As debates are being held in Florida on how America's racial history should be taught alongside the recently passed 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Black American civil rights, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey on whether Americans could identify discrimination.
The survey, which was published on August 25, found that America is more divided now when it comes to perceiving racial prejudice than it was in 2019 when the same survey was conducted.
Seeing racism where it doesn’t exist versus not seeing it when it does
Researchers were interested in determining whether Americans thought it was worse to fail to notice racial discrimination or to notice racial discrimination where there was none.
Of the people surveyed, 53% of people claimed that not seeing racial discrimination where it exists was a bigger problem than seeing it where it doesn’t. 45% said the reverse where they expressed, they felt it was more an issue where people see racial discrimination where it is non-existent.
In the previous survey, in 2019, 57% of participants said people overlooking racial discrimination was the bigger problem, while 42% pointed to people seeing it where it really didn’t exist as the larger issue.
Broken down demographically, 54% of white people said that people seeing racism where it does not exist is a bigger issue. This is 10% higher than the overall average. Only 11% of surveyed Black people shared this perspective.
74% of Republicans said that people seeing racism where it does not exist was a bigger issue, compared to only 19% of Democrats surveyed.
The survey did add, although did not quantify, that Republicans aged over 50 years old were more likely to believe that seeing racist bias where it does not exist was a greater problem.