A basic knowledge of civics and belief in American exceptionalism are in startling decline among younger Americans, a new report suggests. About half of those surveyed under age 38 said they view the United States as a “sexist” or “racist” nation.
More than 4 out of 10 Americans under 21 said the nation’s 44th president, Barack Obama, had a “bigger impact” on America than its first president, George Washington.
The Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness, a nonprofit that provides civics education and resources to K-12 students, released these and other surprising findings Tuesday in its first annual “State of American Patriotism Report.”
The report, based on a survey of 1,078 Americans conducted by the market research and data analytics firm YouGov, found that 49 percent believe the U.S. is “racist” while 50 percent believe the country is “sexist.”
“We suspected that we would find decreasing numbers of Americans well-versed in our nation’s most important principles and young people less patriotic than the generations that came before,” said Nick Adams, founder of the organization and a White House surrogate, “but we were totally unprepared for what our national survey reveals: an epidemic of anti-Americanism.”
The report also found that 46 percent of young people say they believe “America is more racist than other countries,” and 38 percent say they don’t agree that “America has a history we should be proud of.”
Fourteen percent of millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996, according to Pew Research Center—agreed with the statement that “America was never a great country and it never will be,” the report found. And 19 percent said they believe the American flag is “a sign of intolerance and hatred.”
In addition, 44 percent of those surveyed under age 21 said they believe Obama had a “bigger impact” on America than Washington, long known as the father of the country. Eighty-four percent could not identify the specific rights enumerated in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Adams said the report “shows that we have a major fraction of an entire generation that has been indoctrinated by teachers starting in grade school that America is what’s wrong with the world.”