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Getting Omega 3s in the public diet

by Scott Jameson

An earlier post established that Omega 3 fatty acids are an important nutrient of which hardly anybody is getting enough, and that this deficiency is making us Westerners a bit dumber and a bit crazier on the whole. Description sometimes obligates prescription, so this post is where I spitball about possible solutions, and welcome you to join me in the comments.

I’m reminded of the gubbermint mandating the lacing of our salt with sorely needed iodine, or the enrichment of white flour with nutrients lost in the removal of the bran and germ as well as the bleaching of the endosperm.

For yourself and your family, fish oil pills are fine- kelp oil if you’re one of those people. But we need solutions that work for nearly everybody, and the brilliance of the examples I listed above is that everybody eats that stuff (bread and salt) and now it’s laced with nutrients they’ve been needing. So we could produce N3s at low cost and legally mandate that certain foods contain them. Chia is a promising source: it’s cheap, it’s loaded with N3s, and it doesn’t taste fishy. Flax also works, but it’s loaded with phytoestrogens. Tons of seeds have those, I think Chia as well, but I’ve been told (incorrectly?) that flax is a particularly bad offender. Anyway, how do we load Chia or a similar seed into people’s diets?

Omega 3 eggs are one way to go. Chickens metabolize plant ALA (such as from chia or flax) into DHA and store both in their eggs. Just as we made use of the auroch and tarpan’s efforts to have a brain, we can hijack the chicken’s futile attempts to provide brain-material for her nonexistent offspring, using her eggs as a vehicle to get N3s into ourselves. It’s as simple as a mandate that a certain percentage of all chicken feed must be N3 rich seeds and/or insects.

Another obvious place to look is the plant oils that go into our food. Check out the table on the Wikipedia page for ALA: soybean and rapeseed oils have a pathetic showing for ALA content, and they’re put in absolutely everything. The State mandates that all gas will be a bit ethanol: why not all soybean and canola be 10, 20% Chia or some comparably high ALA crop?

It’s worth pointing out that you can genetically modify ALA rich vegetable oil to be on a quality closer to par with fish oil, having some of the ALA converted into the more useful EPA. Forget any concerns about GMOs you may have because the oils I’m talking about lacing with GMOs are already themselves GMOs.

We also must mandate that all infant formula be laced with N3s: EPA and DHA in particular, and tested for stuff like mercury if it comes from fish. You probably know at least one person who is autistic because they were bottlefed.

Comment your potential solutions below. I want to hear them. Double points for anyone playing the game on hard mode: free market solutions (libertarians) or animal-free solutions (vegans). If you try both, you’re a masochist and you need help.

Biases and Political Beliefs

2150 words

The study of political bias is very important. Once the source of what motivates political bias—which no doubt would translate to other facets of life—is found, individual action can be taken to minimize any future bias. Two recent studies found that contrary to other studies showing that conservatives are more biased than liberals, both groups were equally as biased.

Everyone is biased—even physicians (Cain and Detsky, 2008). When beliefs we hold to be true are questioned, we do anything we can to shield ourselves from conflicting information. Numerous studies have looked into biases in politics, with some studies showing that conservatives are more likely to be biased towards their views more than liberals. However, recent research has shown that this is not true.

Frimer, Skitka, and Motyl, (2017) showed there were similar motives to shield one’s self from contradictory information. Hearing opposite viewpoints—especially for staunch conservatives and liberals—clearly leads to them doing anything possible to, in their heads, defend their dearly held beliefs. In four studies (1: people would forgo the chance to win money if they didn’t have to hear the opposite sides’ opinions on the same-sex marriage debate; 2: thinking back to the 2012 election; 3: upcoming elections in the US and Canada; “a range of other Culture War Issues” (Frimer, Skitka, and Motyle, 2017); and 4: both groups reported similar diversions towards hearing the opposite group’s beliefs), both groups reported that hearing the other side’s beliefs would induce cognitive dissonance (Frimer, Skitka, and Motyle, 2017). They meta-analyzed all of their studies and still found that both groups would “rather remain in their ideological bubbles”.

Ditto et al (2017) also had similar findings. They meta-analyzed 41 studies with over 12,000 participants, testing two hypotheses: 1) conservatives would be more biased than liberals and 2) there would be equal amounts of bias. They discovered that the correlation for partisan bias was “robust”, with a correlation of .254. They showed that “liberals (r = .248) and conservatives (r = .247) showed nearly identical levels of bias across studies” (Ditto et al, 2017).

These two studies show what we know is true: it’s extremely hard/damn near impossible to change one’s view. Someone can be dead wrong, yet attempt to gather up whatever kind of data they possibly can to shield themselves from the truth.

This all comes down to one thing: the backfire effect. When we are presented with contradictory information, we immediately reject it. Everyone is affected by this bias. One study showed that corrections frequently failed to correct political misconceptions, with these attempted corrections actually doing the opposite, people increased their misconception of the group in question (Nyhan and Riefler, 2010). The thing is, people lack the knowledge about political matters which then affects their opinions. These studies show why it’s next to impossible to change one’s view in regards to anything, especially political matters.

