Posted on October 4, 2023

Americans’ Support for Reparations Drops

Suzanne Blake, Newsweek, October 2, 2023

Over the course of four years, American support for slavery reparations has dropped, a new YouGov poll shows.

In 2019, 39 percent of Americans said they would support paying reparations to those who are descendants of slaves. This year, that support diminished, coming in at 31 percent. In 2021, the number was a little lower, with 30 percent of Americans supporting reparations. A majority of Americans, 53 percent, indicated they did not support cash reparations, while 16 percent said they were not sure.

There were some caveats, though. Americans are more in favor of reparations if they come from private companies instead of the government as 36 percent said companies that profited from slavery should send cash payments.

There are several reasons typically cited for the pushback against reparations. While the cost to taxpayers is a significant hurdle, opponents also say it’s difficult to place a monetary value on the impact of slavery.

Others believe that Black Americans are treated fairer today and thus should not receive the cash payments as a result of the experiences of their ancestors. {snip}


Only about one-third of white Americans believe U.S. wealth is tied to work done by slaves compared to 65 percent of Black Americans.

Overall, half of Americans said slavery continues to influence society at least a fair amount, and about the same percentage believe Black Americans still face discrimination, but there were key differences in how Black and white respondents answered these questions.

Most Black Americans (77 percent) said the government should apologize to Black Americans, while 35 percent of white Americans said the same.

Just 24 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government should make cash payments to all Black Americans, but Black Americans largely support the measure, with 69 percent saying they would be in favor, even if the person wasn’t a known descendant of slaves.