According to a new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a majority of white Americans believe that they face discrimination.
While every single racial group surveyed in the poll believe that their own group faces discrimination, the statistic of white people saying that they face discrimination is particularly interesting because a much smaller percentage of the respondents could say that they had experienced that discrimination personally. 55 percent of whites said that the discrimination exists, but only 19 percent could say that had experienced it in their own lives while applying for jobs, 13 percent when being considered for promotions or advancement, and 11 while applying to or attending college.
However, far more white respondents said that discrimination exists against racial and ethnic minorities, at 84 percent.
Income and partisan politics play a big role in whether or not whites perceive themselves as being discriminated against. Lower- and moderate-income whites were far more likely to say that they had experienced discrimination and to say that it exists, a group that, as we saw in the 2016 presidential election, was far more likely to vote for Donald Trump, who stoked the flames of resentment in his campaign.
“We’ve long seen a partisan divide with Democrats more likely to say racial discrimination is that reason blacks can’t get ahead, but that partisan divide is even bigger than it has been in the past,” said Jocelyn Kiley, an associate director at Pew Research Center. “That’s a point where we do see that partisan divides over issues of race have really increased in recent years.”