New York University’s Professor of Ethical Leadership and social psychologist with a specialty in morality Jonathan Haidt also talks about partisan bias in his outstanding book on religion and politics The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (Haidt, 2013). This book is outstanding and I highly recommend it. I’ve written about some of his thoughts in his book, his theory on the evolution of morality is very well argued. Moral reasoning is just a post-hoc search for reasons to justify the judgments that people have already made. When asked why people are so averse to questions they find morally wrong, they cannot give good reasons to why they find the scenarios morally wrong (Haidt, 2001). More specifically, people couldn’t say why it was morally wrong to have sex with a sibling even though they were told that they used birth control and both enjoyed the act, suffering no emotional damage. This is direct evidence for Haidt’s ‘wag-the-dog’ illusion.

Haidt (2001: 13) writes:

 If moral reasoning is generally a post-hoc construction intended to justify automatic moral intuitions, then our moral life is plagued by two illusions. The first illusion can be called the “wag-the-dog” illusion: we believe that our own moral judgment (the dog) is driven by our own moral reasoning (the tail). The second illusion can be called the “wag-the-otherdog’s-tail” illusion: in a moral argument, we expect the successful rebuttal of an opponent’s arguments to change the opponent’s mind. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog’s tail to wag by moving it with your hand should make the dog happy.

Except the opponent’s mind is never changed. People always search for things to affirm their worldviews.

In his book, Haidt cites a study done on 14 liberals and conservatives who were stuck into an fMRI machine to scan their brains when shown 18 slides to see how their brain changed when viewing them (Weston et al, 2006). The first of which slide one set was George W. Bush praiding Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron. After, they were shown a slide in which the former President avoided mentioning Lay’s name. “At this point, Republicans were squirming” (Haidt, 2013: 101). Then they were finally shown a slide that said that Bush “felt betrayed” by the CEO’s actions and was shocked to find out that he was corrupt. There was a set of similar slides showing similar contradictory statements from John Kerry. The researchers had engineered situations that made the individual uncomfortable when shown their candidate contradicted themselves, while at the same time not showing any signs of being uncomfortable when it was shown their ideological opposite was caught being a hypocrite (Haidt, 2013: 101).

This study shows that emotional and intuitive processes are the causes for such extreme biases, with one only employing reasoning when it supports their own conclusions. Weston et al (2006) saw that when the individuals looked at the final slides, they had a sense of ‘escape’ and ‘release’. They cite further studies showing that this sense of escape and release is associated with the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum in other animals (Weston et al, 2006). So the subjects experienced this small hit of dopamine when they saw the final slide that showed everything was “OK”. If this is true, then this explains why we engage in these ‘addictive behaviors’—believing things with such conviction, even when shown contradictory information.

Like rats that cannot stop pressing a button, partisans may be simply unable to stop believing weird things. The partisan brain has been reinforced so many times for performing mental contortions that free it from unwanted beliefs. Even partisanship may be literally addictive. (Haidt, 2013: 103)

Haidt has also been covering the recent University protests that have been occurring around the country. About fifty years ago, a judge predicted the political turmoil we see in Universities today, writing:

No one can be expected to accept an inferior status willingly. The black students, unable to compete on even terms in the study of law, inevitably will seek other means to achieve recognition and self-expression. This is likely to take two forms. First, agitation to change the environment from one in which they are unable to compete to one in which they can. Demands will be made for elimination of competition, reduction in standards of performance, adoption of courses of study which do not require intensive legal analysis, and recognition for academic credit of sociological activities which have only an indirect relationship to legal training. Second, it seems probable that this group will seek personal satisfaction and public recognition by aggressive conduct, which, although ostensibly directed at external injustices and problems, will in fact be primarily motivated by the psychological needs of the members of the group to overcome feelings of inferiority caused by lack of success in their studies. Since the common denominator of the group of students with lower qualifications is one of race this aggressive expression will undoubtedly take the form of racial demands–the employment of faculty on the basis of race, a marking system based on race, the establishment of a black curriculum and a black law journal, an increase in black financial aid, and a rule against expulsion of black students who fail to satisfy minimum academic standards.

This seems to have come true today, seeing as political diversity has decreased in psychology, for instance, in the past fifty years (Duarte et al, 2015). In America, they found that 58-66 percent of social science professors identified as liberals, whereas only 5-8 percent identified as conservatives. Self-identified Democrats also outnumbered Conservatives by almost 8 to 1. Other researchers found that 52 to 77 percent of humanities professors were liberal with only 4-8 percent identifying as Conservative, for a ratio of about 5 to 1, favoring liberals. Finally, 84 percent of psychologists identified as liberal, with only 8 percent identifying as conservative for a 10.5 to 1 ratio (Duarte et al, 2015). However, this skew has only existed for about fifty years. When our institutions show this heavy skew in political beliefs, self-affirming, self-fulfilling prophecies will affect the quality of what is taught to students which will have a negative effect on the type of education received. 

