A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that 56% of voters believe that American society is racist.
What We Know:
- The death of George Floyd and other Black Americans has sparked concerns over discrimination in our country, as 71% now say that race relations are either very or fairly bad.
- Around 60% said Black people face discrimination while just over 50% said the same of Hispanics in the survey. Support has also risen significantly for movements like Black Lives Matter and athlete’s kneeling during the national anthem. “Americans are concerned about issues of inequality, and George Floyd’s death helped contribute to that,” said Brenda Lee, a pollster who worked on the survey. “We’ve moved the needle a great deal in terms of just clearly identifying that we, as Americans, have an issue with racism in this society.”
- Perhaps most striking is the disparity between Democrats’ and Republicans’ views on the same issues. The poll found that 90% of Democrats said Black people are discriminated against, and 82% believe American society is racist. On the other hand, only 26% of Republicans said Black people face discrimination, and a small 30% viewed our society as racist.
- The survey also questioned people’s support or disagreement over movements surrounding the fight for racial equality. 57% percent of voters said they support the protests started as a result of Mr. Floyd’s killing, and 58% said they are more concerned with racial inequality as a result of the demonstrations. 51% of voters support removing Confederate statues from public property, while 47% said they would leave them in place. 52% now say it is appropriate for athletes to kneel during the national anthem, a 9% increase since 2018.
- President Trump has opposed all of the aforementioned issues that Americans now express concern over, resisting the changes protesters have called for. He has criticized the Black Lives Matter Movement and repeatedly condemned efforts to remove Confederate statues and the Confederate flag. He has also added that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should be suspended without pay.
- Efforts to resolve the issue of racism in America has already begun to take form. Larry Johnson, a DeKalb County, Georgia Commissioner, introduced a resolution to make racism a public health issue. “We really have to look at it from a zoning, a housing, an economic stand-point as how we look at racism,” Johnson said. “It would be first for us to lead the way by initiating this resolution, to first acknowledge what African Americans have been dealing with since 1619.”
With a few short months before election day, the poll could be a strong indication of voters’ interests as Democrats hope to push out Donald Trump and take over the Senate.