MONMOUTH, NJ (CBS) – On MLK Day, a new poll is shedding some light on race relations.
While a new Al Jazeera America/Monmouth University Poll finds almost all Americans agree racial discrimination is a problem in the U.S., they’re divided by race on whether or not social integration is a way to fix the problem.
According to the poll, 80% of Americans agree racial and ethnic discrimination is a problem, with half (51%) calling it a big problem and 30% saying it’s a small problem. Two in three black Americans and 66% of Latinos say it’s a big problem, and just under half (45%) of whites agree.
Though nearly all Americans say equality of opportunity is important, they disagree on whether or not greater social integration in daily life is a means to fixing discrimination. Only 36% of those polled said racially integrated neighborhoods were necessary to combat discrimination. Fifty-nine percent of blacks feel social integration is important, as do 47% of Latinos, but just 28% of whites agree. Half of black Americans said they would seek out a racially mixed neighborhood, while only 15% of whites would do the same.
Interestingly, most Americans also feel race relations have deteriorated since President Obama took office. Forty-three percent of those polled said race relations have gotten worse since Obama was first elected, and 40% say there has been no change. Black Americans (68%) were also more likely to say the President has struck the right tone on race relations. Just 32% of whites and 32% of Latinos said the same.
The Al Jazeera America/Monmouth University Poll was reportedly conducted by phone from Jan. 13-15, 2015 and involved 1,003 adults. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
For more on the poll, visit: www.monmouth.edu/polling.