Racial polarization is going down, not up
It’s a big deal, but it always has been
I try not to pick too much on headlines because there is some inevitable loss of nuance in these things, and trying to get people to click on the articles is a part of life. But I was really struck by the headline of a recent Dan Balz article in The Washington Post: “What divides political parties? More than ever, it’s race and ethnicity.”
I was struck by two things about it. One is that the headline is contrary to my understanding of recent political trends, so I was surprised that a new American Political Science Association report would say that racial polarization is at an all-time high. The other is how many people responded to the headline with complaints about “both sides” framing or, as in this David Roberts thread, about the need to take an increasingly uncompromising stance in the face of these divisions.
It turns out that if you actually read the article, the text does not back up the claim that the parties are more divided than ever by race and ethnicity. Instead, Balz, ci…
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