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Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania State University.

Diversity survey finds offensive remarks growing more common

By Nikita Biryukov, July 31 2020 10:25 am

A diversity survey commissioned by the NJ Business and Industry Association and Taft Communications found the state’s young residents were more than twice as likely to report occasionally or very often hearing things considered offensive to non-white peoples.

More than four in 10, 43%, of respondents ages 18-34 said they often heard such remarks, compared to just 17% of those over 55.

The split was also in sharp relief along racial lines. Thirty-five percent of non-white respondents reported hearing such remarks, compared to just 22% of white respondents. There was a similar split along party lines.

An almost identical share of Democrats, 36%, said they had heard offensive comments within the last year with some frequency, while only 21% of Republicans said the same.

“The partisan differences that we observed, particularly in relation to reported instances of offensive comments in the workplace, are worth noting,” said Krista Jenkins, director of the Farleigh Dickinson University poll. “By and large, Republicans were less likely than Democrats to report hearing things that some would find offensive to women and minority groups. This could be a reflection of the parties operating as a prism through which people evaluate workplace banter.”

In all, the annual poll found the highest reported rates of offensive comments since its inception in 2016.

Nearly half of non-white residents, 47%, said they had often or occasionally experienced discrimination, while 31% of white residents said the same. Nearly a quarter of respondents, 23%, said they worry about race relations in their workplace, with younger residents reporting discrimination at higher rates.

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