Misinformation leads to bad choices, and nowhere is that more true than policy that affects Black Americans.
On Monday, Pew released results of a survey that show 61 percent or Black Americans, and 45 percent of their white counterparts, believe that race relations in our country are "generally bad." It has gone up dramatically since the poll was last taken in 2008, where the percentages were 59 percent and 34 percent respectively.
The survey reveals other interesting differences. While Black survey takers overwhelmingly blamed lower-quality schools and discrimination for why "some Blacks have a harder time getting ahead than whites," white people seem to be sticking to "family instability" and "lack of good role models" as the cause of the problems that face the Black community.
Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, has debunked the outdated myth of "cultural poverty" in Black communities.
"Because African-Americans are worse off than whites, and they also have more family instability, it is not surprising that so many people confuse the cause and effect," Cohen said to Fusion. "People are always inclined to blame people's lower status on their visible behaviors. However, research shows that instability in Black families is much more a consequence of poverty and hardship than is its cause." He added, "Unemployment, discrimination, segregation, incarceration and health disparities all take a toll on Black family life in America, as they always have."
Unsurprisingly, Republican answers were even more dramatic, saying there is now too much discussion regarding race in America. The sentiment makes sense considering another result in the poll — that a third of white people blame President Barack Obama for making race relations worse.
It is both fascinating, and troubling, to see that people who live in the same country can see the world so differently.
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