Zogby/Game Show Network publishes report card on Prejudice in America

Zogby International and Game Show Network (GSN) conducted a poll on prejudice in America.

The results are startling:

New Zogby/GSN Survey Reveals That:
- A Racist Lives Next Door - Most Americans believe they don't make decisions based on race... but think their neighbors do
- A gay President is OK, but most Americans wouldn't sanction his or her marriage

Respondents also think most Americans believe:
- Republicans are most responsible for many of the world's ills
- Muslims are most likely to engage in terrorism
- People least want to work with the morbidly obese

Here are the highlights of the report.

Most Americans believe their fellow citizens would prefer a white clerk in a store, blame Republicans for global warming, and think Muslims are the most likely to engage in terrorism, a newly released poll on biases revealed.

The "Report Card on American Prejudice," a Zogby/GSN survey and one of the most comprehensive ever conducted on prejudice, found that most Americans believe they don't make decisions based on race. Rather, they think their neighbors do.

While 55 percent of respondents said race relations have improved over the past 10 years and 67 percent claimed to have no preference themselves between a white, black or Arab clerk in a convenience store, 71 percent believe "most Americans" would prefer the white clerk. Only 1 percent said Americans would first seek out a black clerk and less than 0.5 percent said the same for an Arab clerk.

In the event of a shooting, 73 percent said most Americans would expect African Americans to be involved. Fifty-five percent said the same in the event of a drug bust. But in the event of identity theft, 53 percent said most Americans would expect whites to be involved; and 70 percent said the same in the event of insurance fraud.

“Over my years of polling, I’ve learned that Americans tend to offer socially acceptable responses when questioned on their own views about race and prejudice. That’s why in this poll we predominantly asked people about 'most Americans'' views on race and prejudice," said pollster John Zogby. "We believe this provides a far more accurate window into how people really think about these issues. Americans are more forthcoming when discussing the problem in the context of their neighbors’ lives than in the context of their own lives.”

On religion, 83 percent said they believe Americans think Muslims are the most likely to engage in terrorism; 42 percent believe Americans would be most concerned about their child dating a Muslim; followed by an atheist (17 percent); and a Mormon (14 percent), the survey revealed. Moreover, 37 percent believe Americans think Catholics are most likely to be involved in sexual abuse – far more than any other religious group. On views toward Jews, the survey reported only a few instances of Americans believing their neighbors hold negative views.

When asked about politics, 62 percent said most Americans blamed Republicans for war; global warming (56 percent); prejudice (52 percent); poverty (49 percent); corruption (47 percent); and crime (23 percent).

On sexual orientation, 62 percent said they believe Americans oppose same-sex “marriages;” 58 percent said they believe Americans would elect a gay person for president while 57 percent said the same for an Arab-American and 51 percent for an atheist.

Among other findings, 93 percent think Americans believe men are most responsible for crime, extra-marital affairs (82 percent), and sexually transmitted diseases (72 percent). Also, 26 percent said they believe most Americans would least want to work with someone who is morbidly obese; someone with a facial disfigurement (22 percent); and someone who is deaf (3 percent) and blind (1 percent).

The “Report Card on American Prejudice” is part of a wide-ranging effort by GSN to spur a national dialogue on intolerance and bigotry. The survey by Zogby International and commissioned by GSN was conducted on 10,387 American adults.

Press release from PR Newswire.

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