How About We Just Bring Back the Whole Jim Crow Thing?

I real­ize that the sur­vey was­n’t of a sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tion, but I find the whole thing hor­ri­bly disturbing.

Amer­i­ca: Land of the Free. Well, some­times. Some of us. The right kind of peo­ple, you know?

In U.S., 44 Per­cent Say Restrict Muslims
By William Kates
The Asso­ci­at­ed Press
Fri­day 17 Decem­ber 2004
Itha­ca, N.Y. —

Near­ly half of all Amer­i­cans believe the U.S. gov­ern­ment should restrict the civ­il lib­er­ties of Mus­lim Amer­i­cans, accord­ing to a nation­wide poll.

The sur­vey con­duct­ed by Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty also found that Repub­li­cans and peo­ple who described them­selves as high­ly reli­gious were more apt to sup­port cur­tail­ing Mus­lims’ civ­il lib­er­ties than Democ­rats or peo­ple who are less religious.

Researchers also found that respon­dents who paid more atten­tion to tele­vi­sion news were more like­ly to fear ter­ror­ist attacks and sup­port lim­it­ing the rights of Mus­lim Americans.

“It’s sad news. It’s dis­turb­ing news. But it’s not unpre­dictable,” said Mah­di Bray, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety. “The nation is at war, even if it’s not a tra­di­tion­al war. We just have to remain vig­i­lant and con­tin­ue to interface.”

The sur­vey found 44 per­cent favored at least some restric­tions on the civ­il lib­er­ties of Mus­lim Amer­i­cans. Forty-eight per­cent said lib­er­ties should not be restrict­ed in any way.

The sur­vey showed that 27 per­cent of respon­dents sup­port­ed requir­ing all Mus­lim Amer­i­cans to reg­is­ter where they lived with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment. Twen­ty-two per­cent favored racial pro­fil­ing to iden­ti­fy poten­tial ter­ror­ist threats. And 29 per­cent thought under­cov­er agents should infil­trate Mus­lim civic and vol­un­teer orga­ni­za­tions to keep tabs on their activ­i­ties and fund-raising.

Cor­nell stu­dent researchers ques­tioned 715 peo­ple in the nation­wide tele­phone poll con­duct­ed this fall. The mar­gin of error was 3.6 per­cent­age points.

James Shana­han, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions who helped orga­nize the sur­vey, said the results indi­cate “the need for con­tin­ued dia­logue about issues of civ­il lib­er­ties” in a time of war.

 While researchers said they were not sur­prised by the over­all lev­el of sup­port for cur­tail­ing civ­il lib­er­ties, they were star­tled by the cor­re­la­tion with reli­gion and expo­sure to tele­vi­sion news.

“We need to explore why these two very impor­tant chan­nels of dis­course may nur­ture fear rather than under­stand­ing,” Shana­han said.

Accord­ing to the sur­vey, 37 per­cent believe a ter­ror­ist attack in the Unit­ed States is still like­ly with­in the next 12 months. In a sim­i­lar poll con­duct­ed by Cor­nell in Novem­ber 2002, that num­ber stood at 90 percent.


   On the Web:
    Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty
    Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety

Cur­rent Mood: pissed off
Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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