Thursday, August 20, 2009

NAMs don't trust: Hispanics and especially blacks tend to be suspicious people. According to the GSS, 40% of all Americans say that people can generally be trusted, but only 17% of blacks, 24% of Mex-Ams, and 16% of Puerto Ricans feel that way. Many of them are quick to think that someone is taking advantage of them; that someone is discriminating against them. Now, this could be due to their experience in America. Being dominated by another people could easily lead to distrust. Or it could be an ethnic trait.

The World Values Survey asked people all around the world the same question. Thirty percent of all respondents agreed that most people can be trusted. Here are the percentages who agreed in countries with high percentages of blacks or Hispanics:

Percent who say people can be trusted

Dominican Republic 26.4
Nigeria 22.1
South Africa 19.1
Zimbabwe 11.9
Tanzania 8.1
Uganda 7.6

Mexico 28.9
Chile 22.5
Argentina 20.3
Venezuela 14.8
El Salvador 14.6
Puerto Rico 12.4
Columbia 10.8
Peru 8.2

All black and Latino countries sampled have below-average numbers. Now, some might explain this lack of trust as the legacy of colonialism or a reaction to exploitative social conditions, but whatever the case, it seems to be a widespread, reliable characteristic. This does not bode well for long-term race relations in America. Trust is an essential ingredient for a thriving society.


  1. What makes you conclude that trust is an essential ingredient for a thriving society?

    Is the 40% of Americans who say people can be trusted below the national average of 'thriving societies'?

    Do other 'thriving societies' not have minority groups who trust people less than the average populace?

    The subtext of this whole posts seems to be Hispanics and blacks are irrationally suspicious...

  2. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Why is the Dominican Republic placed with the African countries?


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