Bigotry & Racism Survey [Results Discussion]

Discussion of results of a survey to determine bigotry and racism titled, “Questionnaire Implementation Part II” by Misty Smith. Originally published on August 10, 2015, for PSY/245 at the University of Phoenix.

Questionnaire Implementation Part II

Racism and bigotry could be said to be as old as humankind itself. Wars have been fought between nations because one deemed themselves superior to the other. For example, the Nazi’s killed millions of Jews during WWII because they felt that the Jews were evil and underneath their superiority. Daily, one can find media stories about hate crimes being conducted somewhere in the world. However, how is one considered a bigot? Can you be a bigot and not know that you are?

In order to understand the feelings of individuals in relation to racially charged issues, I conducted a survey during the week of August 4, 2015, with questions designed to rate the bigotry levels of individuals. To ensure that the answers to the survey were answered honestly, participation was deemed private. The sampling population was varied between males and females between the ages of 18-67 from various races, religions, and locations in the United States of America, and was conducted via Facebook private chat. Thirty individuals participated in the survey.

The first question asked was, Do you think that same-sex marriage should be legal within the United States? The results of this question were rather startling to this student. Twenty individuals out of the thirty individuals polled stated that they were not happy that same-sex marriage was now legal in all fifty states. The overwhelming reason for their unhappiness was that their religion stated that gay relationships was a sin and that marriage is to be between a man and a woman only. Furthermore, two individuals were set in their beliefs that individuals in same-sex relationships were helping to usher in the end of days. However, ten individuals who participated in the survey stated that everyone should have equal rights and that they were very pleased that love is now legal within the United States of America.

The second question asked was, What would you say to your child or another close family member if they came to you stating they were in a same-sex relationship? The results of the survey to this question were that two individuals would disown the child or close family member. Furthermore, six individuals said that they would accept and celebrate the child or close family members’ bravery. Three individuals stated that they would not know how they would handle such a situation and two participants refused to answer the question. The remaining participants stated that they would continue to love the child or family member but they would feel the need to let them know it was against Gods laws.

The third question was designed to see if individuals understood that the United States Constitution allowed freedom from religion to everyone and if they agreed with the constitution on the matter. The question was worded as: Does the United States have an official religion? If it does not, should it and why? Sadly, the results of this question showed an overwhelming belief that the United States is a Christian only nation. Only eight individuals understood that there was no government regulated religion and they stated that there should not be.

The fourth question was, once again, religious-based: Should Muslims be allowed to build mosques [anyplace] in the United States? The results were again consistent with the previous question. Eight individuals said that Muslims had the same equal rights as everyone else. However, six individuals claimed that Muslims should be deported immediately as they were a national security risk. The remaining comments varied from the building needs to be limited or supervised, to no answer.

The fifth and sixth questions were related to the current controversy of the Confederate battle flag. The question was, What does the Confederate Flag stand for? In addition, do you think that the Confederate Flag should be removed from government buildings? Twenty-three individuals responded that the flag represented their heritage and not hate, stating that the flag had changed meaning over the years. Those same individuals stated that the flag should not be removed from their current places of honor. The remaining individuals stated that the flag represented the Civil War, which was fought over the states’ rights to have slaves; furthermore, they said that all government buildings should remove the flag and place it in a museum.

Question seven was designed around the issue of ‘race’: If your child or close relative came to you announcing they were marrying an individual from a different race (for example, a white family member marrying a black individual and vice versa) would you be in agreement and supportive? The participants of the survey were more open with this question; twenty-five stated they would have no problem with an interracial relationship within their family. However, five individuals stated that races should not mix and that they would disown the family member.

Question eight covered the subject of ‘race’ as a whole: Do you prefer the phrase ‘Black lives matter’ or ‘All lives matter’? Interestingly enough, every individual of the survey agreed that the term ‘all lives matter’ was better than ‘black lives matter’. The constant statement was that using the term ‘black lives matter’ only would be construed as racist in itself.

The final two questions of the survey were in regards to the current hot topic of police brutality and race relations between the police and African-Americans. Are police officers unjustly violent? Moreover, Did the African-Americans recently killed by police officers bring it upon themselves? The results of these two answers were not equal, with 21 individuals stating that they thought that the police officers were unjustly violent, and seventeen individuals answering that they believed that African-Americans brought it upon themselves–the violence– because of the crimes they commit.

In conclusion, from the results of this survey, I found that by the very definition of bigotry only six individuals out of the thirty who participated did not fit the definition of a bigot. Those six individuals were constant in answering each question with an open-heart response to each question posed. However, twenty-four individuals made statements that would place them in the category of being a bigot by the very definition. I theorize that many of these individuals do not consider themselves a racist or a bigot, and would not intentionally hurt anyone. However, a few individuals made statements that showed they could be capable of committing hate crimes if placed in certain situations.

 




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