July 23rd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Blacks, whites don't see eye-to-eye on race relations

(CNN) - A new national poll suggests that black and white Americans don’t see eye-to eye-on race relations and racial discrimination.

In a CNN/Essence Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday morning, 43 percent of African-Americans questioned say that racial discrimination against blacks is a very serious problem, with only 11 percent of whites agreeing. On the flip side, 42 percent of whites surveyed say that racial discrimination against blacks is not a serious problem, with only 12 percent of blacks agreeing.

More than half of blacks questioned say they’ve been the victim of racial discrimination. But only 32 percent of white respondents said they’ve been a victim of discrimination because of their race, a difference of 24 points.

There’s also a difference of opinion when it comes to the future. Fifty-one percent of blacks polled say that race relations will always be a problem in the U.S. Only 41 percent of white respondents agreed.
When it comes to their children, a slight majority, 55 percent, of black respondents with kids under the age of 18 say they feel financially secure to provide for their children. That number rises to 72 percent for whites questioned in the survey.

The survey was conducted from March 26 to April 2, with 2,184 adult Americans, equally split between black and white respondents, questioned by telephone.

The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus two percentage points.

Black in America - Stories of success, struggle, pain and pride. Don't miss this CNN special documentary series, reported by Soledad O'Brien. Tonight, 9 ET


Filed under: Polls
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. JO-ANN FROM NEW YORK

    I AM AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND I SEE RACISM ALMOST EVERYDAY IN MY COMINGS & GOINGS.....

    I ALSO SEE HOW RACISM IS SHOWING IT'S UGLY FACE ON THESE BLOGS WHEN IT COMES TO OBAMA AND THIS ELECTION.

    WHITE AMERICANS CAN'T RELATE TO RACISM BECAUSE THEY HAVE DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE AFRICIAN AMERICAN LIVING IN A COUNTRY THAT MURDERED MY ANCESTORS JUST BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN.

    IT REALLY NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED...AND WITH THIS ELECTION PROCESS IT'S REALLY SHOWING IT'S UGLY FACE....SOME OF THE BLOGGERS SAY SOME VERY HATEFUL THINGS ABOUT OBAMA AND HIS FAMILY.....AND MY QUESTION IS: HAVE WE SEEN THIS KIND OF NAME CALLING IN ANY OTHER ELECTION....NO BECAUSE THERE WAS NEVER A AFRICAN AMERICAN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT BEFORE...

    IT SEEMS THAT SOME WHITE AMERICANS ARE AFRAID TO HAVE A BLACK MAN FOR PRESIDENT, NOT THAT HE CAN'T DO THE JOB, BUT JUST THE MERE FACT THAT HE'S "BLACK"....AND FOR WHITE AMERICANS TO SAY WE CALL EVERYTHING RACIAL WITH THE COMMENTS THEY MAKE ABOUT OBAMA....WELL ISN'T IT....WHEN I READ COMMENTS LIKE "KOOL-AID DRINKERS", GORILLAS, BLACK PEOPLE ARE LAZY AND ETC....

    YES AMERICA...THE RACIAL ISSUE NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED...

    July 23, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. ME

    Well of course they don't see eye to eye. Whites don't see racism as a problem to blacks because they are the majority in this country. They are the ones that are usually racist towards others, so they rarely experience it. Sorry, but alot of Whites are totally delusional. They have no idea the struggles that blacks and other minorities face.

    July 23, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Herman in LA

    You know why because of people like you the media that has controlled the minds of so many Americans for so long to fuel the race relations that exist today.

    People are not born to hate it is taught...

    July 23, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Ms. RDS

    Yes, there are always going to be race relations problems in this country, but we can work to reduce those significantly. I think some white Americans don't understand the problems that some AA face, so when we talk about it people think we want sympathy or want you to feel guilty, or are looking for a handout. That's not the case, pointing out an obvious problem does not constitute what is defined as pulling the race card. We (black people) are not one homogenous group there are so many aspects to our culture, but people always fall back on the typical stereotypes and this is why we can't move forward. The stupidity of hating millions of people based on what u see on t.v. and the fact that their skin is darker than yours is absurd. Ironically, we might share 95% of your same views as far as religion, education, family and morals go.

