Black Americans believe activism is uniting the country, but white Americans don’t agree

Jamie BallardData Journalist
November 11, 2020, 8:00 PM UTC

Are activist movements calling for social change bringing the country together or tearing it apart? Depends on who you ask.  

Data from YouGov’s Social Change Monitor finds that across generations, Black Americans are more likely to see activism as uniting the country, while white Americans tend to believe it divides the country.  

A majority of Black Americans (58%) believe that activism for social change is uniting the country, while 42% believe it’s dividing it. In contrast, just one-third of white Americans see activist efforts as uniting the country, while two-thirds (67%) say otherwise.  

While Black Americans of all generations give similar answers, attitudes shift as white Americans get older. White Gen Z’ers are almost evenly split, with 48% saying activism for social change is uniting the country vs. 52% who disagree. Among older white groups, opinion moves move towards the ‘divisive’ option: 59% of white millennials think activism is dividing the country, rising to 66% among white Gen X’ers and 73% of white baby boomers. 

The YouGov Social Change Monitor tracks attitudes towards equality and fairness on several social movements. For more information about the YouGov Social Change Monitor, contact social.change@yougov.com  

Data from YouGov’s Social Change Monitor is based on the online interviews of 13,148 US adults aged 18 and over. Interviewers were conducted June 30 – October 25, 2020 and the sample was weighted to be nationally representative. 

Image: Getty