January 2, 2015
Bill Shapard

TulsaWorld: Oklahomans believe racism persists, but so does the American Dream

By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer

More than 90 percent of Oklahomans believe racism exists in every community, but almost 80 percent believe it does not prevent people from achieving “the American Dream,” according to a survey released Wednesday by SoonerPoll of Oklahoma City.

“What struck me was the duality of opinions on racism,” said SoonerPoll President Bill Shapard. “People say there is racism, but they still believe overwhelmingly in the American Dream.

“Oklahomans are optimists,” he said.

The survey asked eight questions directly related to race. In general, the responses reflected a belief that racism is a factor in American life but not a decisive one.

They also suggested a relatively high threshold for identifying actions or words as racist.

“Racism is only going to be identified as the worst of the worst,” said Shapard.

The survey asked respondents to classify each of four quotes as “racist,” “inappropriate” or “neither racist nor inappropriate.” The quotes were authentic but the people who said them were not identified to those being surveyed.

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Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.