Study: Most Americans think both political correctness and hate speech are problems

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Most Americans believe that both political correctness and hate speech are problems in the U.S. today, according to a new study.

Eighty percent of poll respondents said they think political correctness is problematic, and 82 percent said hate speech is an issue, according to the nine-month study published by More in Common, a group that aims to combat political polarization through research that highlights the similarities across diverse groups.

{mosads}The study found that “progressive activists” were the only of the seven categorized political groups to express strong support for political correctness. The co-authors said the group makes up 8 percent of the U.S. population.

Majorities of different demographic groups said political correctness is a problem. That viewpoint was shared by 79 percent of whites, 82 percent of Asians, 87 percent of Hispanics, 88 percent of American Indians and 75 percent of African Americans.

The study found that the greatest predictors for whether a person believes political correctness is an issue is their education and income.

Eighty-three percent of respondents who make less than $50,000 a year said political correctness is a problem, compared with 73 percent of respondents who make more than $100,000.

Similarly, 87 percent of respondents who did not go to college said political correctness is an issue, while 66 percent of those with postgraduate degrees shared that sentiment.

The study’s findings come less than a month before the Nov. 6 midterm elections, when a divided electorate will head to the polls to decide party control of the House and Senate.

The study also found that at least 50 percent of Americans think there is “pressure to think a certain way” about a variety of issues, particularly when it comes to Islam.

Sixty-six percent of Americans feel it is not “acceptable” for them to voice their opinions on the Muslim faith, and two-thirds said they felt freer among “people like me.”

However, Americans are starkly divided on Islam as a religion, with 49 percent saying it’s peaceful and 40 percent characterizing it as the greatest threat to America. The majority of respondents agreed that Muslim Americans can be just as loyal to the U.S. as anyone else.

“The public seem to be more comfortable with Muslims as individuals, but less comfortable with Islam as a set of ideas and teachings,” the co-authors wrote in the study.

The study is based on a poll conducted with 8,000 respondents, 30 one-hour interviews and six focus groups that researchers conducted from December 2017 to September 2018. Instead of a margin of error, the study has an overall confidence interval of 95 percent.

Tags free speech Hate speech Islam Islamaphobia offensive rhetoric Polarization Political correctness the first amendment

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