Released Monday, June 27th, a new Pew Research Center survey finds differences between the viewpoints of white and black adults on race and inequality in the United States — blacks are far more likely than whites to say black people are treated unfairly. The survey was conducted between February 29th and May 8th of this year, and 3,769 adults (1,799 whites, 1,004, and 654 Hispanics) participated. The analysis of the data primarily centered on the divide between blacks and whites.
The most shocking finding: about four-in-ten (43%) blacks were doubtful that the United States will ever achieve racial equality. In contrast, about one-in-ten (11%) whites were doubtful. In the same vein, less than one-in-ten (8%) blacks believed that the United States “has made the changes needed to give blacks equal rights with whites.” About four-in-ten (38%) whites believed the same. The figure below illustrates these findings. Furthermore, blacks are far more likely than whites to point to inequality in specific societal interactions. For example, 50% of whites reported that blacks are treated less fairly than whites when dealing with the police, while 84% of blacks reported the same. Additionally, blacks perceived more racial inequality than whites “in the courts,” “when applying for a loan or mortgage,” “in the workplace,” “in stores or restaurants,” and “when voting in elections.” Note the image below.
Blacks are more likely to see institutional racism as the culprit of racial inequality in the United States. According to the study’s findings, only 19% of the whites who were surveyed believed that discrimination is “built into laws and institutions,” while 40% of the blacks who were surveyed thought the same. Interesting to note is that the majority of both races believed that discrimination is “based on the prejudice of individuals.” Among white individuals, young adults, college graduates, and Democrats were most likely to admit that their race has resulted in a personal advantage. About half of blacks reported that people have treated them suspiciously (47%) or acted as if they were unintelligent (45%). Approximately 10% of whites said the same for themselves.