Poll Finds a Racial Divide on Perceived Racial Divide

By Victor Corral Jul 28, 2008

The folks over at Gallup continue to publish groundbreaking results when it comes to race relations among Americans. After their interns poured over the 1,812 interviews with white, brown, and black people, they came to the conclusion that Blacks and whites have “profoundly different perspectives on the prevalence of racism in America.” Turns out about two-thirds of non-Hispanic whites are satisfied with they way Blacks are treated in the US, a far cry from the two-thirds of Blacks who said they were dissatisfied. As one white woman who’s not “entirely comfortable” with interracial dating put it, “they’re better than they used to be, that’s for sure.” For sure… Gallup also found that Blacks and whites are “deeply divided” on how much bias is responsible for the problems in the Black community. Blacks feel that racial discrimination is a major contributor to them, whereas whites think it is a minor factor, if at all. But as one Black woman soberly pointed out, “there are a lot more disadvantaged black people than there are white.” So what is responsible for this perception gap? Is it that whites don’t want to confront inequality and the problems faced by the Black community? Is it that Blacks too often point to racial discrimination as the root of their struggle without considering other factors? Or is it that Blacks and whites are just not talking to each other about these issues and what to do about them? How are we supposed to tackle issues of race and inequality when two-thirds of whites feel that the Black community’s problems are minimal, and that discrimination plays a small role in their creation? Note: Another Gallup finding: 3% of Blacks feel that Bill Clinton speaks for them on the issue of race. Take that Oprah! (She came in last place with 2%)