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Siena Poll shows most understand racial discrimination is a problem in New York

Only about a third of New Yorkers believe race relations are ‘good’ in the state, according to a new Sina College poll released on Martin Luther King Day.

“The more things change, the more things stay the same? Despite all the events, headlines and protests, and despite the national conversation that has taken place over the last year about race in America, little has changed – good or bad – regarding New Yorkers’ views about race relations and discrimination in the state,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Consistently over the last six years, fewer than 40 percent of New Yorkers have said that race relations are excellent or good. Today, only 31 percent say it, compared to a decade ago, MLK Day 2011, when 55 percent of New Yorkers thought race relations were positive.”

Seventy percent of voters say minorities – including African Americans, Hispanics and Asians – who live in New York experience racial discrimination, compared to 22 percent who say they don’t, little changed from 73-19 percent in June and 72-18 percent on MLK Day last year. By a similar 69-22 percent margin, voters say religious minorities – including Jews, Muslims and others – who live in New York experience discrimination based on their religious affiliation, down from 78-17 percent last year.

“While about two-thirds of whites believe that minorities experience racial discrimination, more than three-quarters of Latinos and 90 percent of Blacks say that people of color experience discrimination in the Empire State,” Greenberg added. “And while 85 percent of Democrats and two-thirds of independents say minorities face discrimination, Republicans are closely divided – 45 percent say they experience discrimination and 41 percent say they do not. More than three-quarters of voters from New York City and about two-thirds from the rest of the state say minorities face discrimination in New York.”

READ IT: Siena Poll looks at race relations in New York State

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