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98 percent believe there is racial discrimination in the U.S.

98 percent believe there is racial discrimination in the U.S.

A poll sponsored by The Episcopal Church finds a near universal belief that there is a discrimination in the U.S.

A new national poll commissioned by the Episcopal Church has found that nearly all Americans (98 percent) feel that there is at least some discrimination in the United States today.

Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69 percent) feel African-Americans are discriminated against, the highest of any race. In addition, six in 10 (63 percent) feel Hispanic Americans are discriminated against, while five in 10 (51 percent) feel Native Americans and nearly four in 10 (39 percent) feel whites are discriminated against.

Generally, individual races feel they are discriminated against more than other races. This is particularly pronounced among African-Americans and white respondents….

The poll results will be a topic of discussion in an upcoming forum:

These findings and others will be explored by a distinguished panel of national experts including Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, and former Mississippi Governor William Winter during a public forum on Nov. 15 in Jackson, Mississippi, Fifty Years Later: The State of Racism in America.

The forum will be webcast live from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral and keynoted by the presiding bishop. Details are available here.


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Marshall Scott

Well, Vicki, many of our congregations engage in social service activity; and I hope our prayer and worship and study affect how at least Episcopalians see public policy. As Chesterton said in the voice of Father Brown (“The Chief Mourner of Marne,” if you’re interested), we are all too prone “to forgive those sins [we] see not as sins but as conventions.” Moreover, with a few small exceptions, we Episcopalians are relatively equally distributed among the larger society. So, it doesn’t hurt for us to remind ourselves things aren’t just “all right.” I’m glad this is not news for you. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some of us prone to ignore it.

Vicki Zust

I have a different question. Why on earth is the Episcopal Church sponsoring a survey like this? There is not new information here, and we are neither sociologists or creators of public policy. If this is an example of the stewardship of 815 – or whatever we are supposed to call DFMS now – then we need to seriously clean house

Katie Sherrod

And where are the questions about Asian-Americans in this poll?

John B. Chilton

From the ENS report:

“Hispanic (62 percent) and African-American (52 percent) respondents are more likely to strongly agree than white (41 percent) respondents that they can think of three close (non-family) friends of a race other than their own. People who live in the South (74 percent) and West (79 percent) are more likely to agree than those living in the Midwest (64 percent) or Northeast (65 percent) to agree.”

Example: I know 12 people. I have a 1/3 chance of being a friend with one of them or an expected value of 4 friends. If 3 of the 12 are minorities and I am not, then my expected value of being friends with one of them is 1. If I am a minority then my expected value of friends from the 9 is 3.

It don’t think we can infer from the reported differences that minorities are more likely to form friendships with someone not of their race.

Likewise, the south and west numbers compared to other regions could be explained by differences in the percent minority in those regions, raising the expected value of the number of friends not of the same race in the south and west. No?

I do think there’s something here: “Minority respondents in general feel that white Americans have gotten more, economically, than they deserve. African-American (58 percent) and Hispanic (49 percent) respondents are more likely than white respondents (28 percent) to agree that white Americans have garnered more economically than they deserve. This disparity was not nearly as prevalent when respondents were asked about other races receiving more economically than they deserve.”

I don’t want to quibble over the word “deserve” (because I can’t think of a shorthand myself) but I interpret this as revealing beliefs about white privilege. I’m convinced it exists. I’m disappointed that so few whites see that reality. And I’m surprised that so few minorities want to go there — to see it as they are held back by discrimination rather than that whites tend have an easier time getting ahead because they knew the right people or were born in the right neighborhood or went to the right church, etc.


Whites truly need to walk a mile in the shoes of African-Americans and Latinos if they think that they are being discriminated against.

Jonah Kraut

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