In the week leading up to our June 12 panel Direct Address: A Conversation on Allyship and Anti Racism, we surveyed our audience via email and social media each day to have a better understanding of where we are in our anti-racism work as a community. Below are the questions we asked each day and the results. We do not provide commentary on the results but simply present them as they are. All responses were anonymous.
Question 1: Describe where you are in your anti-racism work.
On Tuesday, we asked respondents to describe their own anti-racism work using a sliding scale scoring themselves between “I’m not sure what I know what you mean by ‘anti-racism,'” which was labeled as 1 and “This is my life’s work,” which was labeled as 100.
93 people completed the survey and we received answered from 1 to 100 averaging 64.
Question 2: Do you believe systemic racism exists?
On Wednesday we asked, “do you believe systemic racism exists?” Respondents could choose between “definitely,” “probably,” “in some contexts,” “probably not,” and “no.” They were also given the option to elaborate by answering, “if so, how is [systemic racism] related to racism at an interpersonal level?”
126 people answered the question with 95.24% answering with “definitely” — systemic racism does exist. Less than 1% answered with “probably.” 2.38% answered that systemic racism exists “in some contexts.”Less than 1% answered “probably not,” and no one (0%) answered “no” — systemic racism does not exist.
Of the 126 respondents, 77 provided additional detail sharing their thoughts on whether systemic racism related to racism on interpersonal level. The answers were wide ranging, from a simple “No” to “Systemic racism is the driver behind interpersonal racism (i.e. it’s a symptom/result). Interpersonal racism cannot be eradicated without ending systemic racism.” Here are just a few examples of the responses:
How is systemic racism related to racism at the interpersonal level?
- “It is at the root of people’s unconscious bias.”
- “They’re independent.”
- “It pervades interpersonal interactions even among the most well-meaning ‘non-racists.'”
- “Oh hun, that’s an essay’s worth of an answer.”
- “I am attending this program [Friday’s panel on allyship and anti-racism] to learn more about the topic.”
- “Systemic racism tends to be hidden under ‘normal – the way things are and always have been’ for people who are not directly impacted by it.”
Question 3: What is your relationship to the ongoing protests happening around the country?
On Thursday we asked our final question, “what is your relationship to the ongoing protests happening around the country?” Respondents were shown 5 randomly-sorted options: “Yes – they make me nervous/scare me,” ” I understand why they are happening,” “I agree with the goals of the protesters,” ” I am in solidarity with the protesters,” and “I’m protesting along side.”
Of the 99 people that responded to the question, 0 said that the protests make them nervous. 9.09% said “I understand why they are happening,” 68.69% said they are in solidarity with the protests, and 21.21% said they were participating in the protests.
An additional 27.27% mentioned in the comments that they would participate in the protests if it were not for COVID-19 or other health reasons, sharing that they are instead donating, learning, and participating in online events.