Survey measures whites’, Blacks’ views on American identity, guns, political violence

A recent national survey from University of Illinois Chicago researchers found strong consensus both across and within white and Black populations in the U.S., and transcending political party lines, when freedom of speech, voting rights, respect for institutions, and peaceful resolution of political conflict were considered as key dimensions of what it means to be American. Conversely, the survey , which also examines views on the role of firearms and political violence in American political life, police funding, the 2020 presidential election and Donald Trump’s legacy, reveals considerable disagreement on the use of violence in certain settings. The online survey was conducted between May 20 and June 1, 2021 by YouGov on behalf of the UIC research group led by Alexandra Filindra, UIC associate professor of political science. It included 1,500 respondents, with 1,000 white and 500 Black participants to serve as a representative sample of the national population for those two groups. The survey shows the depth of the partisan divide in American politics today, according to Filindra. “It transcends questions of policy and it goes to the heart of how we understand democracy and our role as citizens. It suggests that we are heading for a collision between our First and Second Amendment rights,” she said. Key findings related to use of violence are: Almost half of respondents support “stand your ground” laws, with 85% of Republicans favoring an individual’s right to respond to danger using arms rather than retreating. Thirty-seven percent of respondents are in favor […]

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