann Roof!!! I love how one white kid who couldn’t find anybody to join him shot up a handful of black people and it was a national crisis and every white person in America was declared guilty of not stopping him. White Americans have crime and murder rates around the same level as all those perfect gun-free European countries liberals love so much. There’s this media narrative that black people should live their lives in fear of being lynched by an angry white mob, even though there hasn’t been a literal lynch mob in decades (although the left is quite good at conducting metaphorical lynch mobs nowadays). Race relations are good and probably about as good as they are going to get, unless the left keeps going down this privilege and victimhood road. Just walk around an ethnically diverse city. Even in the South, you see harmony and friendliness.

    1. I bet most people were friendly to each other in 1890 too. Even in the (gasp) south.

  3. Ah, yes, that’s been the best thing about Obama’s Presidency – all the racial healing.

  4. I guess racist attitudes towards white people don’t figure in to this analysis. Must be because it doesn’t really exist, because privilege, or something.

    1. Those reports of, “The Knockout Game,” are figments of your imagination.

    2. It doesn’t really exist, by progdefinition.

    3. For no particular reason, a story about a friend of mine.

      My friend went to a private college in upstate Wisconsin. One night, walking home through the downtown of the college town, he was jumped and beaten by some Indians. No particular reason, no previous back story, just picked out at random for a beating. He has a scar on his forehead for the trouble.

      And what happened? Nothing. No investigation, no followup, no real report taken, nothing. I doubt this incident even made it into the ledger at the police station. It was completely brushed under the rug.

      For no other particular reason, the City of Milwaukee – a few years ago – was caught intentionally under reporting violent crime, by a large factor.

      Reason can shovel this shit somewhere else. As Trump has charged to the top of GOP, even at their efforts to prevent it, there’s a YUGE sector of white people who are SICK of the institutional racism buried under the carpet.

  5. I’m not sure the extent to which “racist attitudes and behaviors of white people towards black people” fully encapsulates “race relations”.

    1. It’s the only thing that matters, you racisty racist!

      1. LOL

        “You have to be vewy quiet when you’re hunting wacists.”

  6. Is the HumanProgress team an offshoot of Costanza’s “The Human Fund?”

    1. +1 Money for People

  7. Alt text: Clinton superdelegates take break from campaign pressures as AP finally announces winner of July’s convention in Philadelphia

    1. Funny how this came out the morning of the California primary.

  8. Does this data use the narrow (rational) or expansive (common) definition of hate crime?

    “He must surely hate me as he committed a crime against me.”

  9. This seems more about what people say they believe and crime that takes place . Little to no data about the actual politics taking place.

  10. The first 4 charts are about white’s attitudes towards blacks. Where is the information about the attitudes of the other races? The implication is that only whites are responsible for race relations.

    1. The implication is that only whites are responsible for race relations.

      This is part of the progderp canon.

    2. I think it’s because white are a large percentage of the US population. I understand your point, and believe it is valid. I’m just assuming the chart is based off the majority.

    3. I think it’s because white are a large percentage of the US population. I understand your point, and believe it is valid. I’m just assuming the chart is based off the majority.

  11. So glad thought crimes are down. Or maybe we’re just better at internalizing our biases and prejudices. Any word yet on the love crimes front?

    1. Thought crimes in youtube comments are way up since the civil war. Then we had the tea party, now Trump. Clearly the right wing is on the verge of enacting their final solution to exterminate all minorities. It’s more important now than ever before for all the useful idi-, I mean all the enlightened of this country, to vote for candidates with a “D” by their name.

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  15. Those charts confirm our knowledge that racism *against blacks* has fallen to near zero. But they don’t address the new epidemic of hate crime by and on behalf of blacks, in particular the Ruckus Society-sponsored riots in Ferguson and Baltimore and most recently against attendees at Trump rallies. It’s time to put George Soros in jail for bankrolling those crimes.

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  17. RE: U.S. Race Relations Getting Better
    Things are looking up across the board.

    What’s wrong with you people?
    You should never publish an article like this.
    Otherwise the EEO, the thought police in academia and other nut cases would be out of a job.
    Do you really want that on your conscience?

    1. The report was racist. It only talked about what was happening among the white community.

  18. HumanProgress is a Prog pollyanna outfit and should never be cited.

  19. Yea, now we all just hate politicians and billionaires – hoo ray!

  20. Would this be the right time to criticize the survey by repeating the word “cuck” like some smug asshole?

    1. is there ever a right time?

  21. it’s odd that as much as the left was convinced that racism never lessened its stranglehold on america, that they were among the most shocked to hear, after obama became president, that there was still racism in america.

    it’s also amazing to me that when you try to prove that things are better today by reminding them that we elected the first black president (twice!), they roll their eyes and apparently think it’s meaningless…because trayvon martin or something.

    1. Racism is not a white only problem. It has lost most of its stranglehold on the white community, but it has grown elsewhere.

  22. The progs had overused the term racist, and when a real racist (you know who I am talking about) suddenly gains the Republican Party’s nomination, the label is ineffective at countering anything he says.

    1. it’s also why many of the attacks against trump are having little to no effect. the media and typical politicians have no credibility anymore, and they can’t even point out the obvious without voters worrying about what their motivation is in saying such a thing.

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  24. This article is wrong!! America is the WORST most racist place evarrrr! Race is ONLY a black/white issue, and ALL white people are evil, privileged, and racist. I know this because I went to college.

  25. Racism is not a white only crime. The murders of whites by blacks are climbing. Murders by Hispanics are climbing, although that seems race neutral. The murder rate by whites is dropping. Who are the racists in society today? I grew up in the south in the fifties. I played with black children who lived within a couple of hundred yards of my home. I go back today and the black children shun the white children(my town was about 75% black, now it is about 85%). Racism has gotten much worse, but not on the white side, although it certainly hasn’t vanished there. For the US only white racism was talked about in this article. That is racist itself.

  26. So race relations can only be measured by white antipathy towards minorities? Seems a bit narrow, no?

    FBI and DoJ crime statistics might paint a different picture…

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  29. I have been threatened many times by blacks on the job for saying something that could be perceived as racist. Seeing as though the civil rights want a purposefully vague definition of racism so that no one can they are not racist this is absurd. Or look at the violence against trump supporters in San jose.

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