Diversity in the U.S.: Americans Getting Along, but Divisions Remain

Katy Steinmetz, TIME, September 6, 2011

In a report called “What It Means To Be American,” two think tanks surveyed Americans on their attitudes toward their fellow citizens. While the results suggest that people embrace the idea of diversity, they also show a country that is sensitive to religious and ethnic divisions–particularly when beliefs are broken down along party lines.


About 9-in-10 respondents said that the country was founded on the idea of religious freedom and that all religious books should be treated with respect. More than 8-in-10 said they have favorable opinions of African-Americans, Hispanics, Catholics and Jews. Smaller majorities said they feel favorably about Mormons (67%) and Muslims (58%).

But the sentiments were more complicated when demographics come into play: left-leaners and Millennials are, predictably, more comfortable with non-whites. While 65% of Democrats have favorable views of Muslims, for example, 47% of Republicans do. {snip}

Many people see themselves as the primary targets of prejudice. When asked whether discrimination against minorities is a critical issue, 17% of whites agree, compared to 42% of Hispanics and 53% of African-Americans. Meanwhile, 51% of whites say that discrimination against them is as big of a problem as discrimination against minorities, and those numbers rise to above 60% among Republicans and Tea Partyers.



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16 Responses to “Diversity in the U.S.: Americans Getting Along, but Divisions Remain” Subscribe

  1. highduke September 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    YES! If you lived through the 80s, 90s & 2000s then you know how lucky we are to get these figures so quickly and if you lived through the 60s & 70s then you must be absolutely ecstatic. Bottom line: Tea Party all the way but this time make sure that true Conservatives use the NeoCons to keep big-business with the GOP rather than be used by the NeoCons to attract conservative voters.

  2. ice September 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    “51% of whites say discrimination against them is as big a problem as discrimination against minorities.”

    And the other 49% might as well be living in a cave if they don’t know what the 51% know. It’s called out-of-touch or having your head where the sun doesn’t shine.

  3. Anonymous September 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    A lot of whites foolishly think they aren’t discriminated against just because they have money. This kind of thinking always leads to death in the long run.

  4. Hirsch September 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Can someone please explain to me how people developed more unfavorable views of Mormons that of African-Americans? As for Muslims, once they reach a plurality in Europe, Geert Wilders is probably bound to be regarded as an oracle on the order of Nostradumus.

    So where are the Mormon flash mobs? What percentage of home invasions, rapes, and murders are committed by Mormons? The results of this study are counter-intuitive. These people must have been polled on opposite day.

  5. Awakened September 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Fifty-one percent of Whites agreeing that discrimination is greatest against Whites is a great accomplishment with the incredible conditioning job that has been perpetrated on White Americans in the last 45 years or so. That’s a great figure. I have no doubt that that figure will rise. It needs to be 100%.

  6. Alexandra September 8, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    I was discriminated against back in 1989, at my first job (I was 16). I was the only White person working at a suburban fast-food joint–everyone else was black. My dad asked the manager why I wasn’t getting more hours and she flat-out told him that white girls don’t work as well as black girls.

    Dad, being the kind of man he was, took that ball and ran with it. (He was the kind of guy who said that any black that was not his friend was a n***er.) The upshot was, the manager wound up getting transferred.

    We really wanted to see her fired…. *shrugs*

  7. rockman September 9, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    The other 49% will find out how things are before too long.

  8. Anonymous September 9, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Discrimination against whites will only increase in the future. As long as the naacp and splc can get media attention it will only get worse.

  9. Anonymous September 9, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Other than Mormons having their own belief system as well as many other religions in America I have to say after years of doing business with a fair amount of them they are some of the Whitest conservatives I have ever met and are not afraid to say what they feel and will act upon keeping up a Christian moral society.

    If it ever came down to it I’d rather they were on my side than against me.

  10. Mr. Smith September 9, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    “left-leaners and Millenials are, predictably, more comfortable with non-whites.”

    No they’re not. They have no experience living around non-whites, other than what the msm spoon-feeds them.

  11. my shepherd EATSblks September 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    black mob violence. link below.


  12. June Warren September 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    A good friend is a celebrated, award-winning author and university instructor. His university had a position open for a full professorship with tenure. My friend applied and appeared to be the best applicant by a long shot. HOWEVER, the position was awarded to a young black woman who had just finished her PhD. She had written no publications or books, much less any awards.

    Of course my friend could not complain or even appeal, he would have been branded a racist. But he did frame and display on the walls of his office the dust jackets of his 10 books, the first pages of his dozens of scholarly papers, PLUS a large plaque for writing what was judged to be the BEST book written one year in the entire country in his particular field.

    This was several years ago…since then he has had more publications and was voted by the students as one of the best lecturers on campus. The woman who was GIVEN the full professorship has still written nothing.

  13. Marc B September 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    “The other 49% will find out how things are before too long.”

    The summer of 2011 will go down in history as the summer of the Mahogany Mobs. The blatant cognitive dissonance concerning the media coverage of this issue woke up a lot of sleeping whites. I see a future where large numbers of whites bypass the Drudge Report and go first to AmRen for the news.

  14. Anonymous September 10, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    I think if we factor in the fact that many Whites exhibit a tendency to default to the “politically correct” answer, we can draw three conclusions:

    1. The number of Whites feeling discriminated against is actually higher.

    2. The fact the number was so high (51%) indicates a growing willingness to “speak out” because of frustration that is only growing.

    3. The frustration and willingness to speak out will only grow, and in time will reach a tipping point. When it does, frank and open discussion that doesn’t follow the rules of political correctness will result in yet another iteration of Black versus White (and vice versa) disputes.

    And while many Blacks and Whites will yet again be content to wallow in the misery of “the legacy of slavery” and argue about inequality, the Latinos will have quietly (but rapidly) established majorities across the country.

    I predict that when Blacks and Whites finally stop to look up from reliving, revising, and arguing over a history no one alive took part in, they will realize they have become a part of history themselves. For then, America will belong to the Latinos who will care less about the “plight” of Blacks or Whites and all the “baggage” they insist on carrying around and “gifting” from one generation to the next.

  15. Anonymous September 12, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    number 12- Your friend needs to leave the college he is at and find a better place to teach.

    My brother was a white male, a junior Professor at Bard College. He had just completed his Phd. A black female from South Africa complained to the Dean that my brother was a racist.

    He was required to go before the Dean and explain himself . He resigned and left the US for field work,and when he came back he became a professor outside the US, where his students are white and there are no Black African students. He has tenure now and is publishing a book. He gave up the United States to get away from Diversity. Also, my brother is a liberal, he hates white people, if the black female has listened to him she would have noticed he trashed his Irish ancestors.

  16. Seek September 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    So 51 percent of whites believe they are as much victims of discrimination as minorities. Huh? Since when are nonwhites victims of discrimination AT ALL? The whole point of affirmative action — er, diversity — is to ensure nonwhites are the beneficiaries of discrimination.

    As for the other 49 percent of the whites — they are even more clueless. God, I tremble for the future of this nation.