Whose responsibility is it to deal with racism and are people talking about it?
With half of Americans overall (52%) believing that civil rights and racial discrimination is one of the most pressing social issues faced by the country, whose responsibility is it to tackle? And are people talking about it?
For Black Americans, there is another group whom they view as being equally responsible for addressing and tackling racism; Black Americans themselves.
Two in five Americans overall (41%) say that it is the responsibility of ‘everyone’ to address and tackle racism in the US. The figure is
marginally higher amongst Black Americans (43%) and Asian
Americans (43%), although similar to White Americans (39%) and other POCs (40%).
Conversely, Black (21%), Asian (24%), and Other POC Americans
(22%) are significantly more likely than White Americans (13%) to say that the responsibility lies with the Federal Government. Black (19%), Asian (22%), and other POC Americans (18%) are also
more likely than White Americans (15%) to say that the responsibility lies with State Governments.
This data echo the focus of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and social action that we saw in the summer of 2020 insofar as calling for changes to systemic, institutionalized racism against Black people.
However, our data highlights that, for Black Americans, there is another group whom they view as being equally responsible for addressing and tackling racism; Black Americans themselves. Black Americans (19%) are twice as likely as White Americans (10%) to say that the responsibility for tackling racism in the US lies with Black Americans. The figure is also around twice as high for both Asian (11%) and Other POC Americans (9%) who say the same.
Also striking is that, for Black Americans, this figure is higher than the proportion who say that the responsibility lies with White Americans (13%), with the same proportion of White Americans also saying that the responsibility lies with them (14%).
The proportion of Black Americans who say the responsibility lies with themselves (19%) is higher than the proportion who say it lies with each of the Police (15%), Schools/Education System (12%), but equal with the figure for State Governments (19%).
Regardless of who’s responsibility it is to deal with, few would argue that progress does not start with dialogue. So, are Americans talking about racism at home?
Seven in ten Americans overall have had a conversation about racism in their home at some point (69%), with almost a third never having done so (27%). However, amongst White Americans, the proportion who have never had a conversation about racism at home rises to over a third (35%).
What impact did the demonstrations and protests in the wake of
George Floyd’s death have on whether Americans were talking about racism at home?
Sadly, according to our data, not much. By comparing frequency of conversations around racism at home within the last 5 years to within the last 12 months, it appears there has been little change.
Equal proportions of Americans overall report talking about racism in their household within the last 5 years (41%) compared to those who have done in the last 12 months (41%). And, amongst both Black Americans and White Americans there is a similar story.
To learn more about perceptions of racial inequality across the US, click here to download the 2022 BLM report: Re-energizing the conversation.