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Demographics of Racebending.com Supporters

April 30, 2010

In April 2009 through August 2009, Racebending.com surveyed our supporters on our livejournal community and via facebook. In just three days we received more than 400 responses. Here are the results taken from over 1,200 responses.

We’ve put the statistical data from the survey below. To read some of the most memorable survey responses, please click here!

Age of Racebending.com Supporters

Age ranges of the survey respondents ranged from 6 years old to 59 years old, spanning five decades.

Children under age 13 are not allowed to provide identifying information on the internet. As the survey was conducted on social networking sites, Racebending.com was unable to legally survey people under 13 unless their survey information was provided by parents or older siblings. Children under age 13 are underrepresented in this survey.

    The survey asked for the ages of our supporters.
    The mean (average) age of our respondents was: 22
    The standard deviation was: 7.14
    The median age of our respondents was: 20

Gender of Racebending.com Supporters

We asked our supporters to self-identify their gender, as they felt comfortable. Responses to this question were emphasized as optional.

Ethnicity of Racebending.com Supporters

We asked our supporters to self-identify their ethnicity, as they felt comfortable. Responses to this question were emphasized as optional.

This pie chart illustrates the ethnicities of our supporters with no overlap, categorizing everyone who reported a mixed ethnicity in one group (as is common in demographic surveys.)

We found that 15.3% of Racebending.com supporters from the United States and around the world are of mixed ethnicity. This number is particularly striking given the United States Census found that in 2000 only 2.4% of the American population was of mixed ethnicity.

The “mixed ethnicity” grouping in that graph is very vague, though, and does not reflect the true diversity of the respondents. We took all respondents’ reported single, dual, triple, ethnicities and ran the numbers again by partial or whole descent. These percentages do not add up to 100% because they include mixed ethnicity overlap.

Amerindian
5.3% of our supporters had Amerindian heritage. Many supporters wrote that they were of Native American, Cherokee, First Nations, or Inuit, descent.

Asian
29.26% of our supporters said they were of some or all Asian descent.
23% of the supporters were of East Asian (ie: Chinese Australian, Korean, Japanese American, Taiwanese, etc.)
2.15% were of South Asian descent, (ie: South Asian, Indian, Pakistani American, Sri Lankan, etc.)
9.61% were of Southeast Asian descent -(ie: Vietnamese American, Filipino, Indonesian, Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese Australian, Javanese, Malay, etc.)
0.45% identified as ethnically Pacific Islander.

Black
We categorized people of African, African American, and Afro-Carribean descent into this category and found that 11.76% of our supporters identified from groups such as Black American, African American, African, Congolese, Nigerian, Black British, Jamaican, Sudanese, Black Guyanese, and Afro-Carribean.

Latino
We grouped the 6.55% of respondents who identified as ethnically or part South American, Hispanic, Latino/a, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Brazilian and similar ethnic heritages as Latino.

Middle Eastern
1.08% of our supporters were of Middle Eastern descent, including identities such as Palestinian American, Egyptian, Iranian American, Israeli, and Arab American.

White
60% of our supporters identified as all or partially white or Caucasian.

It is very interesting and important to note that Asian Americans (and Asians internationally) were not the only people offended by the casting of The Last Airbender! 7 out of 10 Racebending.com supporters are NOT of Asian descent. People from many different ethnic groups felt strongly opposed to the film’s casting decisions.

Racebending.com Supporters by Country



75% of Racebending.com supporters live in the United States, but this also means that 1 out of 4 people concerned by the casting are not from the United States.

We received survey responses from over 50 countries around the world:

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Belgium
Bolivia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
China
Colombia
Croatia
Denmark
Egypt
Finland
France
Germany
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Jamaica
Japan
Lithuania
Malaysia
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zeland
Nigeria
Norway
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Singapore
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Tobago & Trinidad
Turkey
United Kingdom
United States
Vietnam
Zimbabwe

Here is a map of the States and Countries where Racebending.com supporters live, based on our survey respondents and also fans of our Facebook page. Don’t see your country or state on the map? Email us to be included!

American Racebending.com Supporters by State

We heard from supporters from 47 States and Washington D.C. (If you’re from South Dakota, Wyoming, or Arkansas, drop us a line!)

Cities with the highest number of survey respondents included: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, San Diego, San Jose, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Portland, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Salt Lake City.

Closing Thoughts

As recommended by the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, this survey would be important for us to prove to the world that this issue concerns everyone–not simply a cause taken by Asian Americans, young people, Avatar fans or any other single minority group. As much as statistics ‘pigeonhole’ us, it can also help show how diverse we are.

One of the respondents to the open survey left these insights, which we also hope you will keep in mind:

“I don’t think you need to answer the people who are asking about the demographics of this group.This isn’t about just standing up for Asian Americans; it is a simple fact that this group consists of people who are mobilizing against a system that is unjust and unfair.  There is no need for an answer to a question that brings no intelligent insight to a system with social bias. It’s a matter of right or wrong, and the demographics should not take away from the matter at hand.”

The survey was anonymous and asked for age, and hometown, with an optional request to also enter ethnicity, gender and reason for supporting the movement. Respondents opted to complete the survey and are representative of our supporters from our livejournal and facebook online communities. We were touched by the outpouring of support and the number of people willing to disclose information about themselves in order to prove that this is an issue that touches many different people from many different communities.

Thank you for supporting Racebending.com and our efforts to protest the discriminatory impact of The Last Airbender.

Categories: Community, Featured, Press, The Last Airbender
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About the Author

Marissa Lee is one of the co-founders of Racebending.com

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  • Pingback: Racebending.com Supporters: Why We Oppose the Casting of The Last Airbender :: The Last Airbender Movie Casting | Activism at Racebending.com()

  • Your link to “memorable survey responses” (top of the page) is broken.

    It should go to here:
    http://www.racebending.com/v4/campaigns/airbender/racebending-com-supporters-speak/

  • Well, I’m a 27-year-old Oglala male. I’ve seen things like, I could think of a dozen Indian men who definitely seem to be the ideal Jacob Black. Of course, asking Twilight to do such a thing is a bit much. (The casting is not the only racial issue in Twilight, though, and it’s Hollywood.) And in foreign films I can understand. But in independent films?

    By the way, since it was such a global essay, I’m assuming not all respondents were American. 😉 Also, not all Eskimos are Inuit; Eskimos from the Bering Strait region are Yup’ik. (And, of course, the term “Inuit” is masculine and plural.) Just a little semantic quibble.

  • Thalia

    As a white female, I’m not only offended by the blatant racism, I’m also… well, bored. I’ve had my fill of white actors to identify with, and now I’m just being forcefed. BOOOORING!!! Arab, Indian, Spanish-chinese with a touch of russia on the side… there are so many flavors to choose from. Lets change the menu already! 😛