Poll shows that people who are a bit racist don’t find Boris Johnson racist

Boris Johnson staring up
John Shafthauer

It’s perfectly possible to criticise face veils without being racist. But instead of doing that, Boris Johnson decided to say the women wearing them look like ‘bank robbers’ and “letter boxes”. People thought this was racist because:

  • It was said by a man with a history of making racist comments.
  • It was said at a time when Muslim women are being harassed and assaulted in the streets.
  • It was said in a country where the idea that Muslim women look like “letter boxes” is literally a far-right meme:

Still though, why explain the nuance of this when we can just do a poll and see what the famously well-informed British public think?

Poll in it together

A poll found that 60% of those asked didn’t think Johnson’s comments were racist. This is the very same British public who – on more than one occasion – voted for Boris Johnson to be in a position of power.

We spoke to a guy from the polling company to find out the purpose of polls:

Nobody knows about everything. Even a genius like Einstein probably knew nothing about bowling shoes or acorns. Despite that, people feel encouraged to have a strong opinion about everything.

This means you can use polls as a counterpoint to things like reason, logic, and evidence. This allows the media to give a more balanced picture. A balance between people who know what they’re talking about and everybody else.


Of course, there is a counter argument for this sort of polling. It comes from a poll I conducted myself in which 70% of the five people I asked said their opinions are dynamite and deserve to be listened to.

So there we have it.

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Featured image via Mohammad Hassanzadeh – Wikimedia [IMAGE WAS ALTERED]

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John Shafthauer