Eye-opening poll findings on Zimmerman and views about racism
by Don McKee
July 19, 2013 12:08 AM | 1916 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
Street marches and rallies around the country reflect the feelings of people who see the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin by Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman as racially motivated — triggering the demand for federal civil rights charges to be brought against Zimmerman.

But that’s not what most Americans believe, according to a Rasmussen survey released Thursday. Only 24 percent of those polled said Zimmerman was motivated primarily by racism. Fifty-four percent said he was “chiefly motivated instead by a concern about burglaries in the neighborhood.” Twenty-two percent said they weren’t sure what the motive was.

Another Rasmussen poll found that 48 percent of adult Americans agreed with the jury verdict of not guilty of murder or manslaughter, while 34 percent disagreed with the verdict, and 18 percent weren’t sure about it.

And here’s an eye-opening poll on the question of racism in this country. Rasmussen, in a telephone survey earlier this month before the Zimmerman verdict, found that 37 percent of adult Americans “think most black Americans are racist.” In sharp contrast: “Just 15 percent consider most white Americans racist, while 18 percent say the same of most Hispanic Americans.” That’s news, folks.

The poll showed “a huge ideological difference on this topic.” Forty-nine percent of conservatives consider most blacks racist, while only 12 percent of this group said most whites are racist. Again, look at the contrast with liberals of whom 27 percent said most white Americans are racist — and nearly that many, 21 percent, said the same about black Americans.

This poll also debunked the idea that blacks across-the-board believe whites are racist. Instead, the Rasmussen survey showed 31 percent of black Americans think most blacks are racist versus 24 percent saying the same about most whites. Fifteen percent of blacks said most Hispanics are racist. Once again, there’s a contrast with what white adults said. The poll showed 38 percent of whites said most blacks are racist, but only 10 percent said most whites are, while 17 percent said most Hispanics are racist.

Along political party lines, 49 percent of Republicans surveyed said most black Americans are racist, while 29 percent of Democrats agreed as did 36 percent of unaffiliated adults.

As for the racial situation in America, only 30 percent of the citizens polled rated race relations good or excellent, 14 percent said they are “poor.” Also, 32 percent said relations between the races are getting worse, 29 percent said they’re getting better and 35 percent said they about the same.

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting and the ensuing protests and posturing by Attorney General Eric Holder about a federal investigation, racial relations may be worsening. But maybe not. Maybe the poll cited above indicates at least that racial stereotyping could be on the wane. Maybe the day will come when Americans “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”


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