Mormons aren’t racists, huh?

It turns out that when you actually quantify racism, Mormons are tied at #4 (with North Dakota) behind only Alabama (#1), Mississippi (#2), and Georgia (#3). Some researchers geo-located and tallied racist tweets in light of the election and Mormon-dense Utah didn’t fare so well. You can see the map here.

Granted, this is a specific situation – a white, Mormon candidate for president was clobbered by a mixed race though African American identifying candidate. Mormon hopes were dashed, and the latent racism came out in buckets. Time to rethink the idea that Mormons aren’t particularly racist.


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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6 Responses

  1. chanson says:

    Very interesting! However, I’d take it with a bit of a grain of salt for the following reason:

    If we look at people’s racism in terms of a normal distribution (bell curve) what they’re measuring is the handful of people who fall on the extreme racist end — people who are so confident in their racism that they think it’s a good idea to post tweets calling the president a “nigger”.

    But there’s some randomness in exactly where the extreme points lie. As the people in the article mentioned, having even one person more or one person less who’s at once a big racist and a big Twitter fan can change the results by a lot.

  2. Chris F. says:

    Oregon got a special mention also. I think Oregon is an interesting case though. We have a decent amount of Mormons, and we also have a decent amount of rural Republicans. I’m kind of a wolf among the sheep as a left leaning independant who lives in a highly mormon rural area.

    I’ve seen the cover of Wall Street Journal the day after the election ( ), and it fascinated me. It had a map of the United States, made such that you could see the counties, and then showed the election results for each county. It showed that Obama pretty much won all the highly populated areas, but lost everywhere else. I do find it intersting that Obama won all for of the candidates’ home states.

  3. kuri says:

    @2, Racism is complicated in Oregon. On the one hand, there’s a long history of racism here, including a really strong KKK presence during the 1920s. On the other hand, Oregon was one of only five states where a majority of white males voted for Obama in 2012.

  4. Chris F. says:

    @3, Yes, I remember lectures about that in college. If I remember correctly, there was a resurgence of their power in the 50’s and 60’s. They almost gained control of Portland back then.

  5. Ren says:

    Interesting. Regarding Oregon, I was under the impression there’s a fairly strong skinhead presence there. At least, that’s what I recall from news stories in the 90s. Is that still the case?

    These days it has a reputation more for a more liberal bent which Portandia satirizes and we (in Minneapolis) are in a perpetual battle with Portland for title of most bike friend city.

    While the twin cities are extremely liberal, there are outlying areas of MN which have extremely racists and anti-lgbt elements. I’ve seen some horrible posts/tweets from some Minnesotans that make me cringe. And sadly, yes, this state is home of congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

    Speaking to the whole issue of those who vocalize blatantly racist views, it’s disturbing. Such views have always been around but in my lifetime as a GenXer, they seemed to become much less prevalent and even if someone felt that way (think rural, older relatives), they didn’t announced their views to strangers. For people to vocalize it to the world, it seems like that would be motivated by unbridled anger and a dash of stupidity. That’s a dangerous combination.

  6. Chris F. says:

    As far as I can tell, though we do have skinheads and other racists (I’m sure some closet Klan members are out there), they are not really a movement with any real power. There may be a hate crime here and there, but I haven’t heard of any real movement to pass any blatantly racist legislation or to put an outspoken racist into a governing position.

    We have the ocational problem with police shooting black people and homeless people, but procedures dealing with that have gotten stricter.

    On a side note, Portland claims that it is pulling ahead in the “bike friendly” race, by installing the first bike counter in North America on the Hawthorne Bridge. I’m not sure how relivant that is, but it sounds important.

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