Poll: Majority of Americans are racist

It’s a stunning poll that the Associated Press released today on one of the most invisible news days of the week. More than half of all Americans have negative attitudes toward African Americans, it says.

Though it’s within the margin of error of a similar poll in 2008, it confirms there is no such thing as post-racial America.

“As much as we’d hope the impact of race would decline over time … it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago,” Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor, told the AP. He worked with the news organization to develop the survey.

Fifty-one percent of Americans express explicit anti-black attitudes, it says. About 52 percent have anti-Hispanic attitudes.

The poll finds that racial prejudice is not limited to one group of partisans. Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).

“These findings should not surprise anybody,” political reporter Ron Fournier writes in the National Journal today. “Whether you’re white, black or brown, ask yourself: Do you harbor racial attitudes you wouldn’t share in pleasant company? You almost certainly have friends or relatives whose honest views on race make you wince. Does anybody really believe we’ve made the full journey to racial equality?”

Judged only by the poll results, however, it’s hard to say there’s been any movement on the journey to racial equality, at least in the last four years. The survey shows that electing a black president caused a backlash against African Americans in particular.