Good News and Bad on Social Changes

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Over at the mothership, Stephanie Mencimer takes a look at the latest release of the biennial American Values Survey and notes a disturbing finding:

Tea party critics won’t be surprised to hear that 61 percent of people who identify with the movement said discrimination against whites “is as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.”….That view was shared by only 28 percent of Democrats and about half of independents. Republicans were closer to the tea party on that question, with 56 percent agreeing that discrimination against whites is a big problem.

This perception, of course, drives a tremendous amount of resentment against liberal elites who are viewed as responsible for this state of affairs. And mockable though it may be, mockery won’t make it go away. I’m not sure what will.

However, the AVS also has some good news. As the chart on the right shows, over the past five years 19% of Americans report that their views on gay and lesbian rights have grown more supportive. That’s a pretty massive sea change, all things considered, and something that the tea partiers have little chance of stopping. The full report is here.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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