Finally, when talking about political biases, one cannot go without mentioning Stephen Jay Gould. Although I’ve come to love his work on evolutionary theory, he was horribly wrong on human differences and let his motivations, biases and political views cloud his judgement and drive him to be grossly dishonest in his posthumous attacks of a man long dead who could no longer defend himself in one Samuel Morton, which first appeared in 1978. This culminated in his widely acclaimed (and, as fas as I can tell, still given to college students to read) book Mismeasure of Man (Gould, 1981). In the book, he attacked Morton for being biased in his measurements of his skull collection. However, in 2011, an anthropology team lead by Jason Lewis remeasured Morton’s skulls and found that Morton was not biased and his measurements were correct (Lewis et al, 2011). Gould was the one who ended up showing the huge bias that he accused Morton of and, ironically for Gould, he was the case study in avoiding bias in scholarship and science, not Morton.

However, as is usually the case, long debates such as this are not so easily settled. Philosopher Michael Weisberg (Weisberg, 2014) argued that Gould’s arguments against Morton were sound and that “Although Gould made some errors and overstated his case in a number of places, he provided prima facie evidence, as yet unrefuted, that Morton did indeed mismeasure his skulls in ways that conformed to 19th century racial biases.” Further, Kaplan, Pigliucci and Banta (2015) argue that Gould’s problem with Morton’s measurements came down to how the measurements should have been done (lead shot or seed). They contend that many of Lewis et al’s (2011) claims against Gould were “misleading” and “had no relevance to Gould’s published analysis.” They also argue that both Gould’s and Morton’s methods (inclusion/exclusion of skulls, how to compute averages, etc) were “inappropriate”. Nevertheless, the point is, this debate seems to be far from over and I await the next chapter. Whatever the case may be, Gould vs. Morton is a perfect case of politics and bias in science.

Everyone is biased. Researchers, physicians, normal everyday people, etc. But where we become most biased is when politics comes into play. To become better, well-rounded people with a myriad of knowledge, we need to listen to other’s viewpoints without immediately rejecting them. But, first, we must recognize the cognitive bias and attempt to correct it. Political differences begin in the brain and then are shaped by experience. These political differences then lead to feelings of disgust when hearing of the views of the ‘opposite team’. Both sides of the political spectrum are equally as biased, contrary to each groups’ perception of this particular issue. There are differences in the brain between Conservatives and Liberals, and when they see their ‘enemy’ engage in contradictory behavior they get joy, whereas when they see their guy engage in the same contradictory behavior they show disgust.

The long debate on Morton’s skulls that’s been raging for over forty years is the perfect look into how politics, motivation, and bias comes into effect in science, no matter which camp ultimately ends up being right (I’m in the Morton camp, obviously). Studying the causes and effects of why we have such strong biases can lead to a better understanding of the causes of these underlying defense mechanisms—the causes of the backfire effect and similar cognitive biases. Everyone and anyone—from the scientist to the layman—should always let what the facts say guide their points of view and not their emotions.

When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.Bertrand Russel, 1959

Chewing the Cud

by Scott Jameson

RaceRealist and I have been ruminating on a lot of stuff lately. Here’s a fun one: what economic system works best relative to what we know about human health? In my mind there are two approaches: the libertarian approach, and quasi-fascism.

In the libertarian approach, there’s no regulation of sugar placed in our food. That’s already the case. But here’s an improvement: you don’t have to pay for anyone’s gastric bypass after they overeat that sugar.

In the fascist approach, there is regulation of sugar, because a fascist state does not allow people to poison each other for profit. You still have to pay for others’ medical expenses, but those expenses will be lower.

Here’s an advantage to the libertarian approach. In that society, the people who stuff their faces and refuse to get off the couch- who are dumber and lazier on average, probably- will have a higher mortality rate on average. Eugenics need not cost a dime.

But you run into a snag, sand in the gears of your hands-off system, when Big Food kicks out a whole bunch of crappy dietary advice, at which point a minority of reasonably intelligent people will be led astray, perhaps to the grave. How could a libertarian society stop that from taking place? Would it even bother? Could the system broadly work in spite of this snag?

A libertarian society doesn’t pay for idiots to have children. That’s good, but half of your population (women) are unlikely to ever support it. Women don’t do libertarianism; observe Rand Paul’s demographic Achilles Heel on page 25. When women asked men what to do about so-and-so’s eighth unpaid for child, we’d have to look them in the eyes and give a deadpan “let’s hope private charity can handle it.” There was a time, before FDR, when women would’ve accepted that answer. They were still in the kitchen back then, and I don’t know how to put them back there.

A fascist society has more hands-on eugenics, possibly genome editing or embryo selection. Also good. Expensive, but obviously worth it.

We welcome your input on these issues.

*****

As an aside, White men are well-known as the most conservative, small government, nationalist group out there in our current political atmosphere. I always hear people spewing the schmaltziest nonsense about the values of the Founding Fathers. They were, relative to our political compass, nationalist libertarians. Accordingly, modern nationalists and libertarians do best with the exact same demographics that used to vote on candidates back then: property-owning White men. The sole reason that Ron and Rand Paul couldn’t get elected is that they are too similar to the Founding Fathers. Any other candidate who blathers on about the Founding values is simply a liar, and their obvious lies show a disrespect of your intelligence.

If you’re a libertarian, but not an ethno-nationalistic and patriarchal thinker, then you simply haven’t gotten the memo: women and minorities do not want to create the same world that you do, nor will they ever. Evolution gave us women who want social safety nets and other races which are better off if they parasitize off of your tax dollars. All of the most libertarian societies that ever existed (early US, ancient Athens, Roman Republic) were entirely run by White men, and adding women to the electorate gave us the welfare state. Aristophanes was right.

