Anti-Semitism worst among blacks and young adults in poll released ahead of MLK Day

The two groups were far more likely than Republicans or conservatives to believe negative stereotypes about Jews.
Abraham Heschel, Martin Luther King, Maurice Eisendrath, Washington, D.C., Feb. 7, 1968

Anti-Semitism is worst among black Americans and young adults aged 18-29, according to a new poll. 

Three out of ten blacks agreed that "Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust," compared to 15% of white Americans who agreed with the statement, according to a UMass Amherst Poll released Friday ahead of Martin Luther King Day.  

Black Americans were the most likely demographic to agree with anti-Semitic stereotypes overall despite the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s tireless work fighting in support of the Jews. 

When asked whether "Jews have too much power in the business world," 31% of black Americans agreed. Additionally, 29% of black Americans agreed that "Jews think they are better than other people." 

Democrats were slightly more likely than Republicans to harbor anti-Semitic views as well. While both groups were virtually tied on statements about the Holocaust and Jews in business, 17% of Democrats agreed that Jews think they are better compared to 15% of Republicans. 

Among conservatives, 18% said Jews talk too much about the Holocaust, 19% said Jews have too much power in business, and 13% said Jews think they are better than others

The poll also showed that young adults support reparations for slavery, but their feelings about social justice may not extend to Jews as well.

Showing more support for the idea of reparations than any other age group, 57% of people ages 18–29 said they are in favor of reparations for the descendants of slaves. In contrast, just 22% of Americans 55 and up said America should pay reparations.

About a quarter of young adults, however, agreed that Jews talk too much about the Holocaust, have too much business power and think they are better than others.

The poll was conducted with YouGov from Jan. 5-Jan. 9 with 1,000 respondents and had a margin of error of 3.55%. It was taken after several high-profile anti-Semitic incidents involving NBA player Kyrie Irving and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

In his life, Rev. King fought for the land of Israel and against anti-Semitism. 

"Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist ... I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy," King said in a speech two weeks before his assassination in 1968, according to the Jewish National Fund.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a leading Jewish theologian, was a close friend of King's and marched by his side during the famous trek from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery. Speaking at King's funeral, Heschel said: "Martin Luther King is a voice, a vision, and a way. I call upon every Jew to harken to his voice, to share his vision, to follow in his way."