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Survey Reveals Ethnic Tensions, Hopes

The first national multilingual poll of Asian, Black, and Latino Americans reveals tensions between the three groups as well as shared hopes for racial progress and recognition of a common destiny.

A poll of 1,105 Asian-American, African-American and Latino adults taken in August and September and released today by New America Media, a national ethnic media association, showed all groups agreed by large margins that racial tension is a major problem in this country. A clear majority of Asians and overwhelming majorities of Blacks and Hispanics agreed their communities are subjected to “a lot of discrimination.”

The poll explores tensions between groups and stereotypes held by the three groups about each other, revealing “some unflattering realities,” said NAM executive editor Sandy Close. But it also finds majorities agreeing that Hispanic culture has enriched all Americans, and that Black leadership on civil rights has helped all ethnic groups.

Belief in the “American Dream” that hard work is rewarded was much stronger among the predominantly immigrant groups. Some 55 percent of Latinos and 80 percent of Asians are foreign-born, and 74 percent of Latinos and 64 percent of Asians believe that “if you work hard you will succeed.” Over 60 percent of African Americans disagree with that proposition.

And 71 percent of African Americans said they believe that the criminal justice system in the U.S. “is for the rich and powerful”; majorities of Hispanics and Asians disagreed.

Overwhelming majorities — ranging from 86 to 92 percent — agreed that African Americans, Latinos and Asians have similar problems and should put aside differences and work together against discrimination and for equality. All believe ethnic media has a responsibility to bring Latinos, African Americans and Asian communities closer together. And all three groups said they believe relations between different racial and ethnic groups will improve over the coming decade.

Founded in 1996 by Pacifica News Service, New America Media is the largest collaborative of ethnic media in the nation. It produces and aggregates editorial content from and for ethnic media outlets and publishes an annual directory to America’s ethnic media. The group is based in California, where it reports that ethnic media are the primary news source of over half the state’s new ethnic majority.

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Category: African Americans, Asian Americans, immigrants, Latinos, media, race

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