AP Poll: Racial Prejudice In U.S. Worsened

AP Poll Racial Prejudice In U.S. WorsenedRacial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.

‘Explicit anti-black attitudes’

Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people’s more favorable views of blacks. Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.


‘Growing polarization’

Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test. The survey on Hispanics had no past data for comparison. The AP surveys were conducted with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan and NORC at the University of Chicago. Experts on race said they were not surprised by the findings.

“Part of it is growing polarization within American society,” said Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. “The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race. There’s been total silence around issues of race with this president. But, as you see, whether there is silence, or an elevation of the discussion of race, you still have polarization. It will take more generations, I suspect, before we eliminate these deep feelings.”

Were you surprised with the result of this poll or not? Feel free to share your ideas regarding this issue!

Image: NY Daily News

Indian Woman Annuls ‘Child Marriage’ Legally

A young woman has had her child “marriage” legally annulled in northern Rajasthan state, in what is thought to be the first case of its kind in India.

Laxmi Sargara, 18, wed Rakesh when she was just one and he was three. She grew up with her own family, only finding out she was married when her in-laws came to claim her this month.

Child marriages are illegal in India but are still common in many parts of the country, especially in rural and poorer communities. She knew nothing of her future life until a few days ago when her groom’s family came to take her home with them to start her new life as Rakesh’s wife.


After appealing to her parents Laxmi sought help from a local non-governmental organisation, the Sarathi Trust in Jodhpur city. At first Rakesh wanted to go ahead with the marriage. But he relented after counselling from the NGO. Since child marriages are not legal under India’s Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, both Laxmi and Rakesh signed an affidavit declaring the marriage null and void in the presence of a notary public in Jodhpur.

Narayan Bareth, a journalist in the state capital Jaipur, says a recent survey found that 10% of girls in Rajasthan are married off before the age of 18. There have been several cases of young girls refusing to get married in India but these are rare cases, correspondents say. According to Unicef, 40% of the world’s child marriages take place in India, although recent efforts to stop the practice mean the number of such marriages has declined.

What is your view regarding child marriages? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

Source: BBC News

Image: Gulf News