A recent Gallup Poll revealed that Americans are more worried about race now than they have been for the last two years — doubling the original percentage of 17 percent back in 2014.
The Gallup pollsters surveyed 1,019 adults in various live interviews from March 2-6.
Researchers at Gallup posed the question more than a decade ago asking participants if they feel concerned over how issues of race and racism were going in the country.
In 2001, 28 percent of Americans have felt concern over race in the United States. Now, the most recent poll shows 35 percent of Americans are uneasy about the racial issues in this country.
According to Gallup, the number has more than doubled in the past two years, but the issues of race relations still ranks low among issues causing worry.
In the years 2005, 2010, and 2014, Americans were not very worried about race. Those years had percentages of 16, 13, and 17, respectively. However by 2015, there was the largest uptick. From 2014 to 2015, the number of Americans concerned over race doubled from 17 percent to 28 percent, primarily because that year was a powder keg for racial issues. The Black Lives Matter movement began to hit its stride attacking rampant police brutality in Black communities.
At the beginning of the year, the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray by Baltimore police launched city-wide protests. That summer, confirmed white supremacist Dylann Roof stormed into a Charleston, South Carolina historical Black church and murdered nine Black parishioners. And there were other examples of police brutality and jail inmate deaths. The year also gave rise to Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump.
According to data produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of white supremacist hate groups have also seen a steep increase. Trump’s divisive rhetoric has galvanized many white hate groups in mostly southern states. The SPLC data shows that the number of active hate groups is 892. Texas has the most with 84, and Wyoming has the least with 2.
Even though the poll shows significant growth in concern over race, other issues like jobs rank higher to those polled.