*****

We’re also ruminating on the difference between IQ and expertise. I know of no mentally complicated task of which one can be a master without being intelligent. Take the IQs of chess grandmasters and you will find no morons.

Contrast that with purely physical activities. I bet you there are some really stupid people out there who are great at dancing for example. A prodigiously capable cerebellum may not predict an equally capable frontal lobe.

Discounting tasks which exclusively require things like simple physical coordination, muscle memory, etc, I ought to think that IQ is the biggest component of expertise.

Chaos and Nationhood with Blacks

 1900 words

By: Phil

When critics of the mainstream approach towards modern African-American grievance questions the agency of the population to improve their standards of living, they often cite either how minorities such as poor European immigrants of the Early 20th century assimilated better despite discrimination, or how Black immigrants from Africa occupy a higher mode of living.

While multiple factors contribute to the discrepancy, one caught my attention which struck me a paradoxical but soon started to make sense as I dug deeper. That trait being the lack of effective widespread “unity” among not just Black Americans but many other populations, especially those in Africa.

– The Situation

As for my titular use of “chaos” to describe it, I owe it to an Unz commenter who contrasted it from individualism or collectivism. For an intra-regional example, you have riots or protests regarding threats seen as pertaining to the racial mass, yet you have commonly cited the lack of the same regard for those killed by perpetrators of the same race.

From an inter-regional example I refer to the words of my father that, despite the beliefs of some, there is no “Black America” in which the interests or beliefs of blacks due to having comparatively looser connections than others based on a national level. This is noted by regional variance in ideology between blacks during the Progressive Era or better yet modern African conflicts, many of which can be classified as Christians versus Muslims on the larger scale yet can even be observed on a finer, pre-colonial level of identities (Osaghae and Suberu 2005).

There are numerous examples of pre-colonial migration, usually stimulated by wars or natural disasters, which have continued to generate bitter conflicts today owing to continuing discrimination against the immigrants by the original settlers. These include the eighteenth century mass migration of Oyo Modakeke into Ife in search of a safe haven from the internecine wars of the Oyo empire; the movement of Urhobo and Ijaw into Warri, where the Itsekiri claim to have been the original settlers; the migration of the Jukun-Chamba from Cameroon to parts of the present Taraba state, originally settled by the Kuteb; and the sixteenth century settlement of Hausa merchants in Zangon Kataf within a territory occupied by the Kataf (Isumonah 2003; Mustapha 2000). “

I attribute three reasons why this would be.

One being geography, as these behaviors are most notable with African nations that often overlap in cultural spheres despite living on a huge continent, and also how Black Americans probably covering the largest area relative to other New World African descent populations thus making diversification more enabled.

The second being the process of slavery in New World populations giving various forms of cultural transmission amongst black slaves by region who as well came through different tribes, either producing the typical “Scot-Irish” Black culture or a “Creole” culture, like the Gullah people of the South East. The Third, the Basal reason, being the effects of Genetic interests at hand as put by RR and how African Diversity works.

-Genetics

Here Razib Khan explains that when Foreign Admixture is removed, African diversity is higher among individuals than for major geographical groups.In other words, while geographically diverse, the actual organization of the diversity in the context of cultural boundaries is more stratified due to the lack of breeding, be it outbreeding or replacement involved in nations.

This suggestion is strengthened by famous blogger Jayman attributing this to the lack of large states in Africa to the lack of especially large states in Africa. Granted, you did have relatively large ones in the Sahel but the didn’t last as long as those in Eurasia, falling mainly due to internal struggles.

In the presence of cultural homogeneity, reflecting of a shared lineage, you see improvements in places such as Botswana (Tswana-Sotho) or Ghana (Akan people) partially due to better cultural, and thus likely genetic,  unity due to past nationhoods. Apparently, though for short duration, the Tswana formed a political body as large as France,

This is also consistent with the observations made by Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, a famous colonialist researcher on African and US blacks, on African born blacks on the sea Islands of the South East, which he describes as of “Yoruba Stock” in semblance.

“Also they are when away from white influence inclined to sparsity of clothing-not nowadays a common trait in the United States negro. They are also pure negroes entirely without any infusion of white blood. Crime is very rare among them.The Negro in the New World by Harry Hamilton Johnston p. 470

A good modern example would be the demographics of West Africa Immigrants, being principally Akan of Ghana and the Yoruba or Igbo of Nigeria, who each come from relatively well constructed precolonial formations. What is also of note is how their prominence seems to be correlated to the extent in which Cousin Marriage is practiced, possibly reflective of the precolonial patterns of cousin marriage

Application for the U.S population in kin networks, where it does not work.

PP, in which he discussed the ethnocentrism of different groups, said this regarding blacks and kin altruism.

“And yet eventually these extremely different tribes mixed, and so you would have parents raising kids who have genetic variants very alien to their own, and this probably contributed to the breakdown of the black family: it’s harder for kin altruism to get selected when the kids you are altruistic to, don’t resemble you that much genetically because their other parent is so unlike you that they don’t inherit your high degree of kin altruism or inherit it as a recessive unexpressed trait.  And when kin altruism gets only weakly selected for, racial loyalty (which is probably just an outgrowth of kin loyalty) is probably weakly selected for too.”

