Poll: Minority groups don’t trust each other

Asian Americans, Latinos and African Americans have a deep mistrust of each other and engage in significant stereotyping, a poll found, but a majority of those surveyed said they should put aside differences.

The nationwide survey was sponsored by New America Media and was conducted partly in response to the fallout from AsianWeek’s publishing of a column titled, “Why I hate blacks” by an Asian American writer. Among the findings:

A majority of Hispanics and a significant percentage of Asians believe in the concept that every American has an equal opportunity to succeed. By contrast, the majority of Black respondents – 66 percent – disagreed with that notion.

Blacks overwhelmingly believe the criminal justice system favors the rich and powerful; most Hispanics and an even larger majority of Asians disagree.

A large majority of each group believes that they should put aside their differences and work together on issues affecting their communities; they also say the country would be better if more from all three groups were inpositions of authority at universities, businesses, media and government.

All three groups are optimistic about the future. Strong majorities of each group believe that racial tensions will ease over the next 10 years.

The result certainly show that American society is segregated in many ways. One nugget that was interesting was that most people surveyed have never dated outside their race. But Pollster Sergio Bendixen told the Miami Herald that a 2006 poll of California youth done for New America Media found that 65 percent had dated outside their race.

“Black and Latino and Asian meant nothing to them,” Bendixen said. “They were much more likely to define themselves in terms of music and fashion. They’re colorblind. We’re moving in that direction, but very, very slowly.”

So there’s hope for the future.

A version of this post was originally published on Hyphen magazine’s blog.