Massachusetts: The ‘You’re Okay’ State

To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, The Daily Beast published a piece on the 20 Most Tolerant States, based on these criteria:

In honor of today’s national holiday, and mindful of the debate fostered by the massacre in Tucson nine days ago, The Daily Beast sought to examine which states are the most tolerant, devising a thorough point system that measures each state’s residents based on their actions and opinions, as well the scope of state laws guaranteeing equal rights and protections, which reflects the broader political will.

The good news:

Massachusetts made the Top Twenty, banging in at #18:

Tolerance score: 59 out of 100
Hate crime score: 18 out of 40
Discrimination score: 23 out of 40
Gay rights score: 10 out of 10
Religious Tolerance Score: 8 out of 10
Hate crime incidents per 100,000 residents: 5.1 (43 out of 50 states)
Discrimination cases filed per 100,000 residents: 21.1 (37 out of 50 states)
Population in support of same-sex marriage: 62%
Population that believes many religions lead to eternal life: 79%

Campaign Outsider Full Disclosure (pat. pending): I have no idea what the first five stats mean.

The bad news:

The Bay State trailed the Empire State, which ranked #17:

Tolerance score: 59 out of 100
Hate crime score: 18 out of 40
Discrimination score: 27 out of 40
Gay rights score: 6 out of 10
Religious Tolerance Score: 8 out of 10
Hate crime incidents per 100,000 residents: 3.3 (35 out of 50 states)
Discrimination cases filed per 100,000 residents: 17.8 (31 out of 50 states)
Population in support of same-sex marriage: 58%
Population that believes many religions lead to eternal life: 77%

Want anecdotal evidence of New York’s superior tolerance? Look no further than this week’s New York Times Metropolitan Dairy:

Dear Diary:

It’s not at all unusual for New York neighbors, if asked nicely, to water your plants or feed your cat while you’re traveling for the holidays.

Our neighbor David used to take care of our daughter’s goldfish, Sushi. Not only did he feed Sushi, but he also told Samantha that he “aired” the fish by carrying her around the block in a paper cup.

Now I’ll have to hide this Diary, because even though it’s been years since she believed in Santa, I think Samantha still believes that David walked her fish.

Alice Henry Whitmore

Anyone in your neighborhood willing to “walk your fish”?

I didn’t think so.

Bonus MLK Day Tolerance Quote:

Before TNT’s NBA broadcast Monday night there was a tribute to King that included commentary from the cable network’s roundball analysts. When talk turned to contemporary battles for civil rights, the issue of gay equality came up, and Charles Barkley – a man, remember, who claimed he was misquoted in his autobiography – said, honest to God:

I love the homosexuality people.

Just one more reason to love Charles Barkley, we say.

 

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6 Responses to Massachusetts: The ‘You’re Okay’ State

  1. arafat kazi says:

    I guess if we all make an effort and each commit one less hate crime in 2011, we’ll be rubbing shoulders with Wisconsin and Illionois in no time. It’ll be tough, but I’ll try my best to limit myself to no more than 2.7 hate crimes per quarter.

  2. Steve Stein says:

    Of all the places I’m familiar with (MA, NY, NJ, OH, NC, IL), Massachusetts is still the most segregated by far.

  3. CAvard says:

    I’m having a hard time reconciling that Vermont is not in the top-ten. Our state passed civil unions first in the nation and passed and overrode the governor’s veto of marriage equality.

    Whatever.

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