Bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers and desecration of Jewish cemeteries make the news and produce fears of surging Jew hatred, even though scientific studies show anti-Semitism at historic lows. A survey from Pew Research Center in February of 2017 showed Jews to be the most popular religious group in America, followed closely by Catholics—another target of religious prejudice in prior generations.
By the same token, the Gallup Poll reports that Americans consider race relations as much worse than 8 years ago, even though African-Americans have been closing gaps in educational and economic achievement, while enduring far lower rates of crime or addiction than 30 years ago.
But why is it that we perceive more prejudice, more racial and religious conflict, when real-life progress is obvious and undeniable?
Media hype regarding any frightening, attention-getting story, focuses attention on bad news, while simultaneously ignoring positive developments that continue to unfold, quietly, in most corners of American life.