Which would be incorrect. Yes, while crossing over does occur, a child would be overall close to their parent’s overall genetic background on the level of relatedness. Leaping from that neglected detail, he assumes from his evidence of “lack of racial loyalty” would that blacks have less ethnic nepotism and thus weaker kin altruism despite not taking into account of selection occurring within subgroups of various constructs like you see in Africa which would apply to families inside them.

If this theory was even supportable, one would expect the opposite that actually occurs with the percentage of Black children to return to relatives compared to White children.

 

“Of the 94,483 black children discharged from foster care, 12,860, or 13%, were discharged to a relative guardian. Of the 182,941 white children discharged from foster care in 2004, 20,453, or 11%, were discharged to a relative guardian.Of the 15,087 black children adopted from foster care, 4077, or 27%, were adopted by a relative. Of the 29,244 white children adopted from foster care, 5861, or 20%, were adopted by a relativeOf the 279,421 black kids living in foster care for some portion of the year, 69,888 or 25% were living with relatives. Of the 474,734 white children living in foster care for some portion of the year, 101,300, or 21%, were living with relatives.

So black children getting adopted from foster care are somewhat more likely to be adopted by relatives than white kids (27% vs. 20%), black kids exiting foster care are slightly more likely to be discharged to a relative guardian than white kids (13% to 11%), and black kids in foster care are slightly more likely to be living with relatives than white kids (25% vs. 21%). The differences support the hypothesis that blacks are more likely to utilize kinship care networks, but not by a lot, at least in regard to the foster care system.”

From Audacious Epigone, who also notes that despite the higher likelihood of such networks that doesn’t explain disproportion in foster care. Though evidence for IQ is at best moderate, interpersonal indicators were stronger (Azar, Stevenson, and Johnson 2012)).

“SIP problems were associated with direct measures of neglect (e.g., cognitive stimulation provided children, home hygiene, belief regarding causes of child injuries). Further, for the direct measures that were most closely linked to CPS Neglect Status, IQ did not add significant predictive capacity beyond SIP factors in preliminary model testing. Implications for intervention with PID discussed.”

This is possibly linked to EI scores found to differ between Whites and Blacks (Whitman, Kraus, and Rooy 2014)

“The present work examines applicant reactions to a test of emotional intelligence (EI) using an organizational sample of 334 job applicants. Results indicated that Blacks had higher face validity and opportunity to perform perceptions of EI than Whites, but that Whites performed significantly better than Blacks on the EI test. Although exploratory analyses revealed that test performance was positively related to test reactions, we also found that the magnitude of this relationship differed between Blacks and Whites for the opportunity to perform perceptions. We discuss our findings by offering practical advice for organizations considering or using a measure of EI for selection and assessment.”

Evidence for Kin networks is also supported by more data (Taylor 2013).

“Turning first to findings for family support networks, four significant differences were observed in this analysis. African Americans gave assistance to their family members more often than non-Hispanic Whites, were more likely to have daily contact with their extended family members than both non-Hispanic Whites and Black Caribbeans, and had more frequent interactions with their family than Black Caribbeans. Three general conclusions can be drawn from these findings for family assistance and interaction. First, these findings are consistent with prior work indicating that African Americans have similar or higher levels of involvement with kin than non-Hispanic Whites, but are inconsistent with reports that African Americans have lower levels of family support than Whites (e.g., Hogan et al., 1993). As noted in previous reviews of this literature (Sarkisian & Gertsel, 2004), comparisons across studies are problematic given important differences in the dependent variables used. The present study’s investigation of several dimensions of family support relationships (e.g., enacted support, emotional support, contact, negative interaction) in diverse groups of the population and using a common set of sociodemographic correlates clarifies the nature of race/ethnic differences in these relationships.”

It also found, however, weaker ties outside the family, which strengthen my suggestion of finer stratification of kin ties than just simply less selection.

“Several significant differences in friendship networks were observed in this analysis. Non-Hispanic Whites interacted with their friends and gave support to their friends more frequently than African Americans. Additionally, non-Hispanic Whites received support from friends more frequently than both African Americans and Black Caribbeans. Many of the differences between African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites could reflect basic differences in their levels of involvement in friendship networks. For instance, 16.7% of African-Americans, 16.1 % of Black Caribbeans and 9.7% of non-Hispanic Whites report that they never receive help from friends. Similarly, African Americans (11%) were twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites (4.7%) to indicate that they hardly ever or never interact with friends. Lower levels of involvement with friends among African Americans could be due to estrangement from friends, isolation from friends or exclusive involvement with kinship networks (Ajrouch et al., 2001). Collectively, these results, and previous research (Griffin et al., 2006; Waite & Harrison, 1992), indicate that non-Hispanic Whites are more likely than African Americans to interact with friendship networks and to identify friends as an important source of support.”

This lack of support was not seen, however, with fictive kin or congregational members. So perhaps wither the perception of relationship or differences in genetic similarity may answer some of these questions.

