Cognitive dissonance is a fascinating phenomenon. It generally creates an unpleasant experience, but whether one experiences it for themselves or simply watches someone else go through it, it can always be interesting and instructive.
Cognitive dissonance happens whenever someone encounters a piece of evidence that directly contradicts some kind of deeply held belief that they hold. The result is a period of prolonged discomfort in which the person somehow tries to fit the new facts into his view of the world.
Often, the new facts will be ignored so that one does not have to modify their worldview. Sometimes, they may be rationalized or explained away. Very rarely will they be accepted and allowed to trigger fundamental changes in how someone perceives reality.
Recently, prominent left-wing blogger Kevin Drum experienced just such cognitive dissonance.
Enthralled, as many leftists are, by the narrative that black people are constant and continuous victims of hate crimes in America and that these hate crimes are supposedly on the rise, he was surprised to find some FBI statistics that flat-out refuted this story.
His reaction to these findings was very interesting.
A Racial Grievance Narrative Refuted
As reported by Townhall, Drum, on his blog called Jabberwocking, looked at the raw data and found that, to his genuine surprise, hate crimes against black people have been plummeting across America.
The two sets of data that he examined are FBI crime statistics, which are often arranged by race and other demographic categories, and the National Crime Victimization Survey, which looks at trends in crime based on the reports given to police of the victims of crime.
Anti-black crimes, especially those committed against black people by members of another race, have been steadily dropping since at least 2008. In 2004, in fact, the FBI reported that there were 126 anti-black hate crimes committed per million people in the US. In 2019, the corresponding figure was 70 per million. Contrary to leftist caterwauling, there was no uptick in anti-black hate crime during the Trump presidency either.
Violent assaults against black people also appear to have been cut in half since 2005, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey.
The National Crime Victimization Survey is compiled by looking at what victims of crime tell the police.
To criticize it as inaccurate, you would have to believe that victims of crime are deliberately lying to the police about the race of the perpetrator who victimized them. That is absurd, and so this data can be taken as reliable.
Drum concludes that the narrative about an exploding epidemic of anti-black hate crime is totally at variance with reality. When the media or anyone else tries to tell you otherwise, they are lying to you and trying to gaslight or propagandize you.
It’s always nice to see an honest person from the left admit the truth about something. It doesn’t happen often enough.