Progressive prejudices unfairly depict whites as lazy and violent

Progressive prejudices unfairly depict whites as lazy and violent
Image: Campus Reform

Progressives are more likely than other Americans to harbor certain prejudices, such as viewing white people as lazy and violent. “Clinton voters in 2016 rated white people as significantly lazier than blacks and Hispanics,” notes Wesley Yang. He was citing 2016 survey results from the American National Elections Studies, summarized in a working paper, “The 2016 Election and the Left’s Lurch Left.”

It is not clear why Clinton voters felt this way: A higher percentage of whites than blacks are “employed” in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a higher percentage are in the “labor force.” Whites being more likely to work, and to seek work, is not consistent with progressive beliefs that white people are lazy.

“White liberals aged 18-24 rated whites and Christians as more ‘violent’ than blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims,” Yang also notes, referring to liberals’ responses to the ANES questionnaire. Liberals’ belief that white people are especially violent is odd, given that the black crime rate is much higher than the white crime rate. The homicide rate is 10 times higher among black teens than white teens. Blacks make up only 13% of the U.S. population. But they constitute a vastly higher percentage of those arrested and convicted for violent crimes. The FBI’s “Crime in the United States: 2017,” Table 43, shows that blacks constituted 53.1% of all people arrested for “murder and nonnegligent manslaughter,” 54.3% of all people arrested for robbery, and 28.7% of all people arrested for rape. These higher black crime rates have long been the case: For example, 43.7% of all rapists in state prisons were black two decades ago, according to a 1997 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. [See Lawrence A. Greenfeld, Statistician, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders (Feb. 1997) (NCJ-163392)].

Having lots of white people around does not trigger a spike in crime rates. States like Iowa, Maine, and New Hampshire have very low crime rates, despite being overwhelmingly white (Maine and New Hampshire are 94% white, and Iowa is 91% white).

The working paper also takes issue with this strange assumption by liberals that whites and Christians are more violent. On page 9, it states:

Blacks in the US account for a vastly disproportionate share of violent crimes, b) Hispanics, on average, are somewhat more likely to engage in violent crimes than whites, and c) Muslims, on average, are more likely to engage in acts of terrorism than Christians.

Progressive media are increasingly peddling the false idea that white people are especially dangerous. CNN’s Don Lemon claimed last year that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men.”

Lemon’s remarks reflect the false assumption that terrorists and mass shooters are disproportionately white. They aren’t. Even the liberal publication Slate once admitted this. As Slate’s Daniel Engber noted, “Mass shooters aren’t disproportionately white,” and “white people” are not “over-represented among mass shooters.” As I pointed out in 2013 in the Philadelphia Daily News, “Mass killings have also been committed by nonwhites, such as Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, Beltway sniper John Muhammad, Long Island Rail Road shooter Colin Ferguson, and Wisconsin’s Chai Soua Vang.” The fact that many other mass shooters are white simply reflects the fact that over three-quarters of Americans are white.

This reality did not stop the liberal Washington Post from publishing a misleading diatribe blaming whites for mass shootings. That op-ed by Charlotte and Harriet Childress falsely claimed that “nearly all of the mass shootings in this country in recent years … have been committed by white men and boys.” The Post published that untrue claim, even though most of the shootings committed in The Post’s own region were committed by non-whites, such as Beltway sniper John Muhammad and Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho.

White people don’t have a monopoly on terrorism outside of the U.S., either. Two of the world’s three most violent terrorist groups — Boko Haram and al-Shabab — are African. The bloodiest terrorist group in the world in several recent years was Boko Haram, a violent Nigerian sect. That African terrorist group has killed countless thousands of people, including burning students alive and abducting many girls, and laid waste to entire regions in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


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