More Than Half of U.S. Latinos Say They've Experienced Discrimination


We're the land of the free — and the home of people who have to brave through discrimination every day. 

According to the latest survey results from the Pew Research Center, 52% of Latinos claim they experience discrimination or unfair treatment because of their race. The survey did not describe what kind of racial discrimination — for example, believing all Latinos look alike or attacking valedictorians for their undocumented status

However, once you drill down further into race, country of origin and age, the numbers show that some members of the community may be more vulnerable than others. 

For instance, Latinos ages 18 to 29 reported much higher rates of discrimination (65%) than those 50 years old or older (35%). And, though anti-immigrant fervor is high, more US born Latinos reported discrimination (62%) than immigrant Latinos (41%). Of course, this doesn't mean they experience discrimination at a higher rate, it might mean that US born Latinos are more comfortable reporting it. 

The United States Census continues to define "Hispanic" as an ethnicity and not a race, but regardless of categorization on some form, Latinos have a diverse makeup and Pew Research Center recently reported that a quarter of US Latinos identify as Afro-Latino.  And that racial difference plays out in discrimination, as well. Fifty-six percent of nonwhite Latinos reported experiencing discrimination, opposed to 41% of white-identified Latinos. Though, 41% is still a higher percentage than all Latinos over 50 and the same as immigrant Latinos. 

Lenny Ignelzi/AP

One thing Latinos do have in common with black Americans — they both believe that race relations in the U.S. are generally bad. Fifty-eight percent of Latinos believe so, a similar share to black Americans. However, Latinos believe that we should focus on racial similarities more than differences, while black Americans are split evenly on the issue. 

Pew Research Center did not indicate when the survey was taken, as the early June mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub, which happened on Latin night, may have an impact on attitudes towards Latino discrimination in the United States. However, this election — including the many calls by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to build a wall — should be enough to show that not everyone is ready to welcome Latinos into the American tapestry. 

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