Saturday, November 24, 2007

Manhattanville College Poll Focuses on Race-Relations Trends in Suburbia

Manhattanville College Poll Focuses on Race-Relations Trends in Suburbia

- 71% of black residents and 53% of Hispanic residents believe that the police treat them less fairly than whites; 59% of black and 42% of Hispanic residents believe they are less likely to get a fair trial than whites.

PURCHASE, N.Y., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The experience of living in the suburbs can be altered by the color of your skin or your ethnic heritage, reveals a Manhattanville College poll conducted in three suburban counties north of New York City (Westchester, Rockland and Putnam). The survey shows significant differences in the attitudes among blacks, whites and Hispanics concerning the way they are treated by police, the courts, salespeople and their communities in general. The poll paints a portrait of attitudes and behavior and how it affects life in the suburbs.

"This poll captures diverse perceptions of people and the suburban communities they live and work in. It shows that discrimination is quite real when it comes to activities like shopping and eating in restaurants, as well as perceptions about how different groups are treated by the criminal justice system," says Richard Berman, President of Manhattanville College.

While both black and Hispanic respondents have concerns about the fairness of the criminal justice system, black respondents have even less faith in the fairness of the system than Hispanics or whites, believing they are less likely to be treated fairly based on their race. (For additional survey details, contact Jodi Burack (914-798-7132, or Casey Kaufman (914-798-7126, at Giles Communications.)

The poll also asked participants whether they have experienced racial discrimination in their everyday lives. 59% of black respondents reported experiencing discrimination, with 60% of those saying they had experienced discrimination while shopping. As the holiday shopping season gets under way, this perception must play a part in how members of minority groups feel about the experience.

Overall, Hispanics have a more optimistic view of race and ethnic relations in general than blacks, though not as optimistic as whites.

In 1999, Manhattanville College conducted a poll among black and white residents of Westchester County using many of the same or similar questions, and where relevant, the responses from 1999 are presented in tables available for review upon request.

"Manhattanville wants to make a difference and play a relevant, active role in its community and the push for Manhattanville's polling initiatives reflects this," says President Berman. "We want to know what matters to this community so that we can better serve the people who live here. Our involvement in the community is central to where we are located and who we are.

The fact that we can look back at polls taken a decade ago gives us the ability to see not just a snapshot of this community, but an evolving, ever- changing moving image."

Manhattanville College ( is an independent, co- educational liberal arts institution located 30 minutes from New York City in Purchase, NY. Founded in 1841, Manhattanville College educates ethically and socially responsible leaders for the global community. Its strong undergraduate program, graduate programs in business, Master of Arts in Writing and renowned School of Education serve 1600 undergraduate and 1100 graduate students from 76 countries and 40 states.


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