July 23rd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
13 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.

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Filed under: Polls
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    I think one of the biggest differences in how the blacks and whites each view America are the concepts of democracy and majority rule.

    Most whites see those topics as laid out in the Constitution. A document written by and for whites at time when blacks were slaves.

    Most blacks see those topics as the majority making the rules for the minority. There is no hope of or concept of "my party" will win the next election and we will be the majority.

    This latter view is exemplified by recent cries of reverse discrimination and denunciation of affirmative action. The shoe got put on the other foot and whites found it to be most uncomfortable.

    But, like the book "Black Like Me", whites knew recourse was available. Also like the book, blacks knew there was no escape from a life of being in the minority.

    July 23, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Richard

    Race relations continue to improve decade by decade..When Obama becomes president there is no reason why blacks cant rise from nothing and make something of themselves. He will set the example for others to follow... No more excuses!

    July 23, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    I can't understand why there is any discrimination between races today as the Republican Party and Religous facists have moved on to focusing their discrimination against gays and lesbians. Just ask Larry Craig or Dick Cheney.

    July 23, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. JDM

    The Dominate race in the USA use to be white in the 60's-70's.
    (70-85%). This foundation is still in place!
    However, 2008 has shown that the global need of all people has change the way we should respond to the Domination.

    World Communication has allow the injustices no where to hide!
    You can be told about something, but you now can find out about it your self with a computer!!!!!!!!!!

    The domination of ones culture or history by another is dying a hard death!

    If this report was done 20 years ago, it migth have been 100% opposite. But the percents are moving to the center.
    Progress is slow, BUT IT IS MOVING.

    July 23, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    Thanks for the reminder... It's always been that way... 4real!
    What's to comment on? Neither group can walk in the other's shoes


    July 23, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. James Greene


    July 23, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Barack the Vote in RI

    what else is new...

    July 23, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. GREG


    July 23, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. MD in GA

    This isn't a surprise. Unless you are the victum of discrimation directly, it is easy to think things aren't as bad as they are. Kinda like people who have never been overweight think losing weight is easy.

    In 2007 a co-worker described me as the following: "She nice enough I guess. Kinda looks like Aunt Jamima.

    How's that for the stats on discrimination.

    July 23, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Look at the number of black people stopped by cops and compare it to whites. IT is plain as day.

    On the other hand a white man is racist if he said black hole but it is ok for woppi to say the n word.

    racism will not stop until it is looked at on a even plain

    July 23, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Tjaye in LA

    Of course whites will say that racial discrimination against Blacks is not a problem....that is like men saying sexism is not a problem for women. They aren't the ones being discriminated against, so they don't see a problem. Duh!!

    July 23, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Mike - Texas

    There is deffinitely a desparity between blacks and whites and hispanics for that manner and a lot of it comes from lack of education.

    A good education leads to better pay and better pay leads to higher self esteem. Better pay and better self esteem tend to lend oneself to dressing better and attaining more respect.

    Case in point; I would have NO problem standing on a street corner, or anywhere for that matter, and talking with several well dressed African American men and I have. But put me on that same corner with the same African American men, wearing shabby, baggy oversized pants, and wearing their shirt outside those pants, I won't even go near them, because I would fear them.

    Perception is everything, and respect is earned, not given.

    And then you always have those who get in your face to prove that they are better than you, whether they are black, white, green, yellow, or purple, I despise them all equally.

    And YES, I do work with a number of well dressed African American men and I do treat them with the respect that they have earned. And they are good people!

    All I have to say is care enough to make sure that your kids to get a good education.

    July 23, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. T&t

    I am a White American that agrees 100% that AfricannAmericans are still victioms of racial Disscrimanation. An example one time I whent to grab a six pack of beer. I was with an African American female that was waiting in the car for abou 5 minutes. Just before I was ready to leave I tryed to do the righyt thing by informing the Police officer that I have a light out. Instead he insisted that there was drugs in the car, and that I was picking up a prostatute. He search the car found nothing at all. Then made a smart comment that I got a way with somethi9ng. So in fact there is still Racism, However there has been progress. For example the possibility of Barac Obama being Preasident of the USA.

