Since the death of George Floyd, surveys have shown that white Democrats are building a better understanding around certain race issues in America, particularly as it pertains to police relations. However, when it comes to actually repairing for wealth stolen because of slavery, white folks still don’t seem to be as invested.
According to a survey by Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project, white Americans in general now view the police less favorably. Meanwhile, favorable views of Black Lives Matter have increased amongst white people, according to data from Civiqs. White Democrats are also more likely to agree that Black folks face “a great deal” or “a lot” of discrimination in America today,” according to FiveThirtyEight.
However, White Democrats haven’t seemed to evolved on whether descendants of slaves should receive reparations. According to FiveThirtyEight, polling both before and since Floyd’s death suggests that white Democrats are fairly opposed to reparations, which is opposite to a majority of Black Democrats.
Reports have shown that the wealth gap is huge between white Americans and Black Americans, with most of the country’s wealth being concentrated in the hands of white Americans. A wage gap between Black and white Americans has also been rising for decades, and this gap continues. Even for Black people who went to college, white college graduates are earning a lot more money than Black graduates, according to The Washington Post. Such impactful differences demand a sweeping agenda from the U.S. to eliminate the income and wealth gap.
White Democrats generally back the increasing of taxes on the income of very high-earning Americans and they back taxing the wealth of people with a high net worth, according to Reuters. However, white Democrats are far less supportive than Black Democrats when it comes to giving reparations to Black Americans who are descendants of slaves or to financially atone for past and current injustices Black people face in sectors like housing and banking. This divide is consistent across various surveys, and Floyd’s death hasn’t made a huge impact on changing white Democrats’ minds.
There has been a increase since late April and early May of this year of white Democrats supporting reparations, according to a Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape poll. The most recent poll shows the support has grown to 33 percent for white Democrats. However, despite this increase, it’s nowhere near the support reparations has among Black Democrats, considering two-thirds of Black Americans supported reparations before and after Floyd’s death.
Clearly, more organizing and protests have to be done to make reparations just as much a concern for White Democrats as anti-police violence.