Posted on June 11, 2024

Pew: Most Black Americans Say Police, Government Plot Against Them

Russell Contreras, Axios, June 10, 2024

A majority of Black Americans polled believe political, economic and criminal justice systems are holding Black people back, a new Pew Research Center survey finds.


The big picture: Amid growing distrust in institutions by all Americans, the study further shows the deep skepticism Black Americans hold toward the police, media and health care, a sentiment rooted in decades of oppression.

Zoom in: Most Black adults surveyed in September 2023 say the prison (74%), political (67%) and economic (65%) systems in the U.S. are designed to keep Black people from being successful, the Pew Research Center survey released Monday showed.

  • The survey of nearly 5,000 Black adults found that most Black Americans are familiar with specific racial ideologies about U.S. institutions and believe they are true.

By the numbers: 82% of Black adults say they have heard that Black people are more likely than white people to be incarcerated because prisons want to make money off Black people. A substantial majority of Black adults (74%) say this is true and is happening in the U.S. today.

  • 76% of Black adults say it is true that Black public officials are singled out and discredited in a way that doesn’t happen to white public officials and that it is happening today.
  • About two-thirds (67%) of Black Americans agree businesses target marketing of luxury products to Black people to bankrupt them.
  • About half of Black Americans (52%) say the news media was designed to hold Black people back a great deal or a fair amount.