The Threat of Increasing Diversity: Why Many White Americans Supported Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election

3250 words

Tl;dr: White Americans exposed to more diversity are more likely to support Trump, anti-PC speech and anti-immigration policies while showing less support and positivity towards Democratic candidates. In the racial shift group, whites with low racial identity, ethnic replacement didn’t seem to care about ethnic replacement and showed stronger support for Democratic candidates. To wake up more whites to anti-immigration sentiments and white identity politics, you need to show them the effects of diversity in the social context as well as what a demographic replacement will mean in the next two decades.

Why did so many white Americans support Donald Trump’s Presidency? The reasons are numerous, though there are some key reasons why he won. To look at the exact reasons why, we need to look at some evolutionary psychology as well as political psychology. I came across a paper today titled The threat of increasing diversity: Why many White Americans support Trump in the 2016 presidential election, it has many thought provoking things in it and pretty much confirms what the altright says about an increase in white identity occurring. An ‘ethnic awakening’ if you will. The authors state that white Americans high in racial identity will be more likely to derogate out-groups when white Americans realize they are becoming replaced in their own country.

Major, Blojorn and Blascovich (2016) state that reminding white Americans who are ‘high in ethnic identification’ (i.e., a white identitarian, an altrighters) that non-white populations will soon outnumber whites caused them to be more concerned about the future of whites in America, pushing them towards Trump and his anti-immigration policies. This also led to an increase in being politically incorrect. Moreover,  whites low in ethnic identification (say, a progressive leftist) showed no greater chance in voting for Trump nor his anti-immigration policies. This did, however, decrease positivity towards Trump as well as decreased their opposition towards political correctness. The authors write:

The U.S. Census Bureau (2012) projects that the national population of non-White racial groups will exceed that of Whites before the middle of this century. Many White Americans in the US view race relations as “zero-sum,” in which status gains for minorities means status loss for Whites (Wilkins & Kaiser, 2014) and less bias against minorities means more bias against Whites (Norton & Sommers, 2011). The belief that Whites are losing out to ethnic minorities is particularly prevalent among Trump supporters (De Jonge, 2016).

This is noticed, anecdotally speaking and you can follow the citations to get more information. From an evolutionary perspective, this does make sense. Competition for resources between groups trigger evolutionary instincts. More non-whites in America will decrease the white population who has the lowest birth rate by ethnicity in the country and this will trigger more anti-immigration sentiments in whites high in ethnic identification. This ‘zero-sum game’, the ‘if your ethnic group has more than mine has less’ game will start to take hold in America in the next coming years if this paper is any indication of the future. The one particularly interesting point the authors bring up is that if there is “less ‘bias against minorities, there will be more minorities against whites”, and that, in turn, increased anti-immigration sentiments as well as drove people towards Trump and his anti-immigration views.

The more minorities that come into the country, the more whites in America will start to band together for their own ethnic genetic interests, move towards more conservative policies and begin to show more derogation towards the out-group.

The authors use the term ‘group status threat’, which is when one “worries that his group’s status, influence, and position in the hierarchy is under threat.” This threat then predicts out-group derogation. I wonder if oxytocin (a brain peptide that increases out-group derogation) increases when diversity occurs in the social context. I’d like to see that looked into one day.

There is also ‘integrated threat theory’ where increased diversity poses a threat to white Americans’ resources and American values. They also state, using social cognition theory, that increases in diversity will be ‘frightening’ and ‘confusing’ to whites, causing “uncertainty and fear”, which then drove whites towards more conservative anti-immigration policies.

When whites high in ethnic identification were shown a newspaper article stating that whites would be a minority by 2042, it led whites to be more concerned about whites’ social status in the country, leading them towards more conservative views and policies. It’s important to note that their views changed along with their policy recommendations.

In this study, the authors tested experimentally whether reminding white Americans that of the increasing diversity in the US affects their political leanings, whether or not group status is the cause of the political leanings when one hears about ethnic replacements, and whether or not ethnic identification or political alignment moderated the effects. They expected that reminding whites of ethnic replacement will cause them to lean towards conservative views and politicians (Trump, Kasich, Cruz) while decreasing support for Democrats (Clinton and Sanders).

People who experience ‘group status threat’ will be more likely to vote for Trump since he has more anti-immigration, antidiversity views than all politicians who ran for President. This, the researchers hypothesized, would come to fruition in their study. They also predicted that reminding white Americans of ethnic replacement would cause them to support more anti-immigration policies and be more resistant to political correctness, i.e., they would be more likely to be against positive policies for the out-group. They would become intolerant towards the out-group upon exposure to the reality of ethnic replacement in the country.

We also tested ethnic identification and political affiliation as potential moderators of the predicted effect of condition.1 Drawing on social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986), we expected that reminders of increasing ethnic diversity would be especially threatening to Whites whose race/ethnicity is a central aspect of their identity. Thus we expected them to report greater support for Republican candidates, anti-immigrant policies, and opposition to political correctness in response to reminders of the racial shift compared to Whites low in ethnic identification. In contrast, based on Craig and Richeson’s (2014b) finding that reminders of the racial shift increased support for conservative ideology irrespective of political leanings, we did not expect political affiliation to moderate effects.

Whites whose ‘race/ethnicity is a central aspect of their identity’, i.e. altrighters were predicted to be especially threatened at the reminder of ethnic replacement in their country of birth. However, as expected and what is seen in anecdotal accounts, whites low in ethnic identification, i.e., progressive leftists, antifas, etc, showed the opposite.

