Seven-in-ten blacks say that blacks in their communities were treated less fairly than whites in dealing with police.
The way that blacks are treated by a number of institutions and businesses – from the criminal justice system to big-name department stores – has become a major issue in New York City.
Last week, a federal appeals court halted changes to the New York Police Department’s sweeping “stop-and-frisk” program. And, New York’s attorney general announced that is investigating allegations of racial profiling at Barneys and Macy’s as several black customers claim they were wrongly targeted as shoplifters. A 19-year-old black man asserted in a lawsuit that police detained him on suspicion of stealing a belt from Barneys that he had paid for.
A nationwide Pew Research Center survey in August found that substantial percentages of blacks see unfair treatment in many aspects of life, especially by the criminal justice system. Fully 70% said that blacks in their community were treated less fairly than whites in dealing with the police and about as many (68%) said the same about the courts. By contrast, just 37% of whites said blacks were treated less fairly by the police and 27% said they received less fair treatment by the courts.
Among blacks, roughly half said blacks were treated less fairly than whites at work (54%) or in schools (51%). In those instances, as well, blacks were more likely than whites or Hispanics to say there was unfair treatment.
Perceptions of unfair treatment by stores and restaurants were less widespread among blacks– 44% (and 16% of whites) said that stores and restaurants treated blacks less fairly than whites. Notably, while there were few significant demographic differences in blacks’ opinions, blacks living in urban areas were more likely than suburban blacks to express the view of unfair treatment in stores or restaurants in their community (49% vs. 36%).
In general, 35% of blacks said they had experienced personal discrimination or unfair treatment based on race or ethnic background in the past year, compared with 20% of Hispanics and 10% of whites.
Category: Daily Number
The Vatican plans to canvass Catholics around the world about their views on some church teachings, according to a report Thursday in the National Catholic Reporter. The goal is to gather “input from local sources” in preparation for an October 2014 Synod of Bishops to discuss family issues and challenges.
The Vatican plans to ask a range of questions on topics related to the family, including divorce, artificial contraception and same-sex marriage, according to the publication, which obtained a copy of the Vatican questionnaire.
While some news reports have referred to the effort as a poll, it appears that bishops around the world will be given latitude to collect and report information in many different ways. Still, according to NCR, this is “the first time the church’s central hierarchy has asked for such input from grassroots Catholics since at least the establishment of the synod system following the Second Vatican Council.” Read More →
From “best places to live/retire/do business” lists to arguments over who has the worst weather, Americans love to compare themselves with each other. This map, part of an interactive series developed by Measure of America (a project of the Social Science Research Council) aims to summarize people’s well-being with a single indicator: the American Human Development Index. The darker a state is colored on the map, the higher its score.
Adapted from the United Nations Development Program‘s Human Development Index, the American HDI uses four indicators to summarize three overarching goals: leading a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth), having access to knowledge (measured by school enrollment and adults’ educational attainment) and having a decent material standard of living (measured by median wage and salary earnings).
Connecticut has the highest overall HDI in the U.S.: It ranks third on the health and education indices and fourth on the income index. Mississippi has the lowest composite HDI score: It ranked at the bottom of the health index and 48th on the education and income indices.
Along with the HDI components, the interactive version of the map on Measure of America’s site also lets you see at a glance how the states rank on dozens of other indicators, from population over age 65 to carbon dioxide emissions. You can also sort by gender, race and ethnicity, download the underlying datasets, hover over each state with your cursor to see each state’s data, and look at previous years’ data, to see who’s improved and who hasn’t.
Category: Chart of the Week
A decade after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, 46% of Americans believe the U.S. achieved its goals there while 43% said it had not.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is due in Washington this week for meetings on Capitol Hill and with President Obama. He comes at a time of renewed violence in his country, including car bombings in Baghdad on Sunday that killed dozens of people. The Washington Post reports that, at the top of his agenda, is a request for more U.S. help in fighting an al-Qaeda affiliate said to be behind many of the attacks.
Category: Daily Number
When Twitter sells its first shares to the public, likely sometime next week, it hopes to cash in on investors’ renewed appetite for technology companies — especially ones in the social-networking or mobile-web spaces (or, as with Twitter, both). But whether Twitter can ever actually make money off its billions of 140-character messages is very much an open question.
