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Race in America 2019

This week we are sharing a survey conducted online by the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.  While the key findings outlined below may qualify as "common sense" especially for those working in social justice-oriented fields, it's affirming - and sometimes jarring - to confirm that the majority of Americans see and acknowledge that racism still permeates our institutions and our politics. This serves as a reminder that Americans agree with each other on most issues, most of the time. Exaggerated emphasis on polarized perspectives can obscure the fact that the work we all do is broadly supported and necessary. We are so proud of the work our members are doing to address racial inequity and hate here in Nebraska. 

From Pew Research Center: 
More than 150 years after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, most U.S. adults say the legacy of slavery continues to have an impact on the position of black people in American society today. More than four-in-ten say the country hasn’t made enough progress toward racial equality, and there is some skepticism, particularly among blacks, that black people will ever have equal rights with whites, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

In addition to exploring the public’s views about the state of race relations and racial inequality in America, the survey also looks at personal experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination and the role race plays in people’s lives. Among the report’s key findings:

  • More Americans say it's now more common for people to express racist or racially insensitive views; more than four-in-ten say it's more acceptable.
  • Views of Trump's handling of race relations are far more negative than views of how Obama handled the issue.
  • Republicans and Democrats have vastly different views on race.
  • Blacks are more likely than other groups to say their race has had a negative impact on their ability to get ahead; whites are the most likely to say their race helped them.
  • Blacks, Whites differ in assessments of why it may be harder for Black people to get ahead. 
  • Majorities of Black and White adults say Blacks are treated less fairly than Whites in dealing with police and by the criminal justice system.
  • Most Americans, including similar shares of Whites and Blacks, say it's never acceptable for a White person to use the N-word.
  • Most Black adults say being Black is extremely or very important to how they think about themselves.
  • Majorities of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians say they have experienced discrimination because of their race or ethnicity.
  • Most Blacks say someone has acted suspicious of them or as if they weren't smart.
  • For Hispanics, skin color is associated with experiences with discrimination.

For additional details on race in America, how Americans see the state of race relations, and views of racial equality read the full report here.

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