WASHINGTON, September 17, 2020 — Today, as President Donald Trump doubles down on his attack on schools using the 1619 Project with the announcement of the “1776 Commission,” and his recent orders to federal agencies to end anti-racism training in the federal government, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a new poll showing overwhelming support for anti-racism education and teaching the history of white supremacy in schools across the country.
When asked specifically about whether they supported “anti-racist education” as a policy to reduce and prevent hate and extremism, the poll conducted by Tulchin Research shows that seven-in-10 adults nationally (70%) say they support such a program compared to only one-in-six (18%) who oppose it.
“It’s extremely encouraging to see that the vast majority of Americans realize that our education system needs to address systemic racism head-on, and that means addressing our country’s hard history in the classroom,” said SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang. “Now is not the time to politicize education or use it for political stunts. It’s time for all of us to work together to teach future generations about the true and brutal history of the BIPOC experience in the United States. Only then, we can begin to forge a path to a more equitable and just future.”
The poll inquired about two types of lesson plans – one focusing on “anti-racism studies” more generally and the other one that explicitly references the need to teach students about America’s “history of racial prejudice and violence, including slavery, lynching and Jim Crow laws.” Both curriculums drew two-thirds support from American adults with slightly more favoring the more specific plan that would include the “history of racial prejudice and violence, including slavery, lynching and Jim Crow laws” (67% support) compared to 65% for the more general “anti-racism studies.”
The survey also finds all three anti-racism policies are supported across demographic groups. This includes solid support among men and women; voters of all races and ethnicities including white, Black, Latino and Asian voters; voters of all ages; and voters in every region of the country. The demographic break down is:
- Democrats (78%), Republicans (69%) and independents (65%);
- Liberals (84%) support it as do conservatives (64%) and moderates (69%)
- Whites (71%), Asians, (73%), Latinos (69%) and Blacks (65%);
- Regionally: South (68%) as well as the Northeast (68%), the Midwest (69%) with the highest level of support in the West (74%);
- Americans with favorable opinions of President Donald Trump support “anti-racist education” (64%).
Survey Methodology: From August 20-25, 2020, Tulchin Research conducted an online survey among 1,500 adults age 18+ nationwide. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.53%.