Let our next greatest achievement be realizing the dream of full equality for all of us ...

- Human Rights Campaign President, Alphonso David, as reported by Maiysha Kai -


Guess Who Thinks Black People Aren’t Trying Hard Enough to Succeed?

Illustration for article titled Guess Who Thinks Black People Aren’t Trying Hard Enough to Succeed?
Photo: iStock

That’s a trick question, of course. Basically, the whites are at it again, back at it with another “Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps” story.


A recent poll published by YouGov (pdf) on Wednesday (h/t Newsweek) showed that some 40 percent of white Americans think that black people are just not trying hard enough when it comes to succeeding and getting ahead.

In a segment titled “racial resentment” in the poll, YouGov prompted participants with this cue: “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if Blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as Whites. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”


In the racial breakdown, 40 percent of white respondents believed that this was the case (19 percent strongly agreed and 21 percent somewhat agreed). This number is compared with 18 percent of black respondents (5 percent strongly agreeing and 13 percent somewhat agreeing), 26 percent of Hispanic respondents (9 percent strongly agreeing and 17 percent somewhat agreeing) and 33 percent who identified as “Other” (20 percent of them strongly agreed and 13 percent somewhat agreed).

Overall, 35 percent of respondents agreed (16 percent “strongly,” 19 percent “somewhat”) with that statement. Twenty-eight percent neither agreed nor disagreed.

The question also showed a stark difference along party lines (who is surprised?), with 59 percent of Republicans either strongly agreeing or somewhat agreeing, compared with 22 percent of Democrats. To take it even deeper—back to the 2016 election, to be precise—66 percent of Donald Trump voters agreed on some level with the statement, as compared with a mere 14 percent of Hilary Clinton voters.

A similar pattern continued into another racial-resentment prompt, which read: “Irish, Italian, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without any special favors.”


Some 56 percent of white respondents agreed in some capacity (32 percent strongly agreed and 24 percent somewhat agreed), compared with 21 percent of black respondents who agreed (9 percent “strongly,” 12 percent “somewhat”), 46 percent of Hispanics (18 percent “strongly” and 28 percent “somewhat” agreed) and 43 percent “Other” (27 percent “strongly” and 16 percent “somewhat” agreeing).

The voter breakdown is also similar, with 30 percent of Democrats agreeing in some capacity, while 76 percent of Republicans agreed. About 22 percent of Clinton voters agreed, compared with 85 percent of Trump voters.


The YouGov survey interviewed 1,500 people, including 1246 registered voters, from April 1 to April 3. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points ... and, apparently, quite a few people who didn’t understand generational wealth, versus the long-lasting impact of slavery and Jim Crow laws and how those effects bleed into our current-day system.

A little research goes a long way, but perhaps for those who refuse to look under the dark belly of the beast, Martin Luther King Jr.’s explanation of the obstacles that are unique to the black experience is best:

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi

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hocuspocusoctopus says wash your damn hands

compared to 85 percent of Trump voters.

Then why are they having “economic insecurities”? Why’d they feel the need to vote for Trump?

Why don’t they just work harder?