A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found that the protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are working to showcase the plight of Black and Brown Americans in the United States. The survey, composed of answers from 900 registered voters, shows that the majority of Americans now view American society as racist and believe that Black people are discriminated against.

The findings show a significant shift in the way American voters see the nation. From February to July, the number of people who see race relations in this country as “very or fairly bad” has increased by 16 percent. Voters who recognize discrimination against Black Americans has roughly doubled since 2008.

WSJ/NBC poll numbers that show more voters acknowledge racial discrimination against Black people following George Floyd protests
Findings from a WSJ/NBC poll show that more voters are acknowledging racial discrimination against Black people following George Floyd protests. (Source: WSJ/NBC phone poll)

In an interview with the WSJ, pollster Brenda Lee noted that “Americans are concerned about issues of inequality, and George Floyd’s death helped contribute to that.” She also added, “We’ve moved the needle a great deal in terms of just clearly identifying that we, as Americans, have an issue with racism in this society.”

Though more people are willing to admit that racial bias exists in America, the poll did show that much of that sentiment falls along party lines. The overwhelming majority of Democrats—90 percent—believed Black people are discriminated against, while only 26 percent of Republicans would agree with that sentiment. Similar numbers resulted in the question about whether American society was racist. Only 30 percent of Republicans thought it was, while 82 percent of Democrats believed America has a race problem.

The right may be reluctant to admit that the Black Lives Matter movement is working, but the data from WSJ/NBC is clear. The George Floyd protests have made people more aware and more concerned about racial inequality. Voters of all ethnicities are interested in making an earnest effort toward rectifying the persistent issues that have kept Black people marginalized for far too long.  

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