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65% of the US population believes that racist opinions are more common since Trump’s election

Several people participate in the 31st annual march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr
Several people participate in the 31st annual march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. EFE
  • Four out of ten respondents in a recent survey by the Pew Research Center think that racist opinions are more admissible than before the US president came to power.
  • 63% of the population believes that the legacy of slavery continues to affect the current position of the black community in American society.
  • Three-fourths of black and Asian respondents and 58% of Latinos say they have suffered discrimination or been treated unfairly.
Several people participate in the 31st annual march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr
Several people participate in the 31st annual march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. EFE

It was one of the most repeated warnings by organizations and activists after the arrival of Donald Trump to power. They feared that their xenophobic rhetoric would translate into an increase in racist episodes throughout the country. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center concludes that two-thirds of the US population, 65%, believe it has become “more common” for people to express racist opinions since Trump was elected president in November 2016. This percentage rises 76% and 75% in the cases of black and Latino people, respectively.

Four out of ten respondents, in addition, think that these types of comments are more admissible than before, according to the study, based on 6,637 interviews conducted at the end of January.

Likewise, more than half of the population surveyed, 56%, believe that the Republican leader has worsened interracial relations with his management compared to 15% who argue that they are better now. This is also the majority vision among those who suffer racism, that is, Afro-descendants, Hispanics or Asians interviewed – 73%, 69%, and 63%, respectively -, compared to 49% of the white population that think about it

The data contrasts, on the other hand, with the number of people who believe that there was progress in interracial relations when Barack Obama was president, which amounts to 37%, compared to 25% who think they deteriorated. “The vast majority of black, Hispanic and Asian people believe that the biggest problem is that people do not see discrimination where it really exists,” said the Pew Research researchers responsible for the study, Juliana Menasce, Anna Brown and Kiana Cox.

The results of the survey of the US research group reinforce the data provided by other organizations such as Southern Poverty Law Center, which have documented the increase in groups that spread hatred “against racial, ethnic and religious minorities” throughout the country. In 2018, they registered the existence of 1,020 groups, compared to 892 accounted for in 2015. FBI statistics analyzed by the Southern Poverty Law Center conclude that hate crimes skyrocketed to 7,106 in 2017, an increase of 17%.

Another report published by Pew Research on April 15 reflects that the number of Americans who argue that Jews endure discrimination in the United States has increased by 20% since 2016. However, Muslims are considered to face greater difficulties than other groups in society: 82% say that those who profess the Islamic religion are discriminated against.

63% think that the legacy of slavery still weighs
About six in ten Americans say that interracial relations are bad, according to the previous poll by the US center. 71% of black respondents share this vision. In fact, this population shows skepticism that at some point they will achieve equal rights with white people: half of the Afro-descendants surveyed believe that this option “is too unlikely.”

The data reflect, in addition, 63% of the interviewees consider that the legacy of slavery, abolished more than 150 years ago in the North American country, continues to affect the position of the black population in the current American society. This opinion is defended by a huge number of black respondents, eight out of ten, who also think that the country has not done enough to achieve racial equality.

Likewise, most people think that being black or Hispanic adds difficulties to people when it comes to getting ahead, compared to 59% who say that being white help. However, the perception here also varies between those who experience racism and those who do not.

Among those who argue that being black hurts when it comes to opportunities, Afro-descendant respondents are much more likely than whites to point out “racial discrimination, less access to well-paid jobs and less access to good schools” as main reasons. White, however, tends to point out “family instability and lack of good references to follow” as important obstacles for blacks.

The figures also show that a huge majority of the racialized population – about three quarters of the black community (76%) and the Asian community (75%), and 58% of the Latino community -, claims to have suffered discrimination or have been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity “at least occasionally.”

The analysis of the US research group concludes that the degree of discrimination experienced by Hispanic people is greater the darker their skin. “Darker skin color is also associated with a higher probability of affirming that people have acted as if they suspected them as if they thought they were not intelligent, that they have been treated unfairly in work-related situations, which they have suffered insults or jokes or feared for their safety, “says Pew Research.

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