The researchers had a sample consisting of 450 white Americans with the following political beliefs: 262 Democrats, 114 Republicans, 50 Independents and 24 ‘other’. After removing the Independents and ‘others’ from the sample they had 376 white American participants (51.1 percent female).

They were given articles and were given two minutes to read them. One was an article talking about the ethnic replacement of whites and whites’ minority status in America that’s projected to occur by 2042 (aptly called ‘racial shift’) while the other article used “similar language to indicate geographic mobility is increasing (control condition).” It’s interesting to note that it seems like the only difference between the two articles is the wording. After reading the articles, they then completed tasks assessing group status threat, support for the current candidates running for office, anti-immigration sentiments, ethnic identification, and opposition to political correctness. After the completion of the tasks, they were then told the reason for the study and compensated their one dollar.

White Americans exposed to ‘racial shift condition’ reported greater group status threat than those in the control condition. This shows that white Americans who live in a diverse neighborhood will be more likely to be affected by the ‘racial shift condition’, leading them towards anti-immigration sentiment, a strong feeling towards white identity, and be more likely to hold more right-wing views. Whites high in ethnic identification showed greater group status threat than the control (.29) in the racial shift condition while whites low in ethnic identification did not. So, white identitarians showed a greater feeling of threat towards the group than did progressive leftists and antifas. Can’t say I’m too surprised. I did theorize in my article on the rise of the altright that either leftists have less oxytocin and altrighters have more, or that since political beliefs are heritable that high amounts of oxytocin will have one gravitate towards using their altruistic tendencies for the out-group or the in-group. This seems to be some evidence for my theory. For both right-wingers and left-wingers, ethnic identification was positively related to group status threat, but it was stronger in right-wingers. Even more evidence for my oxytocin/political beliefs theory.

White identitarians (whites high in ethnic identification) reported moderately greater positivity towards Trump as well as an even greater chance of voting for him in the racial shift scenario compared to the geographic movement scenario. Conversely, whites low in ethnic identification (progressive leftists, antifas, etc) showed less positivity towards Trump in the racial shift condition than in the geographic movement (control) condition,. However, in the racial shift condition, when one had high ethnic identification it led to increased positivity and a higher chance of voting for Trump. However, in the geographic condition, ethnic identification was unrelated to positivity towards Trump as well as voting for him.

Whites who showed less identification showed somewhat less support towards Sanders, being somewhat less likely to vote for him in the racial shift condition than in the geographic movement condition. In whites low in ethnic identity, neither condition (racial shift or geographic movement) had any effect on voting for Sanders or positivity towards him. Now here’s the good part: in the racial shift condition, whites high in ethnic identity showed somewhat less support and positivity towards Sanders in the racial shift condition compared to the geographic shift condition. Moreover, in the racial shift condition, ethnic identification was negatively correlated with positivity and chance of voting for Sanders, whereas in the control condition ethnic identification showed no effect.

In the racial shift condition, white identitarians were more supportive of anti-immigration policies than progressive leftists, while whites low in ethnic identification showed no difference, regardless of the condition. Ethnic identification was related to anti-immigration policies in both the racial shift and geographic movement conditions, but it was stronger in the racial shift condition.

White identitarians did not differ in outlook on political correctness by condition, while whites who show less ethnic identity reported less opposition to political correctness. Ethnic identification and anti-PC views were positively related in the racial shift condition but unrelated in the geographic shift condition.

Exposure to the racial shift condition vs. the geographic movement condition elicits different responses based on one’s political alignment and ethnic identification. Exposure to the racial shift condition increased group status threat, support for Trump and support for anti-immigration policies while somewhat decreasing support for Sanders, but only among whites high in ethnic identification. Conversely, for whites low in ethnic identification in exposure to the racial shift, there was no effect on group status threat, support for Sanders or anti-immigration sentiments and actually led to a decrease in positivity for Trump. That’s pretty powerful right there.

The support and election of Donald Trump is showing a paradigm shift in this country as ethnies in America start voting on racial lines. As diversity continues to increase and as more white Americans begin to realize the ethnic replacement will begin to impede on how many resources they have access to as well as the ‘racism being flipped on them’ with ‘less bias on minorities being more bias towards whites’, more and more whites will start voting not on party lines, but ethnic lines like all other ethnies in this country do. In the racial shift group, whites high in ethnic identification showed increased support for Trump and anti-immigration policies, increased opposition towards political correctness and decreased Sanders support through group status threat. Conversely, in the racial shift group, reminders of ethnic replacement in whites low in ethnic identification showed decreased Trump support and his policies and did not lead to group status threat. This can be termed ‘ethnic suicide’. Clearly, increased diversity is a threat to some but not all white Americans.

