|Jan. 21, 2014
A new national survey
by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Jan. 15-19 among
1,504 adults, finds that black people, women and Democrats are more likely to support the NSA spying program than white people, men and Republicans.
According to the poll, which has a margin of error of ± 2.9%, NSA approval rates are as follows:
Support of the NSA is down since
polling was done in June, 2013, at which time African-Americans, women
and Democrats were even more in favor of the spying program.
- 43% of Blacks and 39% of Whites
- 43% of women and 38% of men
- 46% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans
Finally, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to favor criminal
prosecution of Edward Snowden, according to the poll. Sixty-two percent
of Democrats, versus 54 percent of Republicans, think that the
government should pursue a criminal case against Snowden.
HOW CAN THIS BE?
The assumption is that partisan politics explains why more Democrats
than Republicans approve of NSA spying, but why have women consistently
been more supportive of the NSA program than men?
Regarding the unexpected Black/White results, according to Glen Ford, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, "Forty percent of Blacks told a Washington Post/ABC poll (last year) that they supported President
Obama’s threatened airstrikes on Syria. Although majorities of Blacks
(56 percent), Whites (58 percent) and Hispanics (63 percent) opposed
Obama’s air war, African Americans were the most supportive of war – the
first time that has ever happened. Given that Blacks were far more
pro-peace than either Whites or Hispanics in the pre-Obama era, the
conclusion is inescapable: Substantial proportions of Black Americans
are now more concerned with defending Obama than with preventing the
death of thousands of innocents abroad, at U.S. hands. In siding with
the NSA’s spies, Blacks have shown they are prepared to sacrifice their
own civil liberties in order to safeguard the prestige of the icon in
the White House."