HISPANICS IN THE U.S. ARE JUST AS CONCERNED ABOUT HATEFUL POLITICAL RHETORIC AS THEY ARE ABOUT EXTREMIST TERRORISM

Roshni Nedungadi & Cornell Belcher

brilliant corners Research & Strategies

 

When asked what concerns them most – between the possibility of continued acts of terror by Islamic extremists on American soil or the possibility of increased discrimination and acts of violence toward Hispanics and other minorities due to heightened anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric – a national sample of Hispanics are remarkably almost just as fearful of the increasing hateful rhetoric emerging from politics as they are about terrorism. [1]

“There has been a lot of talk about fear and threats in the country lately -- generally speaking however, which of the following concerns you most: the possibility of continued acts of terror by Islamic extremists on American soil or the possibility of increased discrimination and acts of violence toward Hispanics and other minorities because of heightened anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric being driven by some political campaigns?”

“There has been a lot of talk about fear and threats in the country lately -- generally speaking however, which of the following concerns you most: the possibility of continued acts of terror by Islamic extremists on American soil or the possibility of increased discrimination and acts of violence toward Hispanics and other minorities because of heightened anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric being driven by some political campaigns?”

 

Hispanics with lower household incomes, lower education attainment, younger Hispanics and those who are unmarried tend to feel more threatened by the current vitriol of anti-immigrant political rhetoric than older Hispanics, college educated Hispanics and those with higher household incomes.    

 

While the underlying causes may be numerous, from this survey there is a divide that could define economic insecurity coupled with anti-immigrant rhetoric as a recipe for making Hispanic-Americans uncomfortable in their own country. In the graph above, we can see an illustrated version of that divide – with a plurality of those making under $40,000 fearing anti-immigrant rhetoric more than terrorism, while a plurality of those making over $40,000 a year are more fearful of terrorism; similar divides exist between marital status, age, and educational attainment.

 

[1] Nationwide survey conducted December 20, 2015 to January 12, 2016 of 446 Hispanics. The margin of error for this poll is +/- 4.6 percent.