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Pew: Americans remain divided on whether racism over- or under-diagnosed

The Pew Research Center analysis came out ahead of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, held on Aug. 28, 1963.

Martin Luther King Jr. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Martin Luther King Jr. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

In 2019, 57% of Americans were more concerned about the under-diagnosis of racial discrimination where it exists while 42% worried that it was being over-diagnosed.

New data from the Pew Research Center suggests the gap between the two has narrowed from 15 to eight percentage points. Now, 53% think racial discrimination is under-diagnosed, and 45% believe it is over-diagnosed.

Republicans were much likelier (74%) to see racial discrimination as overstated, while Democrats were much likelier (80%) to see it as understated.

The Pew analysis comes ahead of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963, during which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, spoke immediately before King. (The congress was a sponsor of the march.)

“When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem,” the rabbi said in his speech. “The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.”

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