Maybe all societies are this way. But since DREAMERS live in the U.S., its probably worth the effort to talk about stereotypes in the U.S. Its not a new thing, but what I can say for the moment is that it seems that many Americans think that people from öutside groups¨are really bad... that there are not enough resources to go around... afraid of their own government but take it out on people in the U.S. that basically have no civil rights.
Poll: Relations Between Minorities Tense, But Core Values Shared
By Pamela Constable
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2007; 4:26 PM
Relations among African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans are fraught with tension and negative stereotypes, but all three groups share core values and a desire to get along better with each other, according to a poll released in Washington today by the nonprofit group New America Media.
The survey found that many members of all three groups felt "more comfortable" doing business with whites than with each other, and that an overwhelming majority of each group viewed racial tension as a "very important problem" for the United States.
It also found that immigrants generally have much more optimism about achieving the American dream than do African Americans, and that far fewer African Americans than either Asians or Hispanics believe that every American has an "equal opportunity to succeed."
Underscoring what survey officials called "unfair and ugly stereotypes" among American ethnic and minority groups, more than 40 percent of Hispanics and Asians said they were "generally afraid" of African Americans and associated them with crime.
A similarly high proportion of Hispanics and African Americans said most Asian business owners "do not treat us with respect," while one-third of Asians and half of African Americans said Latin American immigrants are "taking away jobs" and other benefits from the black community.
On the other hand, the telephone poll of 1,105 people in all 50 states, evenly divided among the three groups, found that they had a great deal in common, including strong feelings of patriotism and religious belief. Most significantly, more than 85 percent of responders from all three groups said they should "put aside their differences" and work together to help their communities.
Sergio Bendixen, who presented the poll results at the National Press Club, said the fact that the three groups live in relative isolation from one another has contributed to the tensions and stereotypes, and that more personal and social interaction would do much to reduce the problem.
"If you share an afternoon of baseball and a barbecue, you are less likely to be afraid of people or think they came to steal your job," Bendixen said. He said the issue of inter-ethnic tensions in the United States was something "everyone knows about but everyone wants to sweep under the rug."
Richard Rodriguez, a California writer who spoke at the presentation, said he was glad to see that at a time of strong emotion and controversy about immigrants in the United States, immigrants responding to the survey expressed strong civic values and enthusiasm about succeeding in America.
"Americans have forgotten how much the immigrant brings to this country -- a basic optimism about the possibilities of changing and improving your life, as well as a noticeable patriotism," Rodriguez said.
Bendixen, commenting on the much lower degree of optimism and hope expressed by African Americans, said it could stem from their "more realistic" assessment of long-term prospects, and was also linked to their concerns about Hispanic newcomers. "If you are unhappy at home, you are less likely to like new neighbors coming in," he said.
Among the survey's more revealing findings was the high degree of social segregation that persists among immigrant groups as well as African Americans. A large proportion of all three groups said most of their friends were from their own ethnic or racial group.
Even larger percentages of Hispanics and African Americans said people in their church or school were from their group.
Dating patterns followed a similar path. More than 70 percent of Hispanics and Asians and 61 percent of African Americans said they had never dated someone outside their own group. That national finding contrasted sharply with a 2006 poll of California young people, also conducted by New America Media, where 65 percent of respondents said they had dated someone from a different race.
Still, despite their isolation and prejudices, the poll also found that the three groups had some positive opinions about each other. More than 58 percent of both African Americans and Asians said that Hispanic culture and values had "enriched the quality of life for all Americans."
And although a majority of responders in all three groups said there was "a lot of discrimination" against their community, more than 65 percent of Hispanics and Asians said that African Americans had helped all ethnic and racial groups by "leading the fight for civil rights and against discrimination."