Monday 2015-12-14

From an NYT op-ed:

Mr. Obama also said, “It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country.” But negative searches about Syrian refugees rose 60 percent. Searches asking how to help Syrian refugees dropped 35 percent. The president asked us to “not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear.” But searches for “kill Muslims” tripled during his speech.
First, parents should be talking to their kids about how the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans pose no threat to them.
-- The Rise Of Hate Search

It could be that when we phrase things from the negative ("reject X" or "more powerful than X"), people notice the focus, i.e. we're priming people to think negatively of X.

So when someone concludes by recommending "X is not a threat", what do you think people's take-away will be?