From its inception in 2007 through September, Twitter has piled up cumulative losses of $483.2 million, including nearly $134 million in losses in the first nine months of this year. The company’s revenue more than doubled from the first nine months of 2012, to $422.2 million, but so did its expenses — and Twitter has warned prospective investors that it expects its torrid revenue growth rate to slow in the future. Read More →
The share of Mexicans with a favorable view of the U.S. has risen 22 percentage points since passage of Arizona’s restrictive immigration law in 2010.
One political irritant between the U.S. and Mexico over the years has been immigration policy – an issue that is currently before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
In 2010, Mexicans reacted negatively when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law a controversial measure to crack down on illegal immigration, a measure that also caused heated debate in the U.S. Mexico’s then-President Felipe Calderon declared the law “an obstacle to the solution of the common problems of the border region and in North America as a whole.” The measure made failure to carry immigration documents a crime and empowered the police to detain anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
Category: Daily Number
At least 76 news outlets and journalists have publicly stated their opposition to the Washington Redskins name or moved to restrict or ban its use, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
The decades-long battle over a term that critics regard as a racial slur re-emerged earlier this year after D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray raised the issue and a group of Native Americans argued before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that the team should lose its trademark protection because the name is disparaging. Team owner Dan Snyder responded in May, telling USA Today, “We’ll never change the name of the team. It’s that simple.”
NFL executives are meeting today with the Oneida Indian Nation to address the controversy over whether to change the name. Read More →
Topics: News Media Ethics and Practices
On Thursday evening, many American children will encounter costumed ghosts as they roam the streets in search of candy and other treats on Halloween. Before bedtime, to avoid nightmares, some parents may try to reassure their kids that ghosts are not real.
But not all of those parents may buy their own reassurances: Nearly one-in-five U.S. adults (18%) say they’ve seen or been in the presence of a ghost, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey. An even greater share – 29% – say they have felt in touch with someone who has already died.
Claude Fischer, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, explored Americans’ persisting beliefs in some supernatural phenomena in a recent blog post.
“As we approach Halloween, note that most American adults in the 21st Century say that they believe in life after death and in the devil,” Fischer wrote, citing data from Gallup and other sources. “Over one-third say that they believe in the spirits of the dead coming back; about that many also say they believe in haunted houses.”
Despite the influence of modern secularism and science, he observed, “the magic has not totally gone.”
Does going to church help keep ghosts away? It’s impossible to say, but people who often go to worship services appear to be less likely to say they see ghosts. Just 11% of those who attend religious services at least weekly say they’ve been in the presence of a ghost, while 23% of those who attend services less frequently say they have seen a ghost, the Pew Research survey found.
Topics: Religion and Society
In the shifting journalism ecosystem, proliferating nonprofit outlets are emerging as an increasingly important source of news and information. Over the past few years, the number of nonprofit news outlets has grown dramatically, yielding new collaborations and some closures, but also a few Pulitzer Prizes.
One of the major nonprofit news funders, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, released a report Tuesday that deeply examines the vital signs of 18 well-established nonprofit news outlets, many of which have received Knight funding. The group includes some of the bigger names, such as ProPublica and Texas Tribune, but also some smaller ones, such as Oakland Local and VTDigger. The report’s findings include some positive trends, with 14 of the 18 outlets showing a surplus in 2012. But some challenges remain, particularly when it comes to the level of investment these nonprofits are making in technology and business development.
Below are five key data points from the report that provide a sense of how the nonprofit news field is faring. (Pew Research’s Journalism project has also conducted related research on nonprofit news and recently conducted a roundtable discussion on the subject with Knight.) Read More →
Surveyed shortly after the online health insurance exchanges launched, a plurality of Americans said they were not working well or at all.
There has been a drumbeat of headlines and an outpouring of congressional criticism about the widespread technical problems plaguing the online health insurance exchanges where consumers were supposed to be able to explore, compare and buy coverage. The contractors who built the online marketplace were grilled last week before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to sit in the hot seat.
Category: Daily Number
Topics: Health Care