Professor Brian B. Boutwell, a professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice led a study that surveyed 14,000 Americans about their personal experiences with racism.
The study asked the following question,”In your day to day life, how often do you feel you have been treated with less respect or courtesy than other people?” and respondents could answer Never, Sometimes, or Often. When respondents answered Sometimes or Often, researchers followed up with, this question: “What do you think was the main reason for these experiences?” The respondents could choose from one of the following reasons: 1) race/ancestry/skin color; 2) gender; 3) age; 4) religion; 5) height or weight; 6) sexual orientation; 7) education or income; 8) physical disability; and 9) other.
Here is their conclusion:
Overall, 74.8 percent of people reported that they never or rarely faced discrimination in their daily lives. The breakdown by race is as follows:
White: 76.47 percent
Black: 67.80 percent
Hispanic: 68.12 percent
American Indian: 72.98 percent
Asian: 81.28 percent
Mixed Race: 73.01 percent
While we would like to see those numbers climb higher–and while a disheartening third of African-Americans reported experiencing discrimination–it’s pretty clear that experiencing discrimination based on race isn’t a given. That’s good news and reinforces the idea that most people are, well, people. Most of us live our lives and treat everyone pretty much the same.