There is a consensus on racial equality as a basic ethic.
Yet, Americans still differ based on their political affiliation, race and ethnicity regarding their views on racism, its affects and how to address it, according to a Public Agenda/USA TODAY Hidden Common Ground report published June 15.
The findings are based on 2,788 adults fielded in February and March 2023. Of those surveyed, a majority (91%) of Americans believe that everyone should receive an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of their race or ethnicity.
Consensus is held across political affiliation, race and ethnicity and by people with varying degrees of religiosity and spirituality.
Most Democrats (82%) maintain that racism makes it harder for people of color to succeed. Forty-five percent of Republicans agree.
Most Republicans (61%) believe that attempts to fight racism are making life more difficult for white Americans. This is compared to 31% of Democrats.
The report also found that “more than 80% of Democrats but less than half of Republicans believe that racism is a serious problem at both individual and system[ic] levels.”
More than three-quarters of white (79%), Latino (77%) and Asian (76%) Americans believe that quickly accusing people of racism is a serious problem, compared to 68% of African Americans. Republicans and those who identify as both religious and spiritual are also likely to view this as a serious problem.
About two-thirds (65%) of Americans believe that changes in laws, institutions and individual attitudes are necessary. There were significant differences in views on this question based on racial / ethnic groupings, according to the report.
“Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) believe that individuals have roles to play in overcoming racism. But fewer believe that institutional entities do,” the report said.
Most Americans also believe it is the role of spiritual, religious and community leaders to advocate for policy change and speak up about racism.
The full report is available here. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points for all respondents.