African Americans have fared the worst over the past year when it comes to overall well-being, according to a new Gallup survey published on Wednesday that found a decline across all racial groups. While there are a number of factors that likely contributed to the findings, the impact of President Donald Trump looms large.
The drop came after an across-the-board increase last year despite improvements in key economic indicators that affect well-being, such as unemployment, perceptions of standard of living, confidence in the economy and optimism about spending, researchers said.
Scored on a 0 to 100 scale, African-Americans’ sense of well-being declined 1.3 points between 2016 (59.8) and 2017 (58.5).
During that same period, White people said their well-being was relatively steady, declining by just .3 points (62.2 in 2016 and 61.9 in 2017). Asians were at the top of the list, rating their well-being at 64 in 2017. Still, that’s a decline of .6 from 2016 when their rate was 64.6. Hispanics had a 1 point decline in 2017, comparable to African Americans but with figures closer to Whites (63.3 in 2016 and 62.3 in 2017).
The Well-Being Index consists of five metrics: including financial stability, feeling safe and having pride in one’s community, and having good health.
The president has touted his impact on the economic recovery, but while Wall Street executives were once again earning big bonuses, many low-income families have been just getting by as the wealth gap has widened to historically high levels.
Trump has also enabled a resurgence of racism into American society, emboldening White supremacists to come out of hiding and commit acts of violence without fear of consequences, like in Charlottesville this past summer.
His law-and-order approach to “law and order” has erased progress made under former President Barack Obama, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has planned to restart the War on Drugs, which has historically made use of racially biased policies that have devastated Black families and communities.
Considering all of the above, it’s no wonder that the Black community was at the bottom of the well-being index.