(FinalCall.com) – Young adults’ ages 18 to 25 still find race and ethnicity relevant factors when it comes to social issues.
Whether called “Generation Y,” “Generation Next,” “Echo Boomers,” “Millennial Generation,” or “Net Generation,” the age group has often been referred to as “post-racial” or “colorblind” in mainstream media.
It has been reported this generation finds racism and race virtually obsolete. But a comprehensive new report, “Don’t Call Them ‘Post-Racial’: Millennials’ Attitudes on Race, Racism And Key Systems In Our Society” points out this is not entirely the case. Compiled by the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank with offices in New York, Oakland and Chicago, the report found issues of race are alive and well even among a seemingly more progressive generation.
The prominence, achievement and popularity of President Barack Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, actor Will Smith and others has been cited as proof the U.S. has finally moved past the color barrier thanks to young people who tend to have friends and acquaintances of different colors.
“Contrary to widespread labeling of the millennial generation as ‘post-racial,’ young people actually see a lot of racial problems. Many are concerned that race continues to impact outcomes in society, and they want to talk about it,” said Rinku Sen, Applied Research Center executive director and president in a June 7 press release. The center said the purpose of the study is to better understand the racial attitudes of the “millennial” demographic.
While many respondents said class and socio-economic status were more prevalent than race other key findings in the 40-page report included: (1.) Race is still an important factor when it comes to criminal justice, education, immigration and employment. (2.) There are differences in how millennials of different races and ethnicities view the significance of race and racism. (3.) Young people of color had no issues with viewing entire systems, such as the criminal justice system, as racist.
The study results were based on a series of questions, answers and discussions about race and racism by 16 focus groups made up of young Black, White, Latino and Asian young people of varied socioeconomic, educational and ideological backgrounds from the Los Angeles area.
The report includes comments and quotes from focus group participants on several topics involving race.
Racial undertones within the U.S criminal justice system attracted the broadest agreement that the criminal justice system is where race matters most, according to the center reports.
Margarita, 22, a Filipina-American, is quoted in the report saying, “Why is it that over 90 percent of prison inmates are people of color? Rates of Black men in prison versus rates of Black men in college–obviously there’s something going on that’s wrong. The whole war on drugs is a war on Black and brown folks. So what happens to a white person with a drug problem, right? Rich celebrities in rehab on television vs. people I know who face jail time for marijuana charges.”
“The report really elevates the voices of the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in our nation’s history, and we should be asking them more, not less about the racial disparities that continue to impact their lives and communities,” said Dominique Apollon, Applied Research Center research director.