The racial divide is the political divide

When it comes to the basic philosophical underpinnings of what an American nation means, the poll also finds sharp distinctions between races. Seventy-six percent of white people and 74 percent of Hispanics think that civil liberties such as freedom of speech are a very important piece of American identity, while only 61 percent of black respondents feel so. Over half of black respondents think a belief in capitalism isn’t a very important part of that identity, while good majorities of both white and Hispanic people think it’s either somewhat important or very important. Forty-five percent of Hispanic respondents said racial, ethnic, and religious diversity makes the country much stronger, as compared to 32 percent of whites. And white respondents are most likely to say diversity makes the country weaker, or to be ambivalent altogether about the idea of diversity.

These differences equate to real political differences. Black people overwhelmingly identify as Democrats, and the small but influential sliver of black conservatives who identified as Republican appears to be diminishing, as the increasing influence of Trumpism and the alt-right on the modern GOP have made it more and more openly hostile to black voters. Other polls also show black voters increasingly concerned about racism. White voters might be moving in the other direction, and philosophically seem to be deprioritizing the importance of diversity in favor of an embrace of capitalism, nationalism, and individual liberty. And, according to researcher Adrian Pantoja, an analyst with the Latino Decisions political opinion research firm, Latino voters have increasingly made opposing the GOP agenda a top political priority in the age of President Donald Trump.