Most Americans don’t believe the U.S. government should make cash payments to descendants of slaves, according to a new Gallup poll made public on Monday.
Cash payments are only one form of potential reparations, and 67 percent of Americans disagreed with the idea, according to the poll, which was conducted in June and July. While only 29 percent of Americans were in support of cash reparations, this is an increase over 2002 numbers, when 14 percent favored it.
The U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing on reparations in June. The specific bill under consideration was H.R. 40, a resolution calling for the creation of an expert commission that would study reparations and make recommendations to Congress.
The legislation, sponsored by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, does not itself make any proposals for how the descendants of formerly enslaved Americans might be compensated
— GallupNews (@GallupNews) July 29, 2019
Democrats are split on the matter, with 49 percent believing there should be cash reparations and 47 percent believing there shouldn’t. Only 25 percent of Democrats supported the idea when polled in 2002. Independents expressed less support for cash reparations than Democrats, with 32 percent in support and 65 percent opposing them.
Only 5 percent of Republicans were for such reparations compared to 4 percent in 2002, with 92 percent disagreeing with the notion. Gallup noted the Republican opposition is a “formidable roadblock” in the passage of a cash reparations bill.
The poll also showed a racial divide in support for reparations. While only 16 percent of white people supported them, 73 percent of black people were for it. Among the polled Hispanic population, 47 percent were for cash reparations and 46 percent were against.