Monday, January 19, 2009

Most blacks say MLK's vision fulfilled?

I hate polls, well hate is a strong word, I strongly dislike polls and the way responses from a small number of people is deemed to speak for "all" of any group. The morning headline at CNN is the title of this thread, Most blacks say MLK's vision fulfilled. CNN does not provide any of the real polling data or even what the exact questions were. All we do know is they polled 332 blacks:
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted January 12-15. Pollsters questioned 1,245 adult Americans, including 798 whites and 332 blacks, by telephone. The survey's sampling error is 3 percentage points for the overall sample and 4.5 percentage points for the breakdowns by race.

They compare percentages to last year, but last year the ratio of black to white responses was higher than this year and the number of polled was larger:

The survey, which includes interviews with 1,393 adult Americans, including 743 whites and 513 blacks, was conducted by telephone January 14-17 and has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5

This is what was reported today:
The poll found 69 percent of blacks said King's vision has been fulfilled in the more than 45 years since his 1963 "I have a dream" speech -- roughly double the 34 percent who agreed with that assessment in a similar poll taken last March.

But whites remain less optimistic, the survey found.

"Whites don't feel the same way -- a majority of them say that the country has not yet fulfilled King's vision," CNN polling director Keating Holland said. However, the number of whites saying the dream has been fulfilled has also gone up since March, from 35 percent to 46 percent.

In November, a majority of blacks for the first time believed that the U.S. would eventually find a solution to its racial problems; now a majority of blacks believe that race relations will always be a problem in this country.

This is what was reported a year ago:
Roughly four in 10 individuals in both groups say that the country has fulfilled all, or at least a great deal, of King's dream. However, they have different views on whether King's dream will ever be fully realized in the United States. When asked whether race relations will always pose a problem in the United States, about half of black Americans, 52 percent, said yes -- and just 43 percent of whites shared that view. When posed the same question in 1993, 55 percent of blacks and 53 percent of whites thought race relations would always be a problem for the United States.

What does it really mean? That despite seeing the first black president be elected, people still believe that race relations will always be a problem in our nation. Which then creates a question not answered by the headline selected by CNN, if that is true and a majority of blacks and whites polled feel that way, then how can it be said that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision has been fulfilled?

It also means that CNN continues to be selective in what it wants to report and selective as far as providing details for any of us to see what the real questions and numbers were. If they provided real facts and figures, it'd be easier to determine what is valid and what is hype...


Kvatch said...

The poll found 69 percent of blacks said King's vision has been fulfilled...

Dr. King's vision was an America where a black man in prison has a longer life span than one who's never been to jail?

I'm sure Dr. King said that in one of his speeches. Sheesh!

Jason R. said...

I'm going through Liberal Common Sense withdraw. The symptoms are moodiness, irritability, and the shakes.