10 Misconceptions About Millennials

Millennials Are Racially Tolerant
Protestors march in silence during a Black Lives Matter protest in Saint Louis, Missouri after the killing of Michael Brown by police. Although most millennials say they are colorblind, studies suggest otherwise. Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It seems pretty obvious that those belonging to the millennial generation are part of the most colorblind generation America has ever birthed. Slavery and segregation in the U.S. ended well before they were born. People are pouring into the country from all over the globe. And the U.S. Census Bureau has long predicted the U.S. will become a majority-minority nation by 2043. Race is simply a nonissue for millennials.

Isn't it? Yes, millennials say they support interracial marriage in larger numbers than previous generations. And they're more in favor of immigration, too, than previous generations. More millennials also agree everyone should be treated equally, no matter what their race. But these are self-reported beliefs. When Syracuse University professor Spencer Piston examined the 2012 American National Election Studies racial stereotype battery, he found white millennials were as biased as their parents when it came to viewing themselves as more intelligent and hardworking than African-Americans. And although only 13 percent of white millennials responding to a Pew survey said they didn't think whites and African-Americans got along very well, a full 30 percent of nonwhite millennials thought the two groups had issues. So while millennials say they're racially tolerant – and many do believe they are – there's definitely some prejudice hiding beneath the surface [source: McElwee].