Poll: Most Black Americans Fear More Racial Attacks

Most say white supremacy is a bigger problem than it was 5 years ago
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2022 4:15 PM CDT
Poll: 75% of Black Americans Fear More Racial Violence
Katherine Mielnicki cries outside the funeral for Roberta Drury, who was shot to death in a Buffalo supermarket, on Saturday in Syracuse. Mielnicki lived with Drury for a time. "I can't go in there, I just can't do it," Mielnicki said.   (AP Photo/Lauren Petracca)

Black people in the US were well aware of the danger racism posed to them before the shootings in Buffalo, polling confirmed. Since then, the concern is clear: Three-fourths of Black people are concerned that they or someone they love will be attacked physically because they're Black, a Washington Post-Ipsos poll found. People saw the killing of 10 people as a reminder of the racism that exists. "This proved my theory that it’s still out there," said Teeyada Cannon of Buffalo, per the Washington Post. "And it's not getting better, it’s getting worse."

Officials say the Buffalo attack was a racially motivated hate crime committed by a white man, and the new poll shows many Black Americans don't see such attitudes as isolated. The vast majority, 70%, say at least half of white Americans hold white supremacist beliefs, and three-fourths consider white supremacists to be a major threat. Two-thirds, like Cannon, say white supremacy is a bigger problem in the country now than it was five years ago, per the Post. The first round of the poll of Black adults was conducted April 21 through May 2, with respondents interviewed again May 18-20. The shootings in Buffalo took place May 14.

Support for steps to combat crime varies, but more funding for economic opportunities in poor areas, violence interruption programs, more police officers patrolling, and longer prison terms for gun crimes all have majority backing among Black respondents. They also listed other threats, including the justice system, voting rights restrictions, the cost of health care, and a lack of economic opportunity. Optimism that took root when the killing of George Floyd sparked discussion of racial justice has faded, the poll found. Kwanza Boykin remembers looking in a Macy's storefront window in Florida with her mother as a child. An employee came out and admonished them that they wouldn't be allowed inside. She's 43 now and was 5 or 6 then, and she still feels that racism in her life. "Ain’t nothing improved at all for Black people,” she said. (More racism stories.)

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