    July 23, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. From Northwest Indiana

    Race relations is a serious issue here! I guess the 89% of my race are looking the other way or are in serious denial!

    Lets all talk openly and be frank about it with eachother and maybe it will be less of an issue we sweep under the table.

    July 23, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Brenda

    Ya think?

    July 23, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Jake145

    This country has had hundreds of years of stability for whites at the exspense of others, their chances of providing economically for their own is much greater. This is the reason they don't see the problem because they haven't endured what others have. Truth is when people are stolen, striped, chained, shiped, whiped,sold, chained again, told they are not human's, sold, sepereated, sold, murdered, THEN, run, hunted, caught, beaten, sold, starved, THEN set free with no place to go, forced into sharecropping (slavery), buy land only to have it stolen, get hung, beaten, raped, whiped, striped, and then have to march, sing, pray, get jailed, hung, beaten, JUST to VOTE, go to school, get books etc...this for HUNDREDS of years...there is a problem.

    July 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Hispanic For McCain

    How crazy this country has been its beginning to be a Third World Country why is it that African American AA is supporting OBAMA by a margin of 95% and it is NOT Racist and if 70% of White Votes support McCain then they are going to say that the 70% percent white votes going to McCain they are racist. Why is it that the Liberals Morons START a racist comments on all their News such as MSNBC, CNN, and the rest of the Newspaper like NY Tines, LA Times and etc etc. Liberal Dem always start racist comments about race. I can only say that the Hispanic Community are to SMART for all of this Crap!!!!. Hispanic are going to vote on who is the Best qualify to lead this country!!!!! and the Majority of the Latinos knows that John McCain is the better leader for this nation of ours!!! and that is a fact. Liberals stop the Hate of RACIST and let the American People decide to whom they want to vote. By the way why won't you post WHY AA is 95% percent for obama is that RACIST you tell me? CNN post the comments!!!

    Hispanic for McCain!!!

    July 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Kelly

    The government can't teach equality to our children. Parents, families and the village have to.

    July 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. Chris

    So, I'm white and descriminated by all the time when I go to a business that is either black owned or worked. I notice that when I'm up to pay, I'm treated like I'm "white". When a black customer goes up to pay, they are talkative and act like best friends. Why can't I be someones friend?

    July 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Diane

    As long as Caucasians have an advantage in this country, why should they want things to change. What's sad is when minorities value the Caucasian race more than their own race, such as Asians and Latinos. It's really sad.

    July 23, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Jim

    I think it's time for the so-called leaders in the black community to quit whinning and placing the blame for the problems within the black communties on discrimmination. Many of the problems can be corrected with the right leadership. Leadership that is focused on the real problems and not continually focusing on the word "equallity",which seems to be a buzz word or rallying cry within the black present leadership. When the black community comprices
    only around 14-15% of the total population within the U.S., why should
    they think and demand that they should share equally in running the government, industry or anything else in this country. Yes, they should have the same rights and priveliges that whites and others have, and I beleive they do, inspite of what the news media says. The problem is, that many, if not most are not taking advantage of the opportunities
    given them. When immigrants from other countries can come here without even knowing our language and customes, and make a good life for themselves and their families and acheive a part of the American dream, then why is it that over 50% of the black community is still living like they were 30-40 years ago, in poverty. The key word
    is hard work and desire, or lack of it and being locked in a mindset of depentance. It's time for the Black leadership to quit whinning and get
    to motivating their people to achieve what others with lesser abilities
    have achieved. With God, "all things are possilbe, only believe".

    July 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Jake145

    This country does not belong to white people. It belongs to all people! The day white americans decided "what can I do to help" things will start to change. Thank God our youth are starting to see the light, because our many of our ancestors messed up and we are paying the price. We don't have to worry about Bin-Laden, we are our own worst enemy. A house divided cannot stand, and an unbalance scale is ...A MESS

    July 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Scott L

    So if this is true and racism is as pervasive as they are saying it is, then one could argue that Obama doesn't stand a chance in November.

