Poll Reveals Black Americans Feel U.S. Institutions Are Against Them

According to a study on conspiracy theories, the majority of Black Americans claim to have routinely or occasionally encountered racial discrimination, which affects how they perceive American institutions including law enforcement, the political system, and the media.

The Pew Research Center report, which was released on Monday, looked at the relationship between conspiracy theories and race. This is part two of the study group’s series on Black Americans’ perceptions of success and failure.

According to the report, racial conspiracy theories are beliefs held by Black Americans that aren’t always in line with the institutions’ declared objectives regarding “the actions of U.S. institutions.”

The report emphasizes that these are assertions that African Americans might hold due to the country’s established history of racial policies that have disproportionately affected Black communities.

Pew looked into allegations of generational stereotypes like “you have to work twice as hard” to advance compared to white Americans and conspiracy theories about how powerful institutions discriminate against Black Americans.

For instance, the study discovered that the claim that “Black people are more likely to be incarcerated because prisons want to make money on the backs of Black people” was accepted by more than eight out of ten Black Americans surveyed.

Furthermore, over 60% of Black adults who participated in the study said that systems including the nation’s economic structure, policing, and criminal justice system are set up to disadvantage Black people.

These opinions coexist with the fact that, despite making up only 12% of the total population of the United States, Black Americans made up 32% of state and federal convicts who had been sentenced in 2022.

In contrast, the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that Hispanics were somewhat overrepresented in prisons at 23%, while white people were underrepresented at 31%.

Pew used data from a September poll of Black Americans for their study. According to the study’s authors, opinions are unlikely to have changed since survey participants were polled.

According to senior Pew researcher and study author Kiana Cox, the study also looked at why Black adults accept these narratives and gave respondents the opportunity to express their feelings about racial inequality and discrimination in their own words.

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Despite being released in an election year, she continued, the study does not concentrate on political politics. Instead, it highlights the emotions that Black Americans have, which frequently go unspoken or aren’t given much weight, but which might affect how the community perceives the country.

“There are anecdotal conversations among Black people about the system, the Man, the invisible hand, the agenda that is set out to create a situation where Black people can’t advance. So, we wanted to explore that,” Cox stated. “We also wanted to figure out how many Black people are familiar with these narratives about the system being designed for their failure and how many Black people believe them.”

Approximately 75% of Black individuals who reported having experienced prejudice stated it gave them the impression that the system was set up to keep them down.

Different feelings were also experienced by Black adults who have experienced discrimination: 76% expressed general anger, 53% expressed concern for their personal safety, and 41% expressed depression.

In September of last year, researchers nationwide polled 4,736 Black, multiracial Black and non-Hispanic, and Black and Hispanic respondents.

Racial conspiracy theories regarding politics were also likely to be believed by Black Americans. In today’s politics, “Black public officials being singled out to be discredited more than White officials” is a sentiment shared by 75% of those surveyed.

According to the study, 55% of respondents agreed that “medical researchers experiment on Black people without their knowledge or consent” describes how Black people are treated in medicine.


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