A new study produced by a group of university professors found that most Americans surprisingly report experiencing very little discrimination.
Campus Reform reports that the study, led by Professor Brian Boutwell at Saint Louis University, consisted of reviewing response data from a survey of more than 14,000 Americans. It found that the vast majority of respondents claim to have “never” or “rarely” been a victim of discrimination.
“For the entire sample, about 25 percent claimed they had felt discriminated against. It was lower than what we might have thought going into it,” said Boutwell .
Racial minorities did report facing more discrimination, of course, but racial disparities were not nearly as high as expected; only 31 percent of blacks, for example, reporting experiencing discrimination “sometimes” or “often.”
Just 27 percent of Hispanics responded similarly, followed by 23 percent of whites, followed by 18 percent of Asians, according to the study.
That was the good news; the bad news, Boutwell warned, is that "[p]eople have rightly pointed out that 25 percent of the population is a lot of people. That’s still millions of people. That's far higher than what we'd like to see. Ideally, you want that number increasing towards the mythical zero point.”
Yes, ideally. But it does seem to put to the lie the notion, promoted by individuals like Colin Kaepernick and organizations like Black Lives Matter, that America is a white supremacist nation which oppresses "people of color."
Boutwell went on to say that “we always want to be striving for a lower percentage of folks that feel discriminated against. But even so, when you have three quarters of the sample saying ‘no,’ that's an interesting finding. And that was true across racial and ethnic groups."
Since respondents were asked about discrimination in general (as opposed to exclusively racial discrimination), the survey captures a wide variety of discrimination experiences.
Interesting indeed. Not only that, but when asked about the reasons for being discriminated against, most respondents rejected race as a motivation. Instead, most chalked up their negative experiences to other causes such as personal appearance or political views.
Boutwell explained that while he “can’t speculate,” discrimination on the grounds of political views may be on the rise.
“If anyone feels that their political alignment creates blowback for them in daily life, that's one possibility,” he said, noting that it’s a “a reasonable one, given the data on political polarization.”
Boutwell concluded by cautioning against using his findings as definitive, saying “it’s not a perfect measure of discrimination” and “more research needs to be done.”