The racial unrest and protests rippling across the nation after recent police killings and controversial grand jury decisions clearly has impacted the perceptions that Americans have towards race relations.
The recent polling showed that 40 percent of poll respondents agreed that race relations in the U.S. are good, while 57 percent of the poll respondents say they are bad. In fact, 23 percent said race relations were “very bad.”
Those numbers contrast with a July 2013 poll showed that more than half of Americans had an “optimistic” view of race relations. The optimism was at its highest (77 percent), after President Obama won his first election. During his first term, more than 70 percent thought race relations were “good.”
As for the racial breakdown, 40 percent of whites and just 35 percent of Blacks say race relations are good, while 58 percent of whites and 63 percent of Blacks disagree. With Latinos, 51 percent say race relations are good, while 43 percent say they are bad.
The pessimism was consistent across political parties, as 58 percent of Democrats, 56 of Republicans and 60 percent of Independents had negative opinions on race relations in America.
The survey hasn’t revealed such pessimistic results since 1995, when O.J. Simpson was acquitted by a jury in the murder of his ex-wife. At that point, 58 percent of whites and 63 percent of Blacks didn’t agree that race relations were “good.”
The results of the poll reflect the masses of protesters participating in demonstrations in cities across the country. The demonstrations against police brutality and racial profiling have drawn out all types of people. Posts and tweets via social media have been flying around on the internet calling for change.
The poll also found that the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York City negatively affected the faith of Blacks in the legal process. Seventy-five percent of Blacks said their faith in the legal process was hurt by the Ferguson decision and 73 percent said the same as a result of the grand jury’s decision in New York City.