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Study: Blacks Embrace the Growth of Other Ethnic Groups, Believing Diversity Helps the Nation

Hispanics march in Orlando on May 1 2006 to protest government crackdown on illegal immigrants. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.

While some political leaders are hoping that the growth in minority groups like Latinos will lead to greater discord among America’s people of color, a new poll by the Center for American Progress and PolicyLink reveals just the opposite: African-Americans appear to embrace the growth of other minority groups.

Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with 16 statements about rising diversity in America, African-Americans received a higher score than any other group—higher than Latinos and much higher than whites at 84. Asians had the highest score of any race-ethnic group.

The scale was conducted in this way: The level of agreement with each statement was recorded on a 10-point scale, with maximum agreement being 10 and maximum disagreement being zero. From these statements, the researchers created a 160-point index measuring openness to diversity, with zero being the least open to diversity and 160 being the most open to diversity. The overall public received a mean score of 86.5. Asians received a score of 97, African Americans a 93, Latinos a 90 and whites an 84.

The poll also revealed that openness to diversity varied by age and education—the openness decreases as respondents get older and it increases the higher their level of education. Black Millennial generation college graduates received a 105 score on the openness to diversity index, with 94 percent of Black Millennial college graduates agreeing that “a bigger, more diverse workforce will lead to more economic growth.”

Blacks had a high level of agreement on most of the statements, though their lowest level of agreement was on the question, “With more diverse people working and living together, discrimination will decrease.” Blacks agreed at a relatively low 59 percent level, the same level as whites. Asians agreed at 70 percent and Latinos at 66 percent.

Blacks had the highest scores on questions that test support for a new equity agenda to address racial and ethnic inequality, registering more enthusiasm than any other race-ethnic group.

For example, almost 9 in 10 blacks — 87 percent — supported “new steps to reduce racial and ethnic inequality in America through investments in areas like education, job training and infrastructure improvement,” compared to the just 12 percent who were opposed.

In addition, 72 percent of Blacks said such steps would help the economy overall, compared to 6 percent who think they would hurt the economy, while 88 percent of Blacks said they would be willing to invest “significantly more public funds to help close [the] gap in college graduation rates” between Black and Latino students and white students, compared to 11 percent who said they were not willing to make such investments.

 

 

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