Perceptions and Realities

Perceptions and Realities

Tension may exist between Blacks and Hispanics over jobs and political power in the United States, but a new study shows that both groups feel primarily threatened by Whites. In turn, only 20 percent of Whites are concerned about other racial groups.

“There is tension, but it’s misleading for the press to imply [that] Hispanics and Blacks are primarily concerned about each other. They’re not,” says Dr. Vincent Hutchings, an associate professor of political science and lead researcher of the University of Michigan’s National Politics Study.

The study, which consisted of interviews with 3,300 people nationwide, found that Blacks were twice as likely as Whites to feel that more good jobs for one racial group meant fewer jobs for them. Hutchings also found that the groups most likely to feel threatened were the same groups who felt that they had suffered historically in America. More than 80 percent of Blacks felt they’d been treated unfairly, compared to only 15 percent of Whites.

Less than 20 percent of Whites agreed that other racial groups represented a political threat to their group. About 57 percent of Blacks and 53 percent of Hispanics, however, identified Whites as competitors.
Most interestingly, the stronger individuals felt about membership in their own group, the more likely they were to view other groups as competition. Sounds like an endorsement for diversity.



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