Posted on March 18, 2015

Whites, Blacks Divided on Whether We Talk About Race Too Much or Not Enough

YouGov, March 18, 2015


In 2015 for the first time YouGov research showed that most Americans think that race relations in the United States are ‘bad’. 2014 was a particularly controversial year after the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner which prompted large protests across the country. {snip}

YouGov’s latest research shows that there is a significant divide between black Americans and the rest of the country about whether or not people talk too much about race. Most white people (57%) and half of Hispanics (49%) think that people talk too much about race. Among black Americans, however, only 18% think that people talk too much about race while 49% think we talk too little about it. Only 18% of white Americans think that Americans do not talk enough about race.


White Democrats are divided between those who think we talk too much (33%) and too little (32%) about race, but large majorities of white independents (60%) and white Republicans (77%) think we talk too much about race.


Among white Americans whose highest level of education is a high school diploma, only 23% worry about sounding racist while 68% don’t worry about it. People with four year degrees are evenly split between the 46% who do worry about sounding racist and the 45% who don’t. Most white Americans with a post-graduate education (52%) sometimes worry about saying something that sounds racist.


Black Americans report that their racial identity is far more important for them than for any other group. 68% of black Americans say that being black is ‘very important’ to them, compared to 49% of Hispanic Americans and only 17% of white Americans. Most while Americans (53%) say that their racial identity is either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ important, something only 13% of black and Hispanic Americans agree with.