More white people have experienced racism than black people since 1994 – IRR

More white people have experienced racism than black people since 1994 – IRR

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An opinion poll found 54% of white people questioned said they experienced racism, while only 36% of black people said they did.

The results of a recent poll conducted by the Institute for Race Relations (IRR) has drawn the ire of South Africans on social media after suggesting that more white people have experienced personal racism than black people since 1994.

The results were presented in an article published by Times Live which states that the organisation’s opinion poll found 54% of white people questioned said they experienced racism, while only 36% of black people said they experienced racism.

One such person is the IRR’s head of campaigns Marius Roodt who told the publication that he personally experienced racism for the first time when he was doing gardening and a black man passing by said: “It’s your turn to work in the garden.”

“I didn’t understand why he was rude to me because of my race,” Roodt said.

“Not everyone will identify with the same scenario. Just because a narrative dominates social media does not necessarily translate to reality. What happens on Twitter doesn’t really give a full picture of society. It’s not a reliable indicator, as not everyone is on that platform,” added Roodt.

Despite Roodt’s dismissal of popular social media opinion, there seems to be a unanimous opposition to the suggestion of the poll.

This is not the first time an IRR poll has been questioned by the masses. Previous polls on public opinion regarding land reform and employment equity conducted by the IRR continue to be questioned.

Former IRR employee turned DA politician Gwen Ngwenya criticised the publications reportage, calling it “inaccurate reporting”.

She further argued that polls were “not some objective measure of truth” and that they served a purpose.

The survey also asked respondents what they thought the best way to improve the lives of South Africans was and the responses were as follows (grouped by the total sample group first followed by results grouped by ethnic background).

Total population

More jobs and better education – 59%

Better service delivery – 24%

More BEE and affirmative action – 8%

More land reform – 8%

Blacks

More jobs and better education – 57%

Better service delivery – 24%

More BEE and affirmative action – 9%

More land reform – 9%

Coloureds

More jobs and better education – 65%

Better service delivery – 31%

More BEE and affirmative action – 0%

More land reform – 5%

Whites

More jobs and better education – 72%

Better service delivery – 24%

More BEE and affirmative action – 0%

More land reform – 2%

Indians

More jobs and better education – 62%

Better service delivery – 25%

More BEE and affirmative action – 12%

More land reform – 0%

Additionally, the survey asked respondents whether they agreed that: “South Africa today is a country for black Africans, and white people must learn to take second place.”

According to the IRR, 23% of white people agreed while 62% of black people endorsed the view.

READ NEXT: Racial relations in SA are mainly positive – IRR

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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