Racial Disparity Amongst Millennial Support In 2016 Democratic Primary
According to Politico, Bernie Sanders has drawn a significant portion of his support from the youngest voting bloc (under the age of 30), but just 25 percent of millennial black voters said they are supporting the Vermont senator, compared with 64 percent who said they are backing Clinton. The reverse is true among white millennials, who support Sanders 75 percent to 22 percent. The racial disparity persists in our “post racial” society.
Millenials “of color” aren’t too young to remember their relatives serving long sentences because of Bill Clinton’s three strikes law. They are informed voters, and realize they more likely have a relative in state prison due to a state 3 strikes law. State inmates are 93% of all inmates in the nation. As informed voters, millennials of color understand federalism and its effect on racial disparity in our criminal justice system.
Race Forward, formerly the Applied Research Center (ARC) performed a nationwide study of the racial attitudes of young people, whom many pollsters and commentators prematurely labeled as “post-racial.” ARC conducted in-depth discussions that focus on the experiences and perspectives of millennials on the continued role that race and racism play in key systems in our society.
The “Millennial Generation” (born post-1980, ages 18-35) is the largest, most racially and ethnically diverse generation the US has ever known. However, it is clear that race continues to play a role in their lives.
Racial Disparity Amongst Millennials
A large majority of young people assert that race is still a significant factor within various systems, such as criminal justice, education, employment, health care, housing, and immigration. Millennials are not monolithic – there are differences in how young people of different races and ethnicities view the extent and continued significance of racism in various systems of society. Racism is often defined in interpersonal terms – though most young people of color have little problem labeling an entire system as racist.
Rinku Sen explains the results:
Between the election of President Barack Obama and Census figures illustrating America’s growing diversity, the term “post-racial” has been frequently – but wrongly – applied to our culture, and to our young people in particular.
A new ARC study on millennials’ attitudes on race shows that race matters. They actually see a lot of racial problems. They’re concerned that race continues to affect outcomes in society, and they want to talk about it. What’s more, the gap in perception between how white millennials and millennials of color see race points to the potential for continued racial conflict, demonstrating how important these conversations are. Yet when media outlets, politicians, and pundits label our society as “post-racial” and lay claim to young people, they effectively shut down the conversation on race.
America’s youth may be multi-racial, but that does not make them post-racial. And they are not monolithic. There are differences in how millennials of different races and ethnicities view the extent and continued significance of racism in various systems. Unfortunately, as is the case with most Americans, they often lack the tools necessary to go beyond interpersonal racism and talk about systemic racism–though most young people of color have little problem recognizing an entire system as racist…Our young people know that race matters. And if we listen to them, we can work toward solutions.