How do we know when it’s bigotry, stupidity, or just a bad comparison?

I’m frequently asked to complete YouGov surveys, and I make it a point to respond as much as I can. I think polling data moves public opinion as much as public opinion is revealed by polling data, so I like to play my part. The questions that came up today, in back to back items, made enough of an impression on me that I was compelled to screenshot them…and, of course, post something on FaceBook.

This is what I saw:

I have a hard time explaining these differences without including anti-muslim bigotry in the explanation. It’s the same survey, the same website, presumably the same respondents. But a good chunk of them support a register of people from Muslim countries, but thought it was bad policy to lock up people from Japan. Maybe those people are OK with a registry, but not with internment.

Honestly, if it were the other way around, I might have an easier time justifying it, intellectually. We were actually at war with Japan. We are not at war with any of the countries in the “predominantly Muslim countries” list. In case there’s any thought that I am saying internment was a good policy, please know that’s not the case. I don’t feel that way at all, and the check marks on the image are my votes. I’m just saying that I see a stronger argument in favor of that, awful as it was, than registering people based on the majority religion of their home country.

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