Welcome!

News Feed Item

Racial Discrimination: How Far Have We Come?

Despite some perceived improvements, 45 years brings little change in perceptions that Blacks are discriminated against in some key aspects of life in America - and change for the worse in others

NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In the midst of Black History Month, it is perhaps an appropriate time to examine some of our nation's historical racial divides and reflect on changes that we as a country have seen over time. As far back as 1969 and 1972, The Harris Poll measured perceptions among U.S. adults as to whether blacks were discriminated against in a variety of areas of American life.  A new Harris Poll revisits the same line of inquiry and finds that, 45 years later, there have been some sizeable changes – along with a disparaging lack of change in some regards.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,236 adults surveyed online between January 15 and 20, 2014. (Full findings, including trended data tables, available here)

Perceptions of discrimination declining in some areas...

In many ways, Americans – not only collectively but when looking at blacks and whites individually – are less likely to perceive discrimination against blacks than they were 45 years ago. These drops in perceived discrimination are largely in areas related specifically to opportunity or housing/accommodations, and are encouraging. Top examples include drops (compared to 1969) in the perceptions that blacks are discriminated against...

  • ...in getting hotel and motel accommodations (down 19 percentage points among Americans overall, 32 points among African Americans, 20 points among whites);
  • ...in getting decent housing (down 16, 21 and 18 points, respectively); and
  • ...in getting skilled labor jobs (down 13, 22 and 13 points, respectively).

...but rising dramatically in others
However, when turning to broader issues there are areas of troubling growth in perceived discrimination. Most notably, roughly six in ten Americans (59%), including 85% of African Americans and 55% of white Americans, now believe blacks are discriminated against in the way they are treated by police; this represents more than a twofold increase among the general population (up 34 points) and nearly a threefold increase among whites (up 36 points).

While the perception that this type of discrimination exists shows more moderate growth among African Americans (up 9 points), it could be argued that with a starting point of 76% in 1969, there was far less room left for perceptual growth when compared to the general population and whites (which were at 25% and 19%, respectively, in 1969).

  • An additional factor to bear in mind when considering the larger growth in perceived discrimination among white Americans is that most did not believe such discrimination was occurring in 1969, while the majority believe it exists now – a considerable shift in public attitudes which may enable deeper, more honest discussions in the future toward the goal of addressing issues of inequality.

Another area where Americans in general, and African Americans specifically, are more likely to believe discrimination exists is in the way they are treated by the federal government

  • In 1972 (the first year this particular area of American life was tested), only 13% of Americans, including 41% of blacks and one in ten whites (10%), believed discrimination against blacks existed in this area.
  • Today 23% of Americans believe this to be the case, including six in ten African Americans (60%) and 16% of white Americans (representing 10, 19 and 6 points of growth, respectively).

"No news" is bad news
It's an old cliche that no news is good news, but it doesn't always ring true. In fact perhaps the most compelling evidence of ongoing problems is the shifts not revealed in this series.

In 45 years, Americans' likelihood to believe that blacks are discriminated against in getting full equality is virtually unchanged (from 47% in 1969 to 45% in 2014); this also holds true among white Americans (43% in 1969, 41% in 2014).

  • While this perception has decreased marginally among African Americans (down 6 points since 1969), perhaps the more important takeaway for this group is that nearly eight in ten (78%, compared to 84% in 1969) believe they are discriminated against in this manner today.

Turning to the way blacks are treated as human beings, there have been only marginal shifts in comparison to 1969 in the perception that they are discriminated against in this area. The perception has risen slightly among Americans overall (up 5 points, from 39% in 1969 to 44%) and whites (up 4 points from 35% in 1969 to 39% in 2014).

  • Though it has lessened slightly among African Americans, it is worth noting that over seven in ten believe this type of discrimination exists today (71%, down from 77% in 1969).

Some improved perceptions among African Americans since 2008

While the primary focus of the study was to see how far we have – or haven't, as the case may be – come since 1969, some changes are notable in comparison to more recent history as well. In comparison to December of 2008, just after President Obama was elected into office, the perception among African Americans that they are discriminated against in several areas of life in America show notable drops:

  • In getting a quality education in public schools (down 22 points, from 67% in 2008 to 45% in 2014);
  • In getting decent housing (down 14 points, from 76% to 62%, respectively);
  • In the wages they are paid (down 13 points, from 76% to 63%, respectively); and
  • In getting skilled labor jobs (down 13 points, from 74% to 61%, respectively).

These findings represent the first in a two-part series on the state of discrimination in the United States.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between January 15 and 20, 2014 among 2,236 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #15, February 13, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll
212-539-9600
rcorso@harrisinteractive.com

SOURCE The Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to ch...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...