By Alexander Douglas |Staff Writer|
Nearly two-thirds of the 1,504 Californians polled believe that race relations are better than any other part of the country, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.
“That a black man has been the master of the White House for the past six years does indeed reflect and reinforce a remarkable socio-psychological transformation in the American racial scene,” said Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy.
Race relations in California are improving, according to the respondents of the Times Poll.
“California is definitely more advanced than the rest of the country,” said student Vincent Holguin.
A majority of those who were polled think race relations in California are stable or improving, and less than a quarter believe they are getting worse, the survey found.
Basemeh Rihan, a communications professor at CSUSB stated, “Yes, outwardly we are seen more tolerant but subconsciously and privately we can be just as intolerant as the generation before us.”
According to Rihan, there are areas of increased racism in California.
“Poverty stricken areas such as San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County and San Diego County. These areas have an increased rate of race related biases,” said Rihan.
According to the same poll a majority of voters polled said African-Americans still face discrimination. About half of African-Americans and 25 percent of Latinos said they personally experience discrimination at least sometimes. Roughly 43 percent of all the participants said that police are generally tougher on African-Americans than any other group.
A Newsweek/Daily Beast poll shows that 72 percent of whites and 89 percent of black Americans say the country is racially divided.
Caesar Perez, a CSUSB Hispanic student, said that “racism is more subtle, not in my face. Not thrown in your face like before.”
Although Perez thinks that there is less racism, he said, “I was born in a bowl of rice,” by this he means that he still thinks that there are still more white-centered areas.
“I feel weird around Malibu, Beverly Hills. I feel more comfortable in places like L.A. and San Bernardino,” continued Perez.
According to the study “The Real Record on Racial Attitudes”, a paper in the 2012 volume of “Social Trends in American Life: Findings from the General Social Survey”, since 1972 the percentage of white people who have said blacks were “less intelligent” than Whites, dropped from nearly 60 percent in 1990 to less than 30 percent in 2008.
When asked about race relations as a whole, Rihan said, “Many Southern states as well as Midwestern states, which have been very tradition based and some of those traditional beliefs are racially motivated.”
Although race relations have improved, there is still a large amount of segregation in areas such as Los Angeles and San Bernardino.
“Racism in California depends on the part but I could say that for any state though. We are improving but we still have a long way to go,” said Holguin.