Posted on September 12, 2023

Americans Are Divided on Whether Society Overlooks Racial Discrimination or Sees It Where It Doesn’t Exist

Kiley Hurst, Pew Research Center, August 25, 2023

Ahead of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Black Americans’ civil rights, we asked U.S. adults what they think is the bigger problem when it comes to racial discrimination in the country today.

  • 53% say people not seeing racial discrimination where it really does exist is the bigger problem.
  • 45% point to people seeing racial discrimination where it really doesn’t exist as the larger issue.


Americans’ current views on this question differ greatly by:

  • Race and ethnicity: 88% of Black adults say people overlooking discrimination is the bigger problem. Smaller majorities of Asian (66%) and Hispanic (58%) adults say the same, as do 45% of White adults.
  • Partisanship: 80% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say people not seeing racial discrimination where it does exist is the larger issue. About three-quarters (74%) of Republicans and Republican leaners give the opposite answer.