Thursday, August 27, 2020

Summer Protests Are Changing (Some) Minds

The summer of protests has moved the needle, but not for everyone. The percentage of Americans who say recent police killings of Black men are just isolated incidents fell to 42 percent in June 2020, down from the 53 percent majority who dismissed such killings in 2015, according to a PRRI survey.

By race, there are still big differences in attitudes. But the gap is narrowing. In June 2020, 50 percent of whites said the killings were isolated incidents, down from 65 percent who felt that way in 2015. Among Blacks, only 16 percent think the killings are isolated incidents, little changed from 2015.

PRRI took a closer look at white attitudes toward racial justice, revealing a stark and growing polarization by political ideology. Here are white responses to four questions in June 2020 by political party identification (and percentage point change since 2015)...

Recent police killings of unarmed Black men are isolated incidents (percent agree)
White Democrats: 19% (-24)
White Republicans: 81% (-4)

Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for Black Americans to work their way out of the lower class (percent disagree)
White Democrats: 24% (-19)
White Republicans: 81% (+2)

The Confederate flag is more of a symbol of Southern pride than of racism (percent agree)
White Democrats: 21% (-21)
White Republicans: 85% (+6)

Monuments to Confederates are more symbols of southern pride than of racism (percent agree)
White Democrats: 31% (-18)
White Republican: 93% (+6)

Source: PRRI, Summer Unrest over Racial Injustice Moves the Country, But Not Republicans or White Evangelicals

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