Many Americans don't have interracial friendships, poll reveals

An interesting twist in our country's story of race relations. Photo: Associated Press

OCALA, Fla., August 12, 2013 — Race relations have returned to the forefront of our national discussion in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting.

Many social action groups, along with various politicians, lawyers, and celebrities, have been calling for prejudice against blacks to be addressed. Others claim that most modern problems faced by the black community are, essentially, the product of its own actions.

Whatever the case, a new poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos reveals something quite interesting.

“About 40 percent of white Americans and about 25 percent of non-white Americans are surrounded exclusively by friends of their own race, according to an ongoing … poll,” writes Lindsay Dunsmuir of Reuters.

During recent years, many in the American political realm and mass media have emphasized a new era in race relations. This was profoundly influenced by the presidential election of Barack Obama in 2008.

Nonetheless, recent polling shows that things have not gone as planned.

“Public attitudes about race relations have plummeted since the historic election of President Barack Obama, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal,” noted Neil Munro of The Daily Caller last month.

“Only 52 percent of whites and 38 percent of blacks have a favorable opinion of race relations in the country, according to the poll,” he said, “which has tracked race relations since 1994 and was conducted in mid-July by Hart Research Associations and Public Opinion Strategies.

“That’s a sharp drop from the beginning of Obama’s first term, when 79 percent of whites and 63 percent of blacks held a favorable view of American race relations.”

Dunsmuir has more to report about the Reuters/Ipsos poll.

“There are regions and groups where mixing with people of other races is more common, especially in the Hispanic community where only a tenth do not have friends of a different race,” she states. “About half of Hispanics who have a spouse or partner are in a relationship with non-Hispanics, compared to one tenth of whites and blacks in relationships.

“Looking at a broader circle of acquaintances to include coworkers as well as friends and relatives, 30 percent of Americans are not mixing with others of a different race, the poll showed.”

Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 

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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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