In the US, the term “racist” has long been used to describe those who oppose immigration from countries that have policies that discriminate against certain groups.
But a new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests that “racism” is actually more commonly used in other countries.
The researchers used data from the World Bank’s Global Diversity Index to measure the attitudes of citizens around the world towards immigrants, including Muslims, blacks, and other groups.
The index tracks a wide range of factors, including whether immigrants are welcome in the country and whether they are considered to be a good or bad citizen.
The index shows that in countries where Muslims are not welcome, there is a much higher likelihood that they will say they are “against” immigrants, while countries where immigrants are welcomed tend to be more accepting.
“It’s really a question of language,” said lead author Jens Thomsen, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Washington.
“When you’re saying you’re against immigrants, you’re not really saying that you don’t like them, you don, you dislike them.”
Thomsen and his colleagues created an index for “racists,” which measures a range of attitudes, including those against the use of language, whether a group is considered “anti-democratic,” and whether there is racial inequality.
They then created an online database of over 2.2 million responses from individuals across 190 countries.
In each country, they compared people’s responses to whether they said that people are “anti,” “good,” or “fair” to how many said the same about whether people are racist, anti-democratic, or racist.
Thomsens and his team found that people who described themselves as “anti” were much more likely to say that there is “no racist in the world,” and people who said “good” were more likely than people who identified as “racist.”
And in countries with a higher proportion of Muslims, anti racists were more often the people who would also say that Muslims are “racist,” even if they are not explicitly racist.
“If we want to be inclusive, it would be better if we had more ‘anti’ people than ‘good’ people,” Thomsens told Al Jazeera.
In other words, “anti’ is the opposite of “good.””
It shows that ‘anti-racist’ is really a bad word,” he said.
The study also found that “anti racists” were less likely to express support for policies that hurt immigrants.
The researchers suggest that these policies might be discriminatory because they discriminate against immigrants based on religion or ethnicity.
Thamsen and coauthors also found a correlation between “anti racism” and support for the construction of new borders.
However, when countries are welcoming immigrants, “racist-supporting” policies tend to remain in place. “
Anti racism” is often associated with anti-immigrant policies, and therefore “anti border” policies.
However, when countries are welcoming immigrants, “racist-supporting” policies tend to remain in place.
“There is a positive relationship between anti-immigration policies and ‘racist-based’ anti-racism, but anti-racist policies do not necessarily lead to anti-border policies,” Thamsen said.
So why is it that racism has become so central to the American political discourse?
Thomseng said there may be a few reasons for this.
One, he said, is that racism is a term that has historically been used in the US to describe policies that are “politically incorrect.”
Another possible explanation, he added, is “a sense of cultural belonging.”
Racism, Thomsenson said, “has historically been associated with a sort of self-perception as being a part of the majority group.”
While the study is still preliminary, it does suggest that racism may be more widespread than previously thought, and that the “anti race” label may be in the minority.