A poll released Wednesday by Rasmussen found African-Americans are more likely to be viewed as racist than whites.
Thirty-seven percent of poll respondents said "most black Americans" are racist, compared to just 15 percent who said most whites are racist and 18 percent who said most Hispanics are racist.
Black respondents ranked their own demographic as more likely to be racist. Thirty-one percent of African-Americans said most blacks are racist, according to the polling organization, while only 24 percent of those respondents said most whites are racist.
"There is a huge ideological difference on this topic," Rasmussen noted in a release accompanying the poll. "Among conservative Americans, 49 [percent] consider most blacks racist, and only 12 [percent] see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27 [percent] see most white Americans as racist, and 21 [percent] say the same about black Americans."
Eugene Puryear, a national organizer for the ANSWER Coalition – an activist group whose acronym stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism – thinks some Americans misunderstand the issue.
"Oftentimes the assertiveness of African-Americans is seen as reverse racism," Puryear told U.S. News. "The fact of the matter is personal hatred isn't really the issue; the issue of racism is about poverty and inequality."
Puryear said "a vast majority of blacks are victimized" by "structurally racist policies," which he says result in higher levels of poverty, unemployment and incarceration among black Americans.
Rasmussen's poll also found that 32 percent of respondents thought race relations are getting worse, compared to 29 percent who said they're getting better. Puryear says, however, that "on a person-to-person basis race relations have certainly improved" since the 1960s.
The NAACP was unable to immediately comment on the poll.