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55% Say America Is Not Yet A Land of Equal Opportunity

Friday, January 14, 2011

Americans tend to think their fellow citizens talk too much about race, but most agree that we have yet to achieve a level playing field for all races in this country.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 31% of Adults believe we’ve reached the day the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached about when men and women of all races have equal opportunity in America. Fifty-five percent (55%) say the country has not reached that day. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Interestingly, there’s little difference of opinion between the races on this question. Sixty-two percent (62%) of African-Americans say America has not reached the day of equal opportunity and 54% of whites.

But a plurality (43%) of all Adults also say Americans talk too much about race. Twenty-six percent (26%) say we don’t talk about it enough, while 22% believe the level of discussion is about right.

A majority (57%) of adults continue to think most Americans are not racist, up four points from early 2008 when Rasmussen Reports first asked the question and the year Barack Obama was elected as the nation’s first black president.

Twenty-one percent (21%) of adults now say most Americans are racist, and 23% more are not sure.

Those who voted in last November’s election are less likely than other adults to see most Americans as racist.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on January 12-13, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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