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ETHNIC ISSUES:
Study in Contrasts: Multicultural Poll


The nation’s first multilingual poll of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans has uncovered serious tensions, but a majority also said they should put aside differences and work together. A Siliconeer report.


(Above, left): Sandy Close, founder and executive director of New America Media. (Right): Sergio Bendixen, CEO of Bendixen and Associates presenting the findings on the Poll of Race Relations in Los Angeles.
The nation’s first multilingual poll of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans has uncovered serious tensions among these ethnic groups, but a majority of each group also said they should put aside differences and work together.

“This extraordinary poll reveals some unflattering realities that exist in America today,” said Sandy Close, executive editor and director of New America Media, the nation’s first and largest collaboration of ethnic news media. “The sponsors of the poll strongly believe the best way to move forward is by identifying the problems and initiating a dialogue that can bring ethnic groups closer together in their fight for equality and against discrimination.”

The poll of 1,105 African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic adults found that the predominantly immigrant populations — Hispanics and Asians — expressed far greater optimism about their lives in America. By contrast, over 60 percent of the African Americans polled do not believe the American Dream works for them. Blacks also described themselves as more segregated from the rest of America than the other groups.

The poll found that friction between ethnic and racial groups is rooted in the mistrust that the groups harbor towards each other, as well as the sentiment that other groups are mistreating them. For instance, 44 percent of Hispanics and 47 percent of Asians are “generally afraid of African Americans because they are responsible for most of the crime.” Meanwhile, 46 percent of Hispanics and 52 percent of African Americans believe “most Asian business owners do not treat them with respect.” Half of African Americans feel threatened by Latin American immigrants because “they are taking jobs, housing and political power away from the Black community.”

Moreover, the three groups seem more trusting of whites than of each other. The poll found that 61 percent of Hispanics, 54 percent of Asians and 47 percent of African Americans would rather do business with whites than members of the other two groups.

“The poll reaffirms that . . . there are serious racial problems between minority groups in America,” said Sergio Bendixen, an expert on Hispanic and multilingual polling. “Blacks feel they are left out of the American Dream and are being displaced by newcomers, and each group buys into the negative stereotypes about the other two. What’s clear is the need to dissolve this friction. The poll results show that the overwhelming majority of ethnic Americans want that positive outcome.”


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COVER STORY
Unsung Heroine:
Agnes Smedley

American feminist Agnes Smedley played a key role in assisting Indian freedom fighters in the U.S. and in Europe in the beginning of the 20th century, writes Ved Prakash Vatuk.


HUMAN RIGHTS
Humble Heroine:
Mukhtar Mai in Sacramento

Mukhtar Mai was declared Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year for her fearless stand against sexist oppression. She recently visited Sacramento, and our reporter Ras H. Siddiqui was there.


SUBCONTINENT
Midair Near Misses:
Air Traffic Crisis in India

India’s exponential growth in air traffic is now the cause of a missed mid-air collision every 15 days, writes Siddharth Srivastava.


OTHER STORIES
EDITORIAL: Unsung Heroine
NEWS DIARY: December
PHOTO ESSAY: 2007: Year in Review
OVERSEAS INDIANS: GOPIO Awards
TRIBUTE: Goodbye, Benazir
SCIENCE: A Close Relationship
ETHNIC ISSUES: Study in Contrasts
SUBCONTINENT: India’s New Boom
TRAVEL: Bear Valley, Calif.
HEALTH: Pregnancy 101
COMMUNITY: News in Brief
INFOTECH INDIA: Round-up
MUSIC: Kal Ki Yaadein Concert
AUTO: 2008 Acura MDX
BOLLYWOOD: Taare Zameen Par
BOLLYWOOD: Guftugu
TAMIL CINEMA: Mirugam
RECIPE: Hot Kachri
HOROSCOPE: 2008 Yearly Forecast

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