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View Full Version : Poll: Most Americans see lingering racism -- in others


roarke
Dec 13th, 2006, 06:31 PM
CNN) -- Most Americans, white and black, see racism as a lingering problem in the United States, and many say they know people who are racist, according to a new poll.

But few Americans of either race -- about one out of eight -- consider themselves racist.

And experts say racism has evolved from the days of Jim Crow to the point that people may not even recognize it in themselves.

A poll conducted last week by Opinion Research Corp. for CNN indicates that whites and blacks disagree on how serious a problem racial bias is in the United States.

Almost half of black respondents -- 49 percent -- said racism is a "very serious" problem, while 18 percent of whites shared that view. Forty-eight percent of whites and 35 percent of blacks chose the description "somewhat serious."

Asked if they know someone they consider racist, 43 percent of whites and 48 percent of blacks said yes.

But just 13 percent of whites and 12 percent of blacks consider themselves racially biased.

The poll was based on phone interviews conducted December 5 through Thursday with 1,207 Americans, including 328 blacks and 703 non-Hispanic whites.

Blind to bias?
University of Connecticut professor Jack Dovidio, who has researched racism for more than 30 years, estimates up to 80 percent of white Americans have racist feelings they may not even recognize.

"We've reached a point that racism is like a virus that has mutated into a new form that we don't recognize," Dovidio said.

He added that 21st-century racism is different from that of the past.

"Contemporary racism is not conscious, and it is not accompanied by dislike, so it gets expressed in indirect, subtle ways," he said.

That "stealth" discrimination reveals itself in many different situations.

A three-year undercover investigation by the National Fair Housing Alliance found that real estate agents steered whites away from integrated neighborhoods and steered blacks toward predominantly black neighborhoods.

"Racism here is quite subtle," e-mailed CNN.com reader Blair William, originally from Trinidad, who now lives in Lexington, South Carolina. "I think that the issue is twofold. I believe that white America's perception of blacks is still generally negative based on their limited interaction with blacks, whether this is via the media or in person. ...

"On the other hand, black Americans need to stop devaluing themselves and their people," he added. "Another race can only respect you if you respect yourself and currently, I find that blacks still devalue and disgrace each other and themselves."

Applicants' names may sway employers
Racism also can be a factor in getting a job.

Candidates named Emily O'Brien or Neil McCarthy were much more likely to get calls back from potential employers than applicants named Tamika Williams and Jamal Jackson, even though they had the same credentials, according to a study by the University of Chicago.

Racial bias may even determine whether you can flag a cab.

New York Times writer Calvin Sims recently wrote about his experiences in the city.

"If a cab passes you by, obviously it is frustrating, it's degrading and it's just really confusing, because this is akin to being in the South and being refused service at a lunch counter, which is what happened in the '60s and '70s," he said.

'Differences ... make this world exciting'
The Opinion Research poll shows that blacks and whites disagree on how each race feels about the other.

Asked how many whites dislike blacks, 40 percent of black respondents said "all" or "many." Twenty-six percent of whites chose one of those replies.

On the question of how many blacks dislike whites, 33 percent of blacks said "all" or "many," while 38 percent of whites agreed -- not a significant difference statistically because of the poll's 5 percent margin of error.

About half of black respondents said they had been a victim of discrimination because of their race. A little more than a quarter of whites said they had been victims of racial discrimination.

"I am a firm believer that racism is rampant in the United States," wrote another CNN.com reader, Mark Boyle, of Muncie, Indiana.

"The concept of 'race' is flawed," he added. "Our differences as human beings are what make this world exciting and interesting. If we were all of the same culture, how boring would that be? The world needs to take a page from the atmosphere in Hawaii -- the most racially diverse place in which I have lived."

samsung101
Dec 13th, 2006, 08:27 PM
I guess the professor needs to keep his job safe, so this type of
'poll' helps that along.




It's America. We're pretty much a bunch of mutts, we all blend
one way or another sooner or later.

Blacks can be just as prejudice towards whites and hispanics,
as hispanics can be towards blacks and gays and whites, etc.,
it all goes round and round. White people are often the minority
these days,not the majority.

If you want to live in an all white or all black or all hispanic
neighborhood, that's pretty easy to do.

But, if you don't, that's easy to do too.


The fact is that Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, etc. often live and
work with one another by choice.


The name thing, yes, I do know first hand that can be something
that gets attention in job reviews. I don't know if it keeps anyone
out of a job, but, it can be a tip off. Mohammad, Humberto,
Tanishkwa, Mandela, Nguyen, whatever, you'd be dumb not to see
that as a hint about the person applying for a job or a rental
home or loan.

But, being in So. Cal., it's pretty hard to not to see a little of
everything here...every color, religion, religion, nation, sexual
orientation, etc. - we're just a big hodgepodge, with a huge
latin flavor.

Helen Lawson
Dec 13th, 2006, 08:36 PM
The article is not encouraging. I said it before, you'd have to have been raised in a bubble or something not to have at a minimum some racist thoughts and feelings, it's part of the culture. If you can recognize it in yourself and see how it may effect your decisions or behaviors, then that's the progress to improvement, because if you can't even see it in yourself, then nothing will change. I always cringe almost unconsciously when I see a white woman with a black man, and I don't think I'm the only one but at least I admit it and realize it's just a bunch of bullshit so maybe in 10 years, I won't cringe anymore.