LatinaLista — A new NPR-Pew Research survey, Blacks See Widening Values Gap Between Poor and Middle Class, has a lot of interesting findings.
Yet, the one that deserves further study is a section on how Whites, Blacks and Hispanics view problems in local communities.
White, Black and Hispanic “Survivor” Players
It’s no wonder that some think life is perfect for everyone.
The Pew study is about 65 pages long. That’s a lot of data touching on a wide variety of racial issues.
The most telling piece of data sheds light on how far removed Whites are from issues that impact Blacks and Latinos disproportionately.
It has to do with evaluating problems in local communities.
Before I begin, I will concede that there are pockets of areas comprised overwhelmingly with Anglo residents but the vast majority of suburbs and towns are a mixture of ethnicities. In turn, these diverse communities include Whites, Blacks and Hispanics among their residents — one’s community should be everyone’s community, but…
When the 1,536 White respondents were asked if unwed motherhood was a problem in their communities, 33% said yes; lack of good jobs, 45%; crime, 21%; drop-out rates, 18% and quality of schools, 17%.
On the other hand, 1007 Black respondents replied a tad differently to the same questions: unwed motherhood, 50%; lack of good jobs, 58%; crime, 49%; drop-out rates, 46%; quality of schools, 32%.
It’s not surprising at all that the 388 Latino responses closely mirrored the Black respondents: problems with unwed motherhood, 51%; lack of good jobs, 67%; crime, 49%; drop-out rates, 47%; quality of schools, 33%.
Beyond a difference of opinion and perspective, the answers in this section reveal how White Americans have insulated themselves from the problems plaguing Blacks and Hispanics.
Even if unwed motherhood and drop-out rates were taken off the table, since it’s documented that the majority in both categories are Blacks and Latinos, that still leaves crime and quality of schools.
If it’s one community, it would stand to reason that at least these two issues would impact White Americans equally but they don’t.
Is it because in “white” neighborhoods there is more police patrol and/or quicker police response times?
Are the schools, public not private, just fine because school districts tend to listen better and react more quickly to the complaints of white parents?
One other question in this list that was posed to all 3,086 respondents was if they considered illegal immigration to be a problem in the local community. Contrary to what Washington would have us believe, only 30% of Whites and 28% of Blacks saw it as a problem — far fewer than the rhetoric we hear that ALL Americans find it to be a problem.
However, 44% of Latinos said it was a problem. In thinking about why the disparity between the Hispanic response compared to Whites and Blacks, it dawned on me that the Latinos answering the question weren’t saying that illegal immigrants were a problem but the enforcement tactics of illegal immigration was the problem.
For Latinos who live in those neighborhoods or work in those jobs where home or worksite raids are happening, this would indeed be a problem — a traumatic one that touches their lives.
All in all, this survey reinforced one thing that many who advocate for civil and human rights have been saying all along — the rights/lives of people of color are still being violated but because the White majority don’t see it or refuse to acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist.
Pretty soon though, it’s the White majority that won’t exist — and what will happen then?