ANXIETY NOSTALGIA AND MISTRUST

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6 ANXIETY, NOSTALGIA, AND MISTRUST

Among religious groups, white Christians are more likely than other religious groups to say that

recent killings of African American men by police are not connected.

• More than seven in ten white evangelical Protestants (72%), white mainline Protestants

(73%), and white Catholics (71%) believe that killings of African American men by police are

isolated incidents.

• By contrast, about six in ten Americans who are affiliated with non-Christian religions (62%)

and religiously unaffiliated Americans (59%) believe that these killings are part of a broader

pattern of how police treat minorities.

• Among black Protestants, more than eight in ten (82%) believe they are part of a broader

pattern.

Nearly six in ten (58%) Americans disagree that blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment

as whites in the criminal justice system, up from 47% in 2013. More than eight in ten (85%)

black Americans and two-thirds (67%) of Hispanic Americans disagree that non-whites receive

equal treatment in the criminal justice system. White Americans overall are closely divided (52%

disagree, 47% agree), but white college-educated Americans are significantly more likely than

white working-class Americans to disagree that minorities receive equal treatment in the criminal

justice system (64% vs. 47%, respectively).

Americans are also closely divided over whether there are racial disparities in death penalty

sentencing. A majority (53%) of Americans agree that a black person is more likely than a white

person to receive the death penalty for the same crime, while 45% of Americans disagree. American

attitudes about the way that the death penalty is applied are virtually unchanged from 1999.

More than eight in ten (82%) black Americans and roughly six in ten (59%) Hispanic Americans,

compared to fewer than half (45%) of white Americans, believe that a black person is more likely

than a white person to receive a death penalty sentence for the same crime.

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