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White Americans like protests in America way more when protestors aren’t black

AP Photo/David Goldman
Whose chants matter more?
By Sonali Kohli
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Americans think that protestors make the country better. As a whole though, they’re less likely to think that if the protestors are black.

In a recent survey of about 1,000 people in the US, the nonpartisan group the Public Religion Research Institute asked half if they agreed with the statement, “When Americans speak up and protest unfair treatment by the government it always makes our country better.” They asked the other half the same question, but it began, “When black Americans speak up…”

Overall, the majority of respondents supported both all Americans’ and black Americans’ protest movements—63% and 54%, respectively. However, the responses broke down across a racial line. Two-thirds of white Americans agreed with the question that started “When Americans speak up,” but only 48% agreed when it was specific to black Americans.

The non-white Americans surveyed, meanwhile, have more faith in black Americans protesting to make the country better—by nine percentage points—than they do in all Americans’ protesting.

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