Systemic Racism Eludes Millennials

I recently read a study conducted by The Applied Research Center (ARC) titled Don’t Call Them “Post-Racial”: Millennials’ Attitudes on Race, Racism and Key Systems in Our Society.

What’s interesting about this 42-page study is that Millennials, the18-30 age group, do not link racist behavior to the history of systemic racism in U.S. society.

Millennials believe racism is personal and only occurs on the interpersonal level. In other words, it has nothing to do with America’s overt racist past, and they see no reason to label it as that. In fact, another study conducted by ARC explains that Millennials have “difficulty defining present-day racism when initially asked.”

They are more progressive in their thinking about interracial dating, have the highest percentage of interracial marriage than previous generations, and voted for President Obama.

If Millennials limit racist behavior to interpersonal acts, do they recognize the attacks on the first African American president on the macrolevel are racist? Even though systemic racism eludes Millennials, they do believe it poses a problem in key systems such as education, housing, employment, criminal justice, and healthcare, decades-old targets of systemic racism for African Americans and other Americans of color.