Black Americans’ Perceptions of Racism Influence Beliefs in Conspiracy Theories, Says Pew Study – American Faith

According to a study by Pew, the majority of Black Americans claim to have routinely or occasionally encountered racial discrimination. According to them, it has affected 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, Black Americans’ perceptions of “the actions of U.S. institutions” that don’t always align with the institutions’ declared objectives are considered racial conspiracy theories. The study emphasizes that these are assertions that African Americans might have due to the historical record of racist practices in America that have mostly affected African American communities. 

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

According to the study, 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 Whites were underrepresented at 31%.

Pew’s research is based on a September poll of African Americans. 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 gave respondents the opportunity to express their feelings about racial inequality and discrimination in their own words.

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, for example. 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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