Posted on July 24, 2023

Poll: Trump Voters Say Racism Against White Americans Is a Bigger Problem Than Racism Against Black Americans

Marquise Francis and Andrew Romano, Yahoo, July 21, 2023

As public support for reparations for African Americans remains stubbornly low, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll reveals one major roadblock: Donald Trump voters believe that racism against white Americans has become a bigger problem than racism against Black Americans.

The survey of 1,638 U.S. adults, which was conducted from July 13-17, shows that among 2020 Trump voters, 62% say that racism against Black Americans is a problem today — while 73% say that racism against white Americans is a problem.

Asked how much of a problem racism currently is, just 19% of Trump voters describe racism against Black Americans as a “big problem.” Twice as many (37%) say racism against white Americans is a big problem.

Trump voters and self-identified Republicans — overlapping but not identical cohorts — are the only demographic groups identified by Yahoo News and YouGov who are more likely to say racism against white Americans is a problem than to say the same about racism against Black Americans. A majority (51%) of white Americans, for instance, think racism against people who look like them is a problem — but overall, far more white Americans (72%) say racism against Black Americans is a problem.

Politics, in other words, is the dividing line here — and political dynamics go a long way toward explaining why reparations for Black Americans continue to be so unpopular in the U.S.


{snip} According to the Yahoo News/YouGov poll, just a quarter of them (24%) say Black Americans should receive “restitution or reparations from the government — not necessarily direct cash payments — as a result of inequities caused by racism and slavery,” while 56% say they should not.


{snip} Republicans are opposed 84% to 8%; Independents are opposed 62% to 8%. Democrats favor reparations by a 21-point margin (49% to 28%) — but even that’s not majority support, and much of it is attributable to overwhelmingly pro-reparations sentiment (69% to 11%) among Black Americans themselves, who tend to identify as Democrats.

Among white Americans, meanwhile, just 17% say yes to reparations; 66% say no.

Still, the major outliers when it comes to race are on the right-wing. When asked how big a problem racism against Black Americans was in the past, Biden and Trump voters basically agree, with 93% of the former and 85% of the latter agreeing that it was a problem.

The disagreement is over whether it’s still a problem today — or rather, as Trump voters seem to believe, whether it’s less of a problem than racism against white Americans, which reparations, in their view, would only exacerbate. When Trump voters are asked why Black Americans shouldn’t receive reparations, the top answer isn’t that “racism never held Black Americans back” (13%); it’s that “racism is no longer holding Black Americans back” (62%). Reparations, they say, would only “increase racial divisions” (57%) because “other Americans have [also] faced inequities because of racism” (60%).

Similarly, Trump voters are the only group (other than Republicans at large) who are more likely than not to say there isn’t any “problem with systemic racism in America” (61%) and to disagree with the idea that “racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies” (55%) — issues that reparations are intended to ameliorate.