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Political Editors / Nov. 29, 2018

White Leftists Dumb Down Language for Minorities

Researchers find a "competence downshift" based upon biased assumptions about minorities.

A recently released study conducted by one researcher from Yale University and another from Princeton found that white Democrat politicians dumb down their speech when addressing minorities — specifically blacks. On the other hand, the study found no language change when white Republicans spoke to minorities. Study authors Cydney Dupree and Susan Fiske were surprised by the results, noting, “It was really surprising to see that for nearly three decades, Democratic presidential candidates have been engaging in this predicted behavior.”

The researchers further studied the speech of white liberals and conservatives when addressing minority individuals. Again, the researchers found that white liberals engage in a “competence downshift” in their language, whereas white conservatives did not. Dupree noted the uncomfortable irony, stating, “It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect. Even if it’s ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing.” It most certainly could.

Brandon Morse of RedState observed, “We often hear from social justice adherents that we carry an implicit bias toward people of other races, and then immediately point to anyone other than themselves. Now we see why. On average, the white left is guilty of believing minority individuals are of lower intelligence than they are and dumb down their speech in order to feel like they’re being kinder to them by doing so.”

The Left’s insistence of playing identity politics leads to the inevitable classification of everyone by some basic shared group dynamics, including and especially race. Conservatives, by contrast, elevate the individual over the collective group dynamic and therefore are less inclined to judge others simply by group identity. Without even realizing it, “woke” leftists are the ones most guilty of perpetrating the very racial stereotypes they so vehemently condemn.

As a final thought: To the extent that minorities do lag behind whites in education, leftists can look in the mirror there too. Democrats running the nation’s cities keep blacks in failing schools for a reason.

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