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
[email protected]

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
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....