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UALR’s Racial Attitude Survey Focuses on Crime

Blacks are much more likely than whites to believe racial profiling is widespread, but blacks are 17 to 18 percent less likely to say profiling is widespread in traffic stops now than they were five years ago, according to data collected in UALR’s annual racial attitudes survey released Thursday.

Year seven of UALR’s annual study, Racial Attitudes in Pulaski County presents data collected by a telephone survey. This year’s survey focused on attitudes and perceptions plus a module of questions related to crime. Topics addressed in previous years include local government, education, and health care.

UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson initiated the project in 2003, saying annual studies would provide the kind of research and data needed to improve black/white relations in Pulaski County – one of the biggest factors impacting the progress and future of the state. The chancellor said UALR is a “keeper of the flame on the subject of race,” recognizing that issues of race relations remain a barrier to social and economic progress in Arkansas.

Each year the survey includes several modules of questions assessing interracial attitudes and perceptions plus a module of questions on a specific topic of interest. The general racial attitudes modules are repeated at intervals in order to track changes over time.

Among the findings in this year’s survey:

  • Despite black attitudes about racial profiling in this year’s survey, blacks are 17 to 18 percent less likely to say racial profiling is widespread in traffic stops now than they were five years ago.
  • Most respondents are not afraid at night in their homes and neighborhoods and  rarely worry about being crime victims.
  • Blacks are more likely than whites to perceive crime in their neighborhoods as a serious problem.
  • Thirty-five percent of LR-blacks express concern for their personal safety when walking alone at night in their neighborhoods — the highest percentage among the four geo-racial groups.
  • Two or more out of 10 survey respondents said money or property had been stolen from a household member in the past 12 months.
  • Six to seven out of 10 respondents have a burglar alarm, a dog, and/or a gun for protection and security.
  • Three to four out of 10 respondents have bought guns for protection.
  • Both blacks and whites have more trust in the police in their local areas than in the judicial system.
  • A majority of respondents believe civil rights for blacks have improved in Pulaski County.
  • Approximately nine out of 10 respondents rate relations between whites and blacks as “somewhat good” or “very good.”
  • Little Rock blacks are less likely in Year 7 than in Year 1 to say they have experienced discrimination in getting an education and in getting a job.
  • Taking time to get to know each other was mentioned most frequently as a good way to improve race relations in Pulaski County.
  • White respondents were twice as likely as black respondents to believe they had already reached “The American Dream.”

This year’s study is based on a landline and cell telephone survey conducted by the UALR Institute of Government Survey Research Center (SRC) between Sept. 3, 2009, and Dec. 2, 2009.

A total of 1,776 interviews were conducted with a stratified random sample of all residents age 18 and older living in Pulaski County. Since the study primarily focuses on black/white relations the data analysis is divided into four geo-racial groups with a total of 1,665 white

and black respondents: Blacks living in Pulaski County, blacks living within the city limits of Little Rock, whites living in the county, and whites living within the city limits.

This study was funded entirely UALR to provide information, enhance thoughtful discussion, and improve race relations in the community. Reports are available at no cost. Copies for viewing and circulation may be obtained at