Poll: One in 10 Americans Believes Businesses Should Be Able to Discriminate Against Blacks, Jews

For our latest dispatch from the front lines of racial inanities comes this: A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute reveals that one in 10 Americans believes small business owners should be free to refuse to do business with African-Americans on religious grounds.

Interestingly, a slightly higher percentage advocated discrimination against Jews.

The study shows that while a solid majority of Americans reject the notion that businesses should be allowed to refuse to serve African-American, Jews, gays and lesbians or atheists, there’s still a group of diehard racists among us — as if we needed a poll to prove that.

When presented with African-Americans, Jews, gays and lesbians, and atheists, it was discrimination against gays and lesbians that had the most support, while refusing service to African-Americans had the least.

When respondents were asked if it should be legal to refuse to do business with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on religious grounds, 16 percent of them said yes and 80 percent said no. As for atheists, 15 percent said yes and 81 percent said no. With Jews, 12 percent said yes and 85 percent said no, while for African-Americans it was 10 percent yes and 87 percent no — revealing the surprising finding that there was potentially more bias against Jews than Blacks.

The poll was done with 1,000 adults via telephone, with a margin of error of 3.1 percent. 

As for whether “the right of religious liberty is being threatened,” 54 percent of respondents said yes and 41 percent said no.


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