What boggles my mind is that when whites low in ethnic identification were reminded of the projected ethnic replacement by 2042, they decreased support for Trump and increased support for anti-immigration policies and their support for norms that prohibit bias in hate speech, which was not mediated by the group status threat. The authors put forth one theory why this may be the case. They say that whites low in ethnic identification were thinking of the changing racial demographics on the country as a whole, not just on their own ethnic group which may have led them to support a candidate who is tolerant of diversity and antibias norms. Reminding Americans high in racial identity of ethnic replacement increasingly shifted support to Trump and away from Sanders. Though this effect was not seen in relation to other candidates, the authors attributed this to Trump’s stance on immigration and political correctness relative to the other Republican candidates. To those white Americans with a high racial identity who experience group status threat, they would be drawn to Trump and his anti-immigration, anti-PC speech. The authors state:

Of all of the candidates, Trump has been most vocal in his opposition to “outsiders” such as Muslims and illegal immigrants from Latin America, and most openly critical of “political correctness” in both his rhetoric and his behavior. Trump’s rhetoric and policies thus appear to hold special appeal for White Americans highly in racial/ethnic identification who are concerned about the declining position of Whites in American society and who often perceive reverse discrimination as prevalent. In contrast, Sanders may have been perceived as the most inclusive candidate and thus most likely to exacerbate threats to White’s status as a group.

This sums up the 2016 election in one paragraph. White Americans high in racial identity showed a greater chance to vote for Trump, greater opposition to political correctness and were more likely to espouse anti-immigration sentiments.

Political leaning affiliation had a large and expected effect on candidate choice as well as policy preferences. Compared to Dems, Republicans reported much stronger support for Republican candidates than Democratic candidates while being more supportive of anti-immigration and “more un-PC attitudes”. However, when reminded of ethnic replacement, both Democrats and Republicans who showed high racial identification were more likely to lean right and vote Trump. This study shows important implications about group identity and intergroup process to voting preferences. In whites high in racial identity, increased racial diversity affects voting preferences amongst whites, with the strength of the racial/ethnic identity moderating the effect. I.e., the stronger a racial identity one has the more likely they are to support Trump and anti-immigration policies, irrespective of political leaning. Due to this study, psychologists and political scientists need to begin to pay attention to the increasing concerns of whites high in racial identification, while traditionally thinking that white Americans’ politics weren’t driven by white identity, deeming them to be unimportant to whites’ political outlooks. For example, one study showed that “racial identification, perceptions of discrimination, and linked fate were only weak predictors of White Americans’ attitudes on policies related to race and immigration. This led them to conclude that “Whites’ whiteness is usually likely to be no more noteworthy to them than is breathing the air around them” (Sears and Savelli, 2006, p. 901).

However, the current political climate shows that this no longer is the case. As more non-whites immigrate into America, whites who have high racial identity, irrespective of political leaning, will become more open to supporting Trump (or people like him) as well as anti-immigration policies. As the white majority in America shrinks, more and more white Americans will be open to white identity politics to get back their rightful resources in the country as well as the demographic majority. Eventually, with more and more unchecked immigration, white identity will start to become a central part in white American politics and voting blocks. White Americans who regard their identity as ‘white’ and an important part of their identity, future white American political preferences will be molded by group status threat as well as opposition to diversity. Trump has ‘tapped into’ the demographic of white Americans who feel looked down on in their own home country from mass immigration from the South (and soon from MENA countries). White Americans who feel that their numerical advantage is threatened are more likely to vote for Trump and support anti-immigration policies that will begin to benefit American whites.

It is, however, important to note that Trump may not be who he says he is (like most politicians). On election night last month I blogged on Donald Trump and Ethnic Genetic Interests. I showed that contrary to the average perception of him, his interests lie with Israel, not with his own racial group (due to his children marrying Jews). Moreover, he has already reneged on his wall, deporting illegals and his supposed moratorium on Muslim immigration into the US from threat countries. If anything, Trump is just a stepping stone towards more nationalistic attitudes in the US for whites. With the increased diversity, whites will start to see that they are becoming replaced by other ethnies and in whites with high racial identity, it will trigger nationalistic attitudes and responses to the impending threat on their unique genetic code. This will help to foster the awakening of more whites to identity politics, voting in their own ethnic interests and not for the interest of other ethnies.

I personally hope this leads to a renaissance of race-realism in America, but I may be aiming the bar too high. The conclusion of this study is hopeful for the status of whites in America, however. The more whites that get exposed to diversity AND have high racial identity will then lean more towards Trumpian policies. As whites decrease in number in the US, more and more whites will begin to vote for themselves and, in my opinion, once these nationalistic attitudes appear in the white consciousness in America, this demographic replacement can begin to be reversed. If it were not for the increased immigration, however, this would not have happened. The increased immigration is a main driver of these feelings towards political correctness and anti-immigration. The more anti-white sentiment that is heard in America, the more whites high in racial identity will move towards the right while leftists will continue to commit ‘ethnic suicide’.

The takeaway from this paper is this: Whites exposed to the racial shift high in racial identity were more likely to support Trump, anti-immigration policies and be anti-PC. Whites in the racial shift condition who showed low racial identity showed the opposite and were more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. This paper shows good news in the future for whites in America and voting in their interests. Whites in America are beginning to vote for their ethnic genetic interests and this is largely due to genetic similarity theory as immigration from MENA countries and South of the border increase into America. Moreover, with Trump’s allegiance to Israel, Trump is just a man to awaken more people to the realities of immigration. So Trump himself won’t do anything, but his anti-immigration rhetoric is having people notice the realities of immigration and ethnic replacement in America.