NPR has released the results of a survey that had nearly 3,500 respondents, over 900 of whom were white. Of those white respondents, 55 percent said they believe that white people face racial discrimination in America today.
That’s right: White people, the wealthiest, most powerful and most populous racial demographic in the United States of America, believe they are discriminated against for their race.
Perhaps expectedly, that number drops quite a bit when respondents were asked if they had experienced such discrimination firsthand. NPR notes that white respondents thus fell into three categories, and provided an example for each.
The first category was white respondents who claimed they had been personally racially discriminated against. The man named Tim who served as an example said he’d been passed over for a promotion while a younger black man had been a finalist, yet the job still ended up going to a younger white man. Somehow, he qualified this as racial discrimination.
The second category was white respondents who said that white people face racial discrimination, but haven’t faced it themselves. The example this time was a different man named Tim who felt that white people are unfairly stereotyped as bigots. He at least had the sense to say he didn’t know the level of discrimination that black people felt.
The third and final category was for the 45 percent of white respondents that said they don’t believe white people are discriminated against. The woman named Betty cited as an example for this category said, “The notion that whites are discriminated against just seems incredible to me.”
NPR notes that these survey results could point to why President Donald Trump won certain battleground states in the 2016 election. These partisan divides could help explain why so many white voters in places like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania flocked to Trump’s message of overt racism. However, NPR quotes political scientist David Cohen as saying that Trump did not win more white voters than, say, Mitt Romney. Perhaps he just had a higher percentage of racist ones.