    July 23, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Henry n New York

    As a middle aged black man in America I have to agree with the results of the survey. Most of White America would not believe race to be an issue because it has something that most other American's of any race don't have. It has the financial and geographical ability to surround themselves almost exclusively on professional and social levels with only other White Americans. All other cultures are required to interact to some degree with some White Americans and as a result most of those interactions involve the White American as being in the position of authority or power. Leading to the ability to be insensitive, inconsiderate or out right racist, even if not intended. Will there always be race issues – no. Future generations will nullify the psychology behind racist behavior and it will become a memory several generations into the future.

    July 23, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. The Right Vote - Obama

    Good thing we have a very viable presidential candidate that can represent both races from a true personal perspective.

    July 23, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. McAwesome

    No, i heard it all when Rev Wright spoke about the white man still oweing the black man for slavery 200 years ago. I dont know how anybody can expect to move on and truly get on together when people still believe that EVERY white man is racist.

    I was brought up in a mixed area and dont care about color, so am pretty shocked, and think its only going to get worse if (god forbid) Obama is elected in November

    July 23, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |

    Did you know that companies in the US have said they would hire a white
    man with a felony record and no high school education BEFORE they would
    hire a black man with NO criminal record and a 4-year degree?


    July 23, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Obama Supporter from Texas

    Let's move beyond the racial factor and come together as a nation.

    Obama '08

    July 23, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Candice Valentine

    I agree that the race relations problem will always exsist here in America. The issues are usually swept under the rug as if it isn't a problem. Reperation is still an issue and we have yet to be compensated for being treated inhumane and what's crazy is we still are treated inhumane in situations as if this isn't 2008. I'm tired of my young African American children hating themselves and who they stand for because someone else isn't accepting of their race. Little African American girls choosing a white doll over a black doll because the black doll is so called "bad". The white doll to them is the "good" doll and the black doll is "bad".

    July 23, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Linda Esen

    CNN ; wow no one had made a comment – could it be beacuse we are tired of your random Racially motivated pieces. Everybody and their momma kows that the two racis experiece tings differently...why are we even discussign this.

    July 23, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Brooke

    Discrimination against any one in any form is wrong. But, in order to rectify inequalities we shouldn't create more inequalities in the process.

    July 23, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Polls don't always tell the story

    If whites or any other ethnic group moved and lived within an area where the majority of people were black, you would find those individuals would disagree with this poll. The pollsters need to be a little more diverse on the individuals they poll. Go talk to someone who is not black that lives among them and see what they say. If they talk to a black person living among a majority of whites, you will probably get the same answer. I have never in my life met anyone who was every contacted for any news organization poll. That tells me a lot right there!

    July 23, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Rocky Michigan

    I think the Black leadership damages race relations. Many times they seem to be the racists such as the rush to judgment in the Duke Lacrosse case. Sharpton and Jackson attacked these Students when the only thing they really seem to know was the race of the people involved.

    July 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. TSAH

    LATELY – all CNN can talk about is RACE!!! Take it from the YOUNG AMERICANS, who mostly see NO color at all. This explains the heavy "flow" to support Barack Obama – who represents ALL COLORS!!!

    The worst thing we can talk about CONSTANTLY now is RACE. The more YOU talk about RACE – the more YOU separate the RACES!!! It seems as if CNN is trying to divide the country, piss people off, making it more difficult for those who MAY BE thinking about voting for Obama – change their minds because there is a BATTLE going on!!!

    GET OFF THE "HATE TRAIN" about RACE and talk more about how the RACES "are" together!!!!!

    Thank YOU!!! OBAMA 08!!!

    July 23, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. William, from Cali!

    We aren't suppose to! We a different!.......................Rev. Wright told you that, what you weren't listening?

    July 23, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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