…and on another level, it’s misleading and false.
“But beyond this, if one looks at the survey results, one finds that
- the median number of people about whom respondents were talking was just three (average 3.4), and
- many of those people were family members — spouses or partners, parents, children, and siblings.
The study thus doesn’t mean that “three quarters of whites don’t have any non-white friends,” under any normal unmodified definition of “friends.” Rather, it is (more or less) that “three quarters of whites don’t have any non-whites among their three or four closest confidantes, including family.” Or, if you prefer, one can rephrase it as, “one quarter of whites has a non-white as a close family member, or within their one or two closest confidantes.” (I say “more or less” because this doesn’t map precisely on the study results, since some people reported no confidantes at all, and some reported seven — three is just the median.)”