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White People Say They Face Discrimination and Believe Diversity Has Overlooked White Men: Poll

Ralph Freso/Getty Images
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Mediocre white men rule the world. The greatest example of this is the fact that Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Having said that, I feel as if using him as the example is an insult to mediocre white men everywhere. Alas, it’s a truth and a reality we have to face, right along with the reality of white privilege and white supremacy. Even with all of those things being real, however, there are white people who believe that they face discrimination and people who believe that the focus on diversity overlooks white men.


NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health released a poll Tuesday that showed a majority of white people believe that discrimination against them exists in America today.

The survey, which ran from Jan. 26 to April 9, sampled 3,453 adults in the United States—902 of them white. Of those whites, 55 percent said that they believe there is discrimination against white people in America today, but a much smaller percentage said that they had actually experienced it. In addition, 84 percent of the whites also said that they believe there is discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities in America, too.


According to NPR, the responses from white people could be broken down into three categories:

  1. those who believe there is anti-white discrimination and say they have personally experienced it
  2. those who say there is anti-white discrimination but say they have not experienced it firsthand
  3. those who say there is no discrimination against whites in America

The survey found that income was a determining factor in how a person answered questions about discrimination. Whites in the low- to moderate-income range were more likely to say that whites were discriminated against and more likely to say that it had happened to them when applying for a job, a raise, a promotion or college admission.

The results of the survey mirror some of the responses in a new national survey conducted by Ernst & Young—“EY Studies Race, Gender and Exclusion at Work”—which found that of 1,000 full-time employed Americans surveyed between June and August 2017:

  • 32 percent of men overall have felt personally excluded in the workplace, and
  • 35 percent of all respondents think the increased focus on diversity in the workplace has overlooked white men.

And of those who believe that diversity in the workplace has overlooked white men:

  • 43 percent are men, compared with 26 percent of women.
  • 62 percent think white men are overlooked for promotion and advancement opportunities.
  • 49 percent think white men are left out of diversity programs and initiatives.
  • 26 percent think white men are not included in mentorship or training programs.
  • 26 percent think white men don’t feel comfortable using benefits such as paternity leave.
  • 20 percent think white men do not trust management.

It’s odd that these views are so prevalent, because as the Washington Post pointed out, it is mostly white men who dominate the business world. A recent analysis by Fortune magazine shows that men hold 80 percent of the leadership roles at 16 Fortune 500 companies, and 72 percent of those men are white.


According to Catalyst, which tracks gender data, 96 percent of the chief executives at S&P 500 companies and 89 percent of the directors are men, and the majority of them are white, too.

The Pew Research Center noted that men hold four-fifths of the seats in the House of Representatives and make up 80 percent of the U.S. Senate, and four in five voting members of Congress are white.


Even with all these facts, there will be white people who say that the fears expressed in these surveys are true. Trump ran a campaign that played on fears such as these, and he doubles down on the idiocy every single day. Much like his relationship with the truth, these fears are founded in propaganda and lies.

So while white people may be feeling extremely put upon, they need not worry; the deck is still stacked unevenly in their favor, and white men still run practically everything.


Except The Root.

Thank goodness for small miracles.

Read more at NPR and the Washington Post.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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  1. Those who believe there is anti-white discrimination and say they have personally experienced it.

Did any of them describe this “discrimination” and did it involve more than some non-white person being mean to them?