    July 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. NoBamaEVER

    Thanks MEDIA- for adding and fueling the racial hype this election year. Is there no other news?
    Were they discriminated against becasue they were stupid or based on color?
    By that I mean-what was the situation? Genuine discrimination because of race or discrimination of acting like an idiot?
    Get real!
    Your so called report has no evidence to back up the suggestions it makes.
    What were the ages and socio-economic backgrounds?

    Nothing but stupid hype....

    July 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Willow, from Iowa

    Of course, we would see it differently. We don't have the same experiences and have not seen the same things in our lives. I am biracial, look lily white. So my perceptions are different then both races. Its as if I am standing on the sidelines watching my ancestors win or lose. I have the white experience but the black lineage, far enough back in my family that I have never met them. But that drop of blood says that I am AA in the South.

    All of our experiences in this country are good, bad or somewhere in between. Even in families, our experiences are good or bad. In one family, you can have 5 children that laugh and enjoy talking about a memory, and 2 other siblings remember it with horror. So even within a family, you can have two different viewpoints. Imagine the differences between 1 million people.

    Times are changing. Of course it is changing slowly, but it is changing. The older AA people see a dividing line. The younger AA people don't see that line anymore.

    July 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Linda

    Has anyone asked white people how often they have been the victims of racial discrimination?

    July 23, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Julien_French man from Paris

    Who cares what is race or you colour, come to Paris and you will see black girl mixing with withe boy, black man mixing with white girl, Asian mixing with black and white, Arabic mixing with white...

    Who honestly care?

    People really need to change their mentality in US because otherwise it will never change.

    It's not the color which make the distinctions between people; it's their non sense and their stupidities...

    And For all the pastor, minister, reverend or whatever who use the colour against one another, Christ himself knows that you guys don't belong to him because he came for all of us..

    merci beaucoup

    July 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. dormar

    please stop asking the black and white ?

    July 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Mervin Malone Jr.

    Of COURSE whites and blacks don't see eye-to-eye on race relations; it's a very relative issue. I am black, and while I don't think that everything in American society is a matter of race, I do feel that racism remains a pervasive issue throughout the culture. Whites aren't going to view it as negatively as blacks because they haven't lived in our skins and walked in our shoes - the same way I can't understand what life is like for a white person. It's all relative. I mean - look at how differently and knee-jerk whites acted in 2000 with the controversial Florida election results. Blacks were disproportionately disenfranchised in Florida voting places, but many whites - perhaps a majority - thought we were just "complaining as usual"....

    July 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. Cricket

    This probably won't get posted, most don't, but I am afraid racial discrimination does still exist in our country. I'm white and 63 yrs. old and if some comments made re: this election are any indication, there is no doubt many are made against Sen. Obama. I hope I will live to see the bright young people in our country bring about many needed changes. Of course, those making the comments are ashamed to admit it-I don't blame them-I would be too.
    We have the opportunity to have an intelligent young man serve our country as president, I hope we don't blow It!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    July 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Zaneta

    Race relations and Race discrimination will always exist. Not with just blacks and whites, but with other races too.
    I see no point in making the issue bigger than life. An ignorant person (black, white, asian, etc.) will show their colors every day, it's just up to you to let something like that affect you. I'm black, an although I've been a victim of discrimination (and im only 20), I see others my age and not my race experience it too. My parents made sure I had every opportunity to make something of myself, and taught me that only person who can hold me back is me!

    July 23, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Susan

    Why do you keep trying to bring race into the race? If the madia would do their job and report on the issues and plans the candidates have, then people can make their decisions based on the person, not their race! Get over this stuff already.

    July 23, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Denise Groves

    That is because white people have their heads in the sand. White people are not comfortable discussing race issues. Like Whoopi told Lizzie.. We are not "balanced." The playing field is not leveled.

    Whites like to sat it is, but it isn't. On the other hand, a lot of Black people are responsible for their own misery: not continuing their education, children they cannot afford, etc.

    July 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. bernj

    Well blacks and whites, for the most part, did not see eye to eye on slavery either.

    Discrimination is not a problem for folks who are not being discriminated against. It is, however, a real problem for those who are.

    July 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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