Public Policy Forum Blog

PPF in the morning

The reaction to Don Imus referring to female basketball players as “nappy-headed hos” highlights an important finding from the Forum’s 2006 survey on race relations: Whatever our race, we are typically not exposed to offensive racial terms. In the survey, we asked 400 whites, 400 blacks and 200 Hispanics: “In the past year, …has someone called you an offensive term?” Responding “yes” were 11% of whites, 23% of blacks, and 32% of Hispanics.

Interestingly, the survey found that people of color are more likely to feel ignored than insulted. Half of African Americans and 38% of Hispanics report having been ignored because of their race, presumably by a store clerk, a loan officer or perhaps a teacher. While overt racial jokes and slurs draw attention, saying nothing whatsoever can be offensive too.

Author: 
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