Race in America by the Numbers

Robert has an interesting post on race. Actually, it’s a rant about a Montel Williams show that discussed racism. I did an entire series called Dialogue on Race and Politics. Race is such a dicey topic in the country that you venture into at your own risk. It is very easy to find yourself on the opposite end of a rant and being called a racist if you’re white or labeled with having a victim mentality if you’re black.

I did some research and found a poll about the attitudes of Af.Am on the pressing issues facing the Af.Am community. Here is what I found.

What I found is that as much as people talk about racism, only 9% of the respondents thought that racism was the most pressing issue facing the Af.Am community. Education and the Economy topped the list with those between the ages of 18-40. With this same group, racism rated higher only over illegal drugs.

But lets look at the opinions of white and black people when it comes to some of the issues facing the black community.

Sorry I am missign the headers.

You’ll notice that if you add the percentages of people that say an issue is a big problem and somewhat a problem, there is not much difference between white people and black people. Even on race relations, black and white people felt about the same.

What about race relations?

So what I can determine from these numbers is that when placing race into a larger context, black people don’t view it as a major issue. When ask specifically how race plays into certain areas of life, black people tend to think that race plays a bigger role in what is happening to them, specifically when it comes to access to opportunity.

Overall, racism is barely a top ten concern with black people once you add the war in Iraq, terrorism and outsourcing to the mix. The biggest problem is with politicians and media folk using racism to further their agenda…


12 Responses to Race in America by the Numbers

  1. Vent Your Spleen! Says:
    This was interesting, albeit a little confusing.

    I think it's very difficult to lay out and compare all those pretty tangible, easily-grasped, easily-measured issues--crime, education, social security, unemployment, etc.--against the more abstract one of "race." I mean, you either got a job, or you don't; and crime rates in one's area are readily accessible. But how do you measure a problem called "race"? Can't do it. Oh, it's clearly there, but it's intertwined with, and can be a causal factor in so many of the other issues you mentioned (no job because of my race, maybe?) that I don't think it's possible to pull it out and measure it against those other issues in such a simplistic way. Maybe if the questions were formed slightly differently, and then race as an issue extrapolated from the responses, then maybe race would show up as a more significant problem (e.g., How big a part do you think race plays in the availability of healthcare in your community? Very Large Significant Moderate Mild Not Much)?

    Or am I just missing something?

    And are there headings missing on the charts that are supposed to show how blacks and whites feel about certain issues, like kids born to teen mothers? I could not tell which rates went with which race.
  2. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    09 29 06

    James, VYS is correct I think you are missing some headers on the intermediate charts! Nevertheless, I like what you have shown which is that the average everyday Black person has racism on the radar, but it is not a consuming issue to the extent that other things are! Regarding education that is good. Looking around it is hard to guess that it is such a priority for us, but perhaps living in Northern California really skews perspective.

    If we lived in the South, I am certain we would see a greater emphasis on education etc, due to the number of Black colleges that facilitate learning....

    Well in some sense, my post is an extension of yours. I talk about how we should emphasize science and math education more!
  3. Bushwack Says:
    James, I thank you for your comment on my post. I haven't done the research like you have and I know this subject is near and dear to your heart.
    I have dealt with racism as you know and I was uncomfortable about writing the post
    I hope I did it in an acceptable manor.

    My rant was over the way it was done not the topic itself.
  4. James Manning Says:
    Sorry, I was in a rush and forgot that part. hopefully it shows up now.


    I think you were on point with your rant. My purpose was to note that there are more important topics that black people care about but the discussion of race is often skewed from the reality of how we feel as individuals.
  5. bold as love Says:
    Where was the chart that listed the percentage of how many people think Bush is the devil- lol
    Seriously, great post.
  6. mark Says:
    Good post James, we have got bigger fish to fry in the black community besides racism, such as the hiv rate which will kill a lot of black people in the next 10 years unless folks get tested and treated.

    Also Mahni was right math and science are the most important things black people could study and immerse ourselves in because it would give us a fundemental understanding of the world that would allow us to make solid decisions in all other areas. Peace.
  7. Bloviating Zeppelin Says:
    James: Mark hit upon a very important topic. And your research has indicated that of which concerns us all.

    Self survivial is paramount.

    Borders. Language. Culture.

    It concerns both you and me.

  8. taylor Says:
    Hi James!
    Mark is right on point with the idea that we need to focus more on what's killing off our community.HIV is paramount in the black community.

    It's nice to see we don't think racisim is such a huge issue, I just wish we wouldn't get too comforatble and start forgetting how we got to this nice and comfy place in time.

    I love your community posts James, you're awesome!
  9. mark Says:
    Can someone please tell me why the black church is still blaming aids on homosexuals. Could it be that way too many black preachers are practicing immoral behavior themselves? Anyway the black churches attitude is causing lots of black people thier lives. Its a little like what the sout african goverment is doing about the aids problem there.
  10. mark Says:
    Roger Clemens is in a steroid scandal. If they find out that a signifigant amount of pitchers used steroids that totally deflate the hate barry bonds buble.
  11. woodrow241 Says:
    So would you say that this poll data supports what some "black conservatives" have been saying about the outdated focus of old guard black leadership?
  12. James Manning Says:
    I would say that the old guard has their niche and they are sticking with it. However, the dynamics in the black community are such that to narrow everything to race is counterproductive.

    Someone has to talk about race and I think there are those that do it better than others. But there are issues that require a different approach.