Race and Identity in a Changing Nation

Examining America’s complicated relationship with race against a backdrop of ongoing demographic and generational change.

The author(s)

  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Just one year ago, protests swept the nation following the murder of George Floyd, spotlighting questions of race and justice, past and present. Renewed conversations around the historic legacy of race in America, particularly around the violent policing of the Black community, made many Americans aware of how further the country needs to go to live up to its prerogative of justice for all.

Nearly six months later, a new wave of social unrest began when a mob broke into the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to subvert the results of the 2020 election. The largely white group rioting at the Capitol expressed a now familiar message of both grievance and loss, in addition to false fears about the election having been rigged.

These disjointed events highlight complicated truths about America today:

  • America is changing. Census data projects that by the middle of this century, there will be no racial or ethnic group that makes up a majority of the population. Social norms will continue to evolve as younger, more diverse generations grow older.
  • Those in the older dominant groups feel adrift amid these changes.
  • Tension is growing as some groups push for further change and others attempt to forestall it.

Download our latest paper exploring how people across the country relate to their own race, their racial history of America, and where they feel the country is headed.

For more insights on these trends, please download our detailed POV.

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The author(s)

  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs

Society