A new Reuters/Ipsos poll reveals something rather ugly about much of the American electorate regarding racial views. The poll finds that Donald Trump supporters are not the only voting block with racist views about black Americans. In fact, a significant minority of Hillary Clinton supporters appear to be racist as well.
Although the Clinton supporters polled were less likely than Trump supporters to express racist sentiments, the results still come across as rather shocking, considering how strongly Clinton performed among African-American voters in the Democratic primary. Sanders supporters were not included in the results of the poll, although supporters of Trump’s two main Republican rivals, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, were also included.
When asked whether they felt that blacks were “less intelligent” than whites, roughly 1/3rd of Trump supporters said they agreed, while around 1/5th of Clinton supporters also believed the same. 22.5% of all respondents stated they believed whites were smarter than blacks.
When it came to notions about violence and criminality among black Americans, the poll found that, unfortunately, many overblown stereotypes continue to remain prevalent among voters in both parties. 32.8% of respondents overall viewed blacks as “more violent” than whites, while 33.2% viewed blacks as more “criminal” than whites.
Among Trump supporters, nearly half viewed blacks as more “criminal” and “violent” than whites, while nearly 1/3rd of Clinton voters said the same. The results were surprisingly similar to Kasich supporters, with voters for the Democratic front-runner and the former Ohio Republican governor coming in at around the same margin.
The results came out similarly when respondents were asked whether or not blacks are “lazier” than whites, with the average for all respondents coming in at 26.8%. Almost a quarter of Clinton voters said they held that view, while around 40% of Trump supporters said the same.
Almost 1/3rd of all respondents also said they believed blacks were “ruder” and less “well-mannered” than whites. Among Clinton supporters, around 30% held that view, while around 44% of Trump also said the same.
Overall, the results seem to indicate that, although the majority of Americans voting for the two candidates don’t appear to profess views of an inherent white superiority over blacks, there are still significant amounts who do. It’s obvious, of course, that Trump supporters would be more likely to fall under this umbrella, given that his popularity among white supremacist groups has been widely publicized. The fact that a significant amount of Clinton voters also hold similar views, however, should come as a wake-up call for those who think racism is “a thing of the past” in American society.
It bears remembering that at one point in Clinton’s political career, the former first lady, along with her husband and 42nd president of the United States Bill Clinton, appealed to many white voters who would’ve otherwise defected to the Republican Party in the 1990s by promising to “get tough” on crime in poor African American communities. As Michelle Alexander wrote in the Nation Magazine earlier this year:
Back then, Clinton was the standard-bearer for the New Democrats, a group that firmly believed the only way to win back the millions of white voters in the South who had defected to the Republican Party was to adopt the right-wing narrative that black communities ought to be disciplined with harsh punishment rather than coddled with welfare.
Perhaps some Clinton voters have yet to cast aside the hysterical narratives of “black criminality” that were common during her husband’s presidency.
Featured image via Getty.