Tories & Brexiteers more likely to admit to racial prejudice – study
The annual ‘Racial Prejudice in Britain Today’ study, conducted by the National Center for Social Research (NatCen) and Runnymede, surveys 2,220 people each year.
This year it found 26 percent of those surveyed admitted to possessing racist attitudes.
However, when the respondents were divided into groups based on how they voted in the EU referendum, it was revealed that 34 percent of ‘Leave’ supporters describe themselves as very or a little racially prejudiced, compared to 18 percent of ‘Remain’ voters.
When it came to politics, Conservative supporters were more likely to describe themselves as being racially prejudiced than Labour supporters, coming in at 33 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
The survey also found that men were more likely than women to admit to holding racist attitudes. Twenty-nine percent of males admitted to harboring such feelings, compared to 23 percent of females.
However, the study seems to suggest that a higher proportion of those surveyed possess racially prejudiced attitudes than are willing to admit it.
“Given that racial prejudice is not generally perceived as a positive characteristic, there is good reason to assume that the actual proportion of the British public who are racially prejudiced may be higher,” the study states.
For instance, 44 percent said they would mind if a close relative married a Muslim - far above the number of people who admitted racial prejudice. Seventy percent said “most white people” would mind if a relative tied the knot with a Muslim.
Nancy Kelley, deputy chief executive of NatCen, said the numbers in the study provide “clear evidence that a significant minority of people in Britain feel prejudiced towards people of other races,” as quoted by the Independent.
“Prejudice on this scale is something we as a society should be concerned about, not least as there is a significant body of evidence that even subtle racial prejudices contribute to racial inequality in areas such as education, employment and in the criminal justice system,” she added.
Kelley also noted that the study appears to show that people are less tolerant when it comes to race than when it comes to same-sex couples, sex outside marriage, and abortion, citing NatCen's British Attitudes Survey which found that views on such topics continue to relax.
Meanwhile, Runnymede director Dr Omar Khan called the findings “deeply concerning.”
Khan called for new ways of discussing race and dealing with stereotypes and fears, while also urging policies that tackle racial inequality and allow for more social interaction between people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The NatCen survey has been conducted every year since 1983, and the number of people saying they are racially prejudiced has never fallen below one-quarter. The figure peaked at 37 percent in both 1987 and 2011.
The study comes just days after the ‘UK attitudes toward the Arab world’ poll was released, revealing that more than half of British people would support the racial profiling of Muslims and Arabs for security reasons.