Mexicans are (almost) least in favor of free speech: One important indication of assimilation to American society is a belief in free speech. Nothing upsets me more than to hear about some eccentric locked up in a European prison for saying wacky things like there was no Holocaust. They won't lock up actual criminals, but are only too happy to imprison people who say the wrong thing. So let's see which ethnic groups are best assimilated in terms of free speech values. The General Social Survey asked Americans if they feel that anti-religionists should be allowed to speak in their communities. Here is the percent who said yes:
Percent saying anti-religionists should be allowed to speak
French Canadians 69.5
West Indians 66.0
American Indian 65.1
Puerto Ricans 59.3
Roughly speaking, whites and Asians are free speechers, others less so. This, with other evidence I've seen, suggests that white immigrants assimilate best to American society, with Asians being an exception to the rule. Blacks and American Indians show how difficult it can be for non-whites to adopt American ways: they have had hundreds of years to develop a belief in free speech, but have been left behind by even the most recent immigrants. And speaking of recent immigrants (I can never pass up the opportunity to address the Mexican question) Mexicans are almost at the bottom of this list. In an earlier post, they had a similar ranking on the question about allowing racists to speak in public. As Hispanics become a more powerful influence at the ballot box, we might see the day where the things I am writing on this blog could get me a long stretch in the pen.