First National Survey of Minority Views Shows Deep Racial Polarization in US

By Ron Scherer, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, March 4, 1994 | Go to article overview

First National Survey of Minority Views Shows Deep Racial Polarization in US


Ron Scherer, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


HOW do African-Americans feel about whites, Asians, Latinos, and Jews? How do these other minorities feel about each other? And do white Americans feel these minorities have an equal opportunity?

The answers to these questions reveal a deeply polarized America.

In the first national survey of minority attitudes, released on Wednesday, pollster Louis Harris found that people of color believe white Americans are bigoted, bossy, and unwilling to share power. Other minorities had identical feelings of discrimination.

Mr. Harris also found, however, that African- Americans have stereotypical views of other minorities, believing, for example, that Latinos had too-large families and Jews care more about money than people. As part of the same survey, Harris found white Americans believe blacks and other minorities are given equal treatment in education, banking, and police protection.

The poll is distressing to its sponsors. "The survey is a loud wake-up call to everyone who wants to prevent the further division of America into a bickering racial, ethnic and religious set of camps," says Sanford Cloud, the president of the National Conference, which used to be called the National Conference of Christians and Jews. …

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