Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
This release features findings from online focus groups conducted on February 22, 2021 with Black Americans in three markets: Atlanta, GA (more politically engaged), Philadelphia, PA (less politically engaged women), and Detroit, MI (less politically engaged men). Political engagement was defined by a combination of either educational attainment or a self-reported frequency of following news and current events. Qualitative results are not statistically projectable.
- Black American focus group respondents call the Capitol Insurrection and its subsequent fallout a demonstration of “white privilege” planned by Trump and his allies.
- Most are “hopeful” for a Biden Administration. He shares most respondents’ priorities, is “changing the tone” and “puts his pants on the same way.”
The filibuster, however, triggers confusion, concern, and ire.
- Most intend to take the COVID vaccine “eventually,” although others indicate hesitancy driven by multifaceted concerns.
Respondents Almost Universally See The Capitol Attack As A “Showcase Of Privilege”
Many Blame Trump And The Republican Party For Inciting The Attack, “Hyping Up” The Crowd, & Deflecting Responsibility
Some Show Empathy For The Attackers Who They See As Manipulated & Misled
Most Describe The Country Negatively
Although to describe their own situation, many use words reflecting positivity or personal resolve, such as “pretty well,” “hanging in there,” or “trying to stay safe.”
Black Respondents Describe Democracy And Our Government As Having “Always Been Broken”
The Filibuster Is Seen As A Symbol Of A “Game” That Makes Needed Change Remain More Out Of Reach
Black Respondents’ Hopes On Biden: “With The New President, Hopefully, Prayerfully, They’re Going Up”
While most are hopeful, others do say “not enough time has passed” to assess.
Vaccine-Hesitant Respondents Are Largely Open To Getting Vaccinated Eventually
About half of each group showed some hesitancy.