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Can we talk? Many Americans feel speaking about race draws more criticism than encouragement — CBS News poll

Most say they see challenges in talking about race today. Many — including most Black and White Americans — worry that speaking their minds on race draws criticism, not encouragement.


But there are different reasons why Americans think it draws criticism. For some it's that they need to be careful not to offend; for others, it's that they feel others are too easily offended.

These ideas show splits by race, partisanship and age. 

Black people, Democrats and younger Americans feel when people talk about issues of race they need to be more careful with what they say to avoid offending others. 

White people, Republicans and independents and those ages 30 and over think people are too easily offended.


Banning books on race

Even if many feel discussions about race may be challenging, there is overwhelmingly opposition to schools banning books on the topic. Big majorities of Americans, across racial and party lines, continue to oppose banning books that discuss race or depict slavery. 

Most believe teaching about the history of race in America helps students understand what others have gone through. And more Americans think teaching it makes people more racially tolerant today than less so. 


Few Americans think too much is being taught about the history of Black Americans in schools, but Black people are far more likely than White people to think there is too little of this history being taught. 


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,602 U.S. adult residents interviewed between January 24-30, 2024. Respondents were selected to be representative of adults nationwide with an oversample of Black respondents included, and the final sample as reported was weighted to be representative of adults nationwide according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error for the total sample is ±2.6 points. The margin of error for the sample of Black respondents is ±5.7 points.


cbsnews_20240131_1 (1) by CBS News Politics on Scribd
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