A new report from the Black Youth Project revealed that over half of Black millennials have been or know someone that has been victimized by the police.
Entitled “Black Millennials In America,” the report stated that 54.4 percent of Black millennials answered yes when asked if they experienced harassment or violence from the police compared to only one-third of whites, 25 percent of Latinos and 28 percent of Asians.
The report was released to the AP today and featured data dating back to 2005 documenting various aspects of millennials’ experiences in education, employment, political engagement, interactions with law enforcement, gun violence, healthcare, and immigration by race and gender.
Data revealed that while although more Whites knew someone who carried a gun in 2013 than Blacks and Latinas (46 percent versus 24 and 22 percent), more Blacks and Latinas knew victims of gun violence compared to Whites (22 percent and 14 versus eight).
Other statistics showed that Black millennials were notably pessimistic about the US legal system. Twenty-eight percent believed the system is fair to all compared to 41 percent of Whites. This is likely tied to the fact that millennials of color frequently complained that they were interrogated about what they were doing when they were approached by the police. Whites rarely complained about this issue.
“We know that young blacks are more likely to be harassed by the police. We know that they are more likely to mistrust their encounters with the police.” Cathy Cohen, chair of the political science department at the University of Chicago and leader of the Black Youth Project, spoke on the reports’ conclusions.
“But we also know from actually collecting data that a majority of them believe that police in their neighborhood are actually there to protect them, so I think it provides us with more complexity.”
Surprisingly, however, 71 percent of Black millennials did contend that their local police forces are there to protect their neighborhoods. Eighty-five percent of whites, 76 percent of Hispanics and 89 percent of Asians shared this sentiment.
Blacks were also the most optimistic about their political participation, as 71 percent believed voting could affect political change versus 52 percent of whites and 56 percent of Latinos.
The Black Youth Project, based at the University of Chicago, also revealed some compelling information on the experiences of millennial Black women, particularly in their careers, health and incarceration.
Black women spoke out about dealing with discrimination at work at higher rates—35.6 percent versus 13.9 percent of White women and 21 percent of Latinas. The obesity rate for young Black women was also noted as a significant problem. Millennial Black women struggle with obesity at 55.8 percent, a rate that is almost twice as high as White women (24.6 percent) and that is over 20 percent higher than the obesity rate for young Black men.
Although HIV infections are now significantly lower among young women than young men, Black women are still at risk.
The HIV infection rate for Black women is 13 times higher than for Whites between the ages 13 and 24. Similarly, the infection rate for Black women between the ages of 25 and 34 is 11 times higher than it is for White women.
Finally, incarceration is a great issue for young Black women as well, particularly at the ages of 18 and 19. That group is almost five times more likely to be jailed than White women of the same age.
Read more of the Black Youth Project’s report here.