Racial Attitudes in the U.S. have not improved since Obama
Anti-black sentiments rise in US: Poll
Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:53PM GMT
New figures reveal that racial attitudes have not improved in the US since the country elected its first black president Barak Obama.
According to an Associated Press poll released on Saturday, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey.
The results released by AP were conducted by GfK Custom Research using explicit and implicit questions about race and included interviews with 1,071 adults between August and September 2012.
“As much as we’d hope the impact of race would decline over time … it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago,” said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with Associated Press to develop the survey.
African-Americans reportedly talk openly about perceived antagonism toward them since Obama took office.
“Part of it is growing polarization within American society,” said Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.
“The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race. There’s been total silence around issues of race with this president. But, as you see, whether there is silence, or an elevation of the discussion of race, you still have polarization. It will take more generations, I suspect, before we eliminate these deep feelings,” he added.
The poll results also showed that most Americans express anti-Hispanic sentiments as the number of non-Hispanic whites who express anti-Hispanic attitudes rose from 52 to 57 percent in the implicit test, compared to a 2011 survey.
Alan Jenkins, who was an assistant solicitor general during the Clinton administration and now executive director of the Opportunity Agenda think tank, noted that negative racial attitudes can be seen in policies.
“That has very real circumstances in the way people are treated by police, the way kids are treated by teachers, the way home seekers are treated by landlords and real estate agents,” Jenkins said.
Racial profiling and racism have been surfacing in the United States during recent months.
On October 22, an African-American woman was set on fire by alleged KKK attackers in the state of Louisiana in the most recent act of racism.