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More Youths Embrace ‘Separate But Equal’ Idea Mtv Poll Examines Race Relations In America

Fri., Dec. 5, 1997, midnight

A growing percentage of American young people see nothing wrong with the races keeping to themselves as long as they are not discriminated against, according to a poll released Wednesday by MTV, the youth-oriented cable-TV network.

The poll found that 54 percent of young people characterize race relations as “good” - compared with 42 percent in 1991.

But young people seem increasingly accepting of the “separate but equal” concept for America.

In 1991, 41 percent of youths said it is “OK if the races are basically separate from one another in our country as long as everyone has equal opportunities.” That figure rose to 68 percent in the 1997 survey.

The percentage of those who disagree with the “separate but equal” philosophy fell from 57 percent in 1991 to 31 percent today.

“What young people are saying in this poll - and what our audience tells us - is that there is still much work to be done,” said Judy McGrath, MTV president. “This is no time for complacency.”

The poll, conducted from Sept. 17-30 by GarinHartYang Research, sampled more than 750 people ages 15-24. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.


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