Study on Negro Anti-semitism Shows They Prefer Jews to Non-jewish Whites

A study sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith has found that to the degree that American Negroes distinguish between Jewish and non-Jewish whites, they prefer Jews and are less anti-Semitic than whites. The study was part of a five-year research project on prejudice conducted by the University of California Survey Research Center with an ADL grant.

Interviews for the study were made in 1964 with 1,119 Negro adults in four major urban centers — Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Birmingham — as well as in other metropolitan areas outside the south and from a representative cross section of the adult national population. Interviewing and sampling were done by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The study found that nationally, 24 percent of Negroes queried said Jewish landlords were better than other white landlords and seven percent said they were worse. In New York City, 17 percent thought Jewish landlords were better and nine percent, worse. In Chicago the percentages were 20 and six; in Atlanta, 31 and four and in Birmingham, 19 and four. Nationally, 20 percent said Jewish store owners were better than other white store owners and seven percent said worse. In Atlanta the percentages were 32 and four and in Birmingham, 28 and five.

The study found that 34 percent of the total sample said Jews were better to work for and 15 percent said Jews were worse than other whites; 70 percent said Jews were better than other whites on hiring Negroes and 45 percent believed that Jews were more in favor of civil rights than other whites while three percent felt that Jews were less in favor.

More than 80 percent of the total sample said they had never been treated unfairly by Jewish merchants, 62 percent said it was easier to get credit in a Jewish-owned store and nine percent said it was not easier. Forty-nine percent said Jews were easier on Negroes who fell behind in payments and 16 percent said Jews were harder. The remaining respondents saw no difference or said they did not know which was better.

The study found that where Jews do not predominate in the Negro ghettoes, “the particular ethnic group that does is likely to be the recipient of economically-inspired hostility,” specifically the Chinese in some west coast communities and Italians in New Orleans. Dr. Gary T. Marx, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, who directed the study, said that subsequent studies indicated little or no shift in the attitudes reported on the basis of the 1964 interviews.

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