Feb. 7, 2007
A recent survey conducted by the University of Chicago provides some interesting insight into the comparative social behavior of blacks, Hispanics, and whites between the ages of 15 and 25. The scope of the survey was broad, covering issues ranging from political involvement to entertainment to sexual mistreatment of women, but what I found most intriguing about the study were the answers to the question, Is abortion always wrong? The responses surprised me greatly, for among blacks and Hispanics surveyed, 47% and 46%, respectively, thought that abortion was wrong in all instances, while comparatively only 34% of whites surveyed believed that abortion was wrong in every circumstance.
When I read further, however, the survey data continued to puzzle me.
When asked about homosexual activity, 55% percent of blacks surveyed felt that homosexual activity was, once again, always wrong, while only 35% of whites felt the same way. What we increasingly see is that the picture being painted by this eye-opening survey is inconsistent with the traditional voting record of minority communities. As evidenced by the above statistics, we have minority groups, and most especially African-Americans, who appear to support the underlying moral principles of the conservative social agenda, yet who consistently and even dogmatically persist in voting for liberal legislators. So, how do we reconcile the findings of this study with what we know from past experience?
For any social issue there are a number of contributing factors, so to posit that there is a simple cause and effect for the dichotomy in professed beliefs and behavior of some minorities would be naive. However, I propose that this disparity might very well be due in no small part to a general lack of information in the minority community, especially among its younger members the subjects of this survey. Perhaps the conservative community is not reaching out to minorities as it should. Might it even be plausible that conservatives have, in some instances, ceded that ground to the liberal platform and gone on their merry way? I think this might very possibly be the case.
More than anything else, I believe these statistics give us hope. The real crux of the issue lies in the opportunity that conservatives have with the younger generation of minority voters the future influencers of thought and opinion both in minority communities and in the nation as a whole. At a time when the black and Hispanic communities are showing an increasingly open mindset toward the social issues so vital to the life of our nation, we need to seize the opportunity to reach out to them on common ground, to make ourselves relevant, and to lay the foundation for future success in revitalizing the moral fibers of our country.