Just 24% of voters nationwide believe it is possible to have a healthy democracy if there are policy disagreements that fall on entirely racial lines. A ScottRasmussen.com survey found that 49% say it is not possible and 27% are not sure.
The results were similar across most demographic, political, and racial lines.
Other data released recently showed that 58% of voters believe racism against persons of color is still a big problem in the United States. Other data shows that 67% recognize that, on average, black men receive stricter sentences than white men convicted of the same crime.
The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted August 23-24, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
My new book, The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not, describes how the culture leads our nation forward while the politicians lag behind. It’s the reason I’m optimistic about our future and believe our nation is moving to fuller equality. In fact, I am confident the culture is even powerful enough to fix our broken political system.
But my book also addresses the complexity of the culture and the tangled racial legacy we have inherited. Chapter 11 begins with the following passage:
In 1619, two contradictory strands of American history got their start in Jamestown, Virginia. One strand was noble, the other was shameful.
On July 30, the first representative government in the American colonies was established. The House of Burgesses met in the Jamestown Church “to establish one equal and uniform government over all Virginia.” Thus began America’s long and generally successful experiment with self-governance.
However, in a twist of fate worthy of a Greek tragedy, the first enslaved people arrived in the same town just a few weeks later. They were probably literate and Christian, having been abducted by Portuguese slave traders from what is now Angola. British pirates raided the Portuguese ship, took roughly two dozen captives as their prize, and sold them in Jamestown.
Thus began America’s great national sin, a sin that has haunted the nation for four centuries.
These two narratives—one positive and one negative—have competed and interacted to define America ever since. These dueling histories directly impact the way we perceive events today.
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Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).