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Prejudice Against Blacks on Rise Since '08: AP Poll

More than half of Americans express anti-black attitudes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2012 9:35 AM CDT
Prejudice Against Blacks on Rise Since '08: AP Poll
Racial prejudice is still a big part of modern America, according to a new AP poll.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

(Newser) – Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the US elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.

  • In all, 51% of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48% in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56%, up from 49% during the last presidential election. (The full link has examples of questions.)
  • The poll finds that racial prejudice is not limited to one group of partisans. Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79% among Republicans compared with 32% among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties.
  • Overall, the survey found that by virtue of racial prejudice, Obama could lose 5 percentage points off his share of the popular vote. However, Obama also stands to make up some of that (3 points) because of pro-black sentiment, researchers said.

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"We have this false idea that there is uniformity in progress and that things change in one big step," says Jelani Cobb of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut. "When we've seen progress, we've also seen backlash." (Read more racism stories.)

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