Some Black and Latino Americans are breathing a sigh of relief in the days since the election, according to a new study.
As Covid-19 cases spiked and a racial reckoning exploded over the summer, more than half of Black and Latino adults felt angry about the state of the country.
Now, a new report from the Pew Research Center shows that more people are feeling hopeful and less angry after the election.
The number of Black adults who said they were angry dropped to 41% in the weeks after Nov. 3 from 72% in June, according to the survey, which was published earlier this week. Latinos experienced a similar trend. Last month, about 44% of Latino adults said they were angry about the nation’s current state compared to 67% in June.
The survey included 11,818 respondents identified as White, Black, Latino and Asian and had a margin of error of 1.6%, according to the Pew Research Center.
Among all the respondents, Black and Latinos saw greater increase in their optimism about the state of the country than other groups.
Overall, 64% of Latino and Black respondents said they felt hopeful. White respondents’ optimism increased after the election to only to 50% from 45% in June, the survey found.
The sample of Asian Americans was not large enough in June to make a comparison, the survey’s authors said.
There were already racial and economic gaps affecting Black and Latinos before the coronavirus pandemic, but those divisions widened this year.
Black and Latinos are being hospitalized and dying in greater numbers than other groups, workers are seeing much higher unemployment rates than white workers and similar disparities emerged in housing.
Prior to the election, Black voters told CNN they were worried about racial injustice and police brutality, and felt devalued by a President who has hesitated to condemn White supremacy. They feared losing health benefits if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act.
Keith Green, a 65-year-old who voted in Overland Park, Kansas, told CNN in October that the Trump administration had left him worried about the future for his daughter and his two grandchildren.
“The last four years have been so bad,” he said at the time. “We can’t stand four more years of that.”
Clarissa Martínez-de-Castro, deputy vice president for the Latino advocacy group UnidosUS, said Black and brown communities had been among the most demonized by the Trump administration. Before being elected, President Donald Trump called Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists.” His administration has moved to terminate humanitarian protections for 300,000 immigrants from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador as well as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation.
“For the last few years, people have felt either maligned, attacked or their concerns dismissed,” she said.
On election night, Martínez-de-Castro said, many people felt like “they could take a breath after holding your breath for a very long time.”