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'Most Americans believe their fellow citizens are racist'

world Updated: Jul 24, 2007 11:53 IST

Most Americans believe that they don't hold strong biases against minorities but their fellow citizens do, according to a poll conducted in Silicon Valley.

The "Report Card on American Prejudice", revealed that while 67 per cent of respondents claimed to have no preference themselves between a white, black or Arab clerk in a convenience store, yet 71 per cent said that most Americans would seek out a white clerk.

Of the 10,387 surveyed, just one per cent said Americans' first choice would be to approach a black clerk, while less than 0.5 per cent said the same for an Arab clerk, a poll conducted by Zogby International said.

"Over my years of polling, I've learned that Americans tend to offer socially acceptable responses when questioned on their own views about race and prejudice. That's why in this poll we predominantly asked people about most Americans' views on this issue," pollster John Zogby said.

"We believe this provides a far more accurate window into how people really think about these issues. Americans are more forthcoming when discussing the problem in the context of their neighbours' lives than in their own," he said.

Around 73 per cent believe most US citizens would expect Afro-Americans to be involved in the event of shooting, while 55 per cent said majority of Americans would expect blacks to be involved in the event of a drug bust.

Around 70 per cent expected most Americans to be involved in the event of insurance fraud, while 53 per cent were of the view that majority would expect whites to be involved in the event of identity theft.

An overwhelming 83 per cent believe that Muslims are the most likely to engage in terrorism. Moreover, 42 per cent believe Americans would be most concerned about their child dating a Muslim, followed by an atheist (17%), and a Mormon (14%).