Mark Dolliver: Can’t We All Get Along?

Attention to ethnic tensions in the U.S. typically focuses on whites vs. other groups. We get a different perspective from a New America Media poll that looked at how black, Hispanic and Asian Americans regard each other. It found relations among these groups distinctly uneasy.

One key question asked people in each cohort to say who they “feel more comfortable doing business with”—whites or each of the other two groups? Among black respondents, 47 percent picked whites, 6 percent Asians and 10 percent Hispanics, while 37 percent said they have no preference. Among Hispanic respondents, 61 percent chose whites, 4 percent Asians and 3 percent blacks, with 32 percent voicing no preference. Among Asians, 53 percent picked whites, 7 percent Hispanics and 3 percent blacks, while 37 percent said they have no preference.

People in each cohort seized the chance to vent about the others. Two examples: 46 percent of Hispanics and 52 percent of blacks endorsed the statement, “Most Asian business owners do not treat us with respect”; 51 percent of blacks agreed that “Latin American immigrants are taking away jobs, housing and political power from the black community.” The chart at left indicates an underlying cause of inter-ethnic wariness.

The daily weigh-in

If stepping onto a scale counted as exercise, 12 percent of Americans could congratulate themselves on getting a daily workout. In a global Synovate poll, that’s the number of U.S. adults who said they weigh themselves every day. (The figure was even higher in France, at 15 percent.) The poll found one-third of Americans use home exercise equipment—as coat racks, perhaps?