Poll: Majority of White People Believe Whites Also Face Discrimination

A new poll finds that a majority of white Americans feel that whites also face discrimination in the United States.

The poll, conducted for National Public Radio by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, asked survey-takers, “Generally speaking, do you believe there is or is not discrimination against (Respondent’s own group identity) in America today?”

Unsurprisingly, African American respondents said yes (92 percent), as did Latinos (78 percent), Native Americans (75 percent), Asians (61 percent), and gays (90 percent).

But perhaps surprisingly, the poll also found that over half of white respondents (55 percent) said that whites face discrimination, and a small percentage even claimed they have personally experienced such discrimination.

Many white respondents, 19 percent, said they had faced discrimination when applying for a job, 13 percent said they were slighted when seeking a promotion at work, and another 11 percent said they were discriminated against when applying to college.

The survey also found that income affected the answers white respondents gave. Those identifying at a lower or moderate income were more likely to claim they have faced discrimination.

All racial groups felt that discrimination was due more to the actions of individual people as opposed to ensconced in government policy. On one hand, the respondents grouped by race felt discrimination was the fault of individuals (average 50 percent), but when asked if there is systemic discrimination in government, the numbers were far lower. Native American respondents were the group with the highest number who felt that government was discriminatory (39 percent). The other groups included Latinos (37 percent), gays (33 percent), whites (26 percent), African Americans (25 percent), and Asians (14 percent).

The poll was taken from January 26 to April 9 and quizzed 3,453 adults, with 902 white respondents included. The margin of error was not reported.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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