The Consequences of Dehumanizing Muslims and Mexicans in America

Let’s face it – the main focus of President Donald Trump’s administration is blocking the United States from minorities that the president considers dangerous. That’s what the news has been buzzing about for a long time already, even during Trump’s presidential campaign.

The result? Obviously, steps have been taken since Trump’s official declaration as president to issue an Executive Order which aims to close the country from seven major Muslim countries. All of these racket just because of the petty assumption that blocking Muslim visitors would lead to the end of terrorism. Unfortunately, the University of Pennsylvania presented a research about the effects contrary to what Trump is fighting for.

The Research

The journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin published a recent study titled “Backlash: The Politics and Real-World Consequences of Minority Group Dehumanization.” Dehumanization refers to dissociating positive human traits from a group of people. The study specifically discusses Americans dehumanizing Mexican and Muslim immigrants. The social experiment was done during the U.S. Republican Primaries in 2016. Also, the research includes consequences of dehumanizing minorities.

Now, let’s find out how the social experiment was done. The researchers presented the diagram called “Ascent of Man” to American subjects. This diagram is known to represent the theory of evolution. The participants must associate groups of people to a certain icon on the diagram. The icons range from the ape to the modern human. What’s alarming is this: The result shows that most Americans associate Mexicans and Muslims with the developing ape-like man. Americans, on the other hand, are placed on the fully developed man.

In addition, the researchers noticed that Americans who dehumanized Mexicans and Muslims are displaying disturbing acts such as giving threats to these groups. Dehumanization can also mean Americans not having sympathy for Mexicans and Muslims, even campaigning for stricter surveillance, limited immigration opportunities and deportation for these minorities.

The immense support of the American subjects for Trump during the social experiment just gives an unhealthy perspective on the new president’s administration – that America is now reigned by dehumanizers.

The Consequences

The researchers found out that the Muslims and Latinos themselves are aware about dehumanization towards their groups. They believed that this could lead to violent actions. They also included that Muslims, once they feel more and more victimized by dehumanization, would most likely become unsupportive in America’s counterterrorism campaign.

Dehumanization is a whole new level of being disliked or discriminated. Hence, it produces more hate from the victimized groups which leads to violence. For example, Americans felt dehumanized by Iranians in the past. So, they didn’t resort to the Iran Nuclear deal. Instead, they preferred war.

When groups of people become aggressive due to dehumanization, they would continue with violence because they feel their actions are justified. Since dehumanization also means not being civilized, then they would do the exact same thing. It’s like giving “a dose of their own medicine” but in a whole new level.

Final Thoughts

Dehumanization is a vicious cycle. It is unhealthy and cruel. I hope it’s not too late to change this perception from most Americans. Disastrous consequences would emerge if these Americans would continue giving a blind eye.