Racial tension is something that has been a prominent topic of discussion, especially with so many black men and women dying at the hands of police. Although these topics can be debated until the end of time, one fact that does stand is the fact that a lot of African Americans feel racial divides in society today and it is affecting the way they act in different social situations. Although African Americans feel this divide, White people feel not only that there is no divide, my question is why? What do these differences in numbers actually mean?
In a poll taken of African Americans and Whites, an average of 30% of Whites feel that blacks are treated less fairly when it comes to dealing with police, in the courts, applying for funding through banks, in their jobs, when dining in food establishments, and when voting. This 30% average compared to an average of 63.5% of African Americans that feel Blacks are treated less fairly. The difference is almost double, which is extremely surprising because we are all seeing the same things right? How is it that there are such huge disparities. One big answer is that we actually are not all looking at the same things going on, news outlets are one of the main ways we get our information and different outlets have different interests and report on different things. So one of the most popular outlets, like The Associated Press and The New York Times may focus on other topics than an outlet not as popular, like The Washington Post or TMZ. These outlets are also attempting to appeal to certain audiences and political points of view, so there is definitely a certain bias to keep in mind when watching certain channels.
I think another aspect as to why these percentages are so different has to do with age. According to this study conducted by the American Press, of Americans over the age of 60 years old, 93% for them actively keep up with news. Compared to Americans aged 18-29 that are only 59% likely to keep up with the news. One thing to keep in mind when reading these statistics is the overall age demographic of our country. About 20% of our population is between the ages of 18-29 while only 1.8% are 85 or older, so although the percent of people that watch the news are high, the actual amount is not very big. I think Media plays such a huge role in the way we send and receive information, so the amount of people that are taking in this information connects to how informed our general population is about these issues.
Looking at the data for topics like this really interest me because I like to think about why the numbers look like this. I think there are so many confounding variables that could come up for a topic like this. Something like financial background, education, and home life are just a few that come up on the top of my head. I think talking about not only these topics but also personal experiences can help us collect more accurate data on the specific topic of racial divides and others.