Understanding black Americans: Don't ask liberals

Many might be surprised to learn a CNN-Kaiser survey found that 61 percent of Black respondents, but only 51 percent of white respondents, believed that the breakdown of the Black family was a major cause of Black poverty, while only 11 percent of Black respondents but 18 percent of white respondents believed it was no cause at all. Similarly, 42 percent of Black respondents versus 32 percent of white respondents believed lack of motivation and willingness to work hard was a major cause, while only 21 percent of Black respondents but 30 percent of white respondents believed it was no cause at all.

Moreover, a sizable share of Black Americans has similar responses to white Americans on a number of questions that have been used to measure racism. Take the survey question “Do you think most white Americans have benefited from racism against minorities?” Answering “have not” is scored as a racist answer. Yet in a CNN-sponsored survey, among Blacks and Hispanics surveyed, 27 and 39 percent, respectively, answered “have not.” Or the question “Are statues of Confederate soldiers more as symbols of Southern pride or more as symbols of racism?” Answering “pride” is scored as racist. However, in a HuffPost questionnaire, only 58 percent of Blacks surveyed answered that it was racism, while 17 percent were unsure and 25 percent believed it reflected either pride or some factor other than race or pride.