Most White People Think Race Played No Factor In Ferguson & Garner Cases

Illustration for article titled Most White People Think Race Played No Factor In Ferguson & Garner Cases

A national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA Today finds that most people do not think race played a major factor in the grad jury decisions not to indict the police officers involved in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

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Of the 1,507 adults polled, 27% of respondents said that race was a major factor in the Brown decision while a delusional 48% say that race played no factor whatsoever.

Illustration for article titled Most White People Think Race Played No Factor In Ferguson & Garner Cases

However, you'll be unsurprised to hear that the breakdown between the way blacks and whites view these cases are, well, black and white.

Blacks and whites have starkly different views of the decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, and blacks are far more likely than whites to say that race was a major factor in both rulings.

Water, wet. Sky, blue. Grass, green. Gravity, etc.

80% of black respondents said that the grand jury made the wrong decision in not charging Darren Wilson and 90% said that the grand jury was wrong not to charge the officers who choked Eric Garner to death and most feel that race played a factor.

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In the Eric Garner case, 48% of whites believe that race played no factor at all while 60% believe it wasn't a factor in the Michael Brown case.

Illustration for article titled Most White People Think Race Played No Factor In Ferguson & Garner Cases
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The results reveal something that many of us already knew: a lot of white people really don't want to believe in racism. Maybe it's all that colorblindness people love to talk about?

The study found a correlation between the belief that the grand juries made the correct decisions and the belief that race was a factor in the cases.

Among those who believe the grand jury was right not to charge Wilson, just 6% say race was a major factor, 12% say it was a minor factor and 80% say it was not a factor at all. By contrast, 62% of people who say the Ferguson grand jury was wrong think that race was a major factor in the decision.

Those who view the decision in Garner's death as the right one overwhelmingly say race was not a factor in the outcome (81%). Among those who oppose the decision, 45% say that race played a major role in the decision.

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Looking forward, 52% of black respondents believe that the relationships between local police forces and minority communities will worsen while 43% of whites think they will stay the same.

Even before the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, a Pew Research Center survey found that black people have significantly less confidence in the ability of police to treat black and white people fairly, likely due to personal experiences and, ya know, history.

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On the upside, the two groups both feel that law enforcement officers should be required to wear body cameras 90% of blacks and 85% of whites agreeing.

The study also takes a look at the responses to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions broken down by age, political affiliation and education level.

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Image via Getty.

DISCUSSION

mollymlf05
Molly with the Mediocre Hair

As a white person, I can say that this result is because most white people view racist actions as nothing short of being in the KKK. They don't think the Michael Brown incident had anything to do with race because they don't view subtle discrimination ingrained over the span of a person's whole life as racism. It's not like Darren Wilson woke up in the morning and said, "I'm going to kill a black boy today." It was more of a frame of mind in which he's been trained to be intimidated by black men's bodies and believe his life and his safety are more valuable than Mike Brown's because of his color. Because no one said the N-word, white people don't think it's about race.