The Diversity Gap - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

The Diversity Gap

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I like to think of myself as a pretty progressive person when it comes to diversity, race relations and related matters. But I did not believe my perspective was particularly unusual until I read the results of a recent poll. I consider myself very blessed to have a number of friends who cover the entire color spectrum. Many of them are more than friends whom I've actually adopted as members of my extended family. Sadly, it appears I'm much more the exception than the rule.

A recent Reuters/psos poll found 40% of whites in the U.S. have no non-white friends. Not only that, 25% of non-whites have no friends outside of their own race. And I found it especially stunning that, even when you throw coworkers into the mix, 30% of Americans still have no friends of a different race.

It seems certain groups are better at blending than others. Only a tenth of Hispanics have no non-Hispanic friends according to the survey. Not only that, among Hispanics in relationships, half were with a person from another race. On the other hand, only a tenth of blacks and whites had partners of a different race.

What I don't find surprising are the regional differences. Pacific states have the most racially diverse friendships and relationships. The South had the smallest percentage of people with more than five acquaintances from another race.

Fortunately, there is a silver lining. The poll suggests there is hope on the horizon for an integrated society when it comes to future generations. A third of people under 30 have a partner of a different race compared to only a tenth of people over 30. Just as encouraging, only 10% of people under 30 have no racial diversity in their friendships. Things ARE changing. I just wish it were happening a lot faster.

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