Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Colorblind Society?

A few days ago, the New York Times had a story which said "In the news media and in popular culture, the notion persists that millennials ... are growing up in a colorblind society in which interracial friendships and marriages are commonplace and racism is largely a relic."  Then the story quoted a number of people: all of them agreed that America wasn't a colorblind society, but most suggested that they were challenging the conventional wisdom by saying that.  

How many people actually believe that we live in a colorblind or postracial society?  I couldn't find any survey questions that used these terms, but several have asked how much discrimination there is.  A 2005 survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates (sponsored by the National Conference for Community and Justice) asked:  Now I want to ask how much discrimination there is against different groups in our society today. Would you say there is a great deal of discrimination, some discrimination, only a little discrimination, or none at all against blacks?"  35% said "a great deal," 44% said "some," 13% said "only a little," and 9% said "none at all."  

The survey also asks about a number of other groups.  The rankings of perceived discrimination against each, counting "a great deal" as 4, "some" as 3, "only a little" as 2, and "none at all" as 1:

Gays and Lesbians          3.21
Muslims                    3.10
The poor                   3.10
Blacks                     3.04
Immigrants                 3.04
People on welfare          3.01
Hispanics                  2.89
The elderly                2.76
People with disabilities   2.74
Women                      2.73
American Indians           2.69
Jews                       2.68
Asians                     2.54
Atheists                   2.48
Fundamentalist Christians  2.46
Catholics                  2.15
Whites                     2.11

No comments:

Post a Comment