I found a tabular analysis on Wikipedia about affirmative action. It shows: "Supporters and opponents of affirmative action in California 2020".

Popular Group For Affirmative Action Against Affirmative Action Neutral
Whites 35 % 53 % 12 %
African Americans 58 % 33 % 10 %
Asians 39 % 50 % 11 %
Latinos 40 % 42 % 17 %
Native Americans 22 % 72 % 4 %

Sources: 1. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5nf4r5hz, 2. https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/prop-16-repeal-affirmative-action-ban-trailing-uc-berkeley-igs-poll/

What I noticed is that only African Americans are majority in favour of Affirmative Action. But what surprised me even more was that the group of Native Americans had the lowest support for affirmative action. Yet, from my European-German point of view, these are exactly the groups that have been discriminated against most often and for the longest time in the USA? Why then this ambivalence?

As already mentioned, I am European and have never been to the US. But I have heard some things at school, but also through the media and stories from acquaintances.

  • 3
    Is that table an accurate representation of the questions asked? If the questions were about support for a particular proposition—something as complicated as support for repealing a ban, say—it does not necessarily make sense to equate those to support for or opposition to affirmative action in general.
    – Obie 2.0
    Mar 19, 2023 at 10:34
  • 1
    @Obie2.0 That is a good and legitimate question. But unfortunately I don't know. Mar 19, 2023 at 11:06
  • 3
    Any time you are looking at surveys of Native Americans, issue #1 is survey sample size, representativeness of the sample, and the definition of Native American used.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 19, 2023 at 21:44
  • 3
    @MaikLowrey Yes. A strict definition, for example, might limit "Native Americans" to people who are formally affiliated with a tribe. But in the census and for many purposes relying on self-identification, lots of people who identify as Native American have a reputed family history of having some small amount of Native American ancestry and no living cultural connection to any Native American community (e.g. Elizabeth Warren), especially in the South. So in a loose definition, many "Native Americans" are predominantly, by ancestry and in their daily cultural practices, rural whites.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 20, 2023 at 5:36
  • 3
    @MaikLowrey A large share of people who identify as Native Americans in the U.S. even including many with strong tribal affiliations (probably well over 50%) can pass for white and do not have distinctively Native American names. In contrast, probably fewer than 5% of African Americans can pass for white in appearance, and a large share of African Americans have distinctive names that reflect their ethnicity. Also, many people in the U.S. with significant indigenous Mesoamerican and S. American ancestry, who have an indigenous phenotype/appearance, identify as Hispanic.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 20, 2023 at 5:48


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .