Americans believe race relations between blacks and whites are at their lowest point in more than two decades, according to a survey by the polling organization Gallup.
For the second consecutive year, U.S. adults’ positive ratings of relations between black and white Americans are at their worst in years of measurement. At present, 42 percent of Americans say relations between the two groups are “very” or “somewhat” good, while 57 percent say they are “somewhat” or “very” bad.
At the same time, only a third of black Americans currently view race relations in a positive light and hopes “for a solution to racial discord that existed last year have since dissipated,” Gallup reports.
Gallup stated that this rating of black-white relations in the U.S. may not be statistically different from last year’s 44 percent, but the rating has slipped 9 percentage points over the past two years. In that period the nation has dealt with the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis a year ago, and the subsequent violent nationwide protests organized by left-wing activist groups.
“Americans’ poor assessment of Black-White relations stands alone in their assessments of relations between other U.S. racial and ethnic groups,” according to Gallup.
“Majorities of Americans rate relations between Hispanic and White people, Black and Hispanic people, Asian and White people, and Black and Asian people as good.” The complete findings from that study will be published in the future.
On a positive note, black and white Americans continue to be optimistic about the future. Gallup said 57 percent of U.S. adults believe a solution to black-white tensions will eventually arrive, while 40 percent disagree, saying the problems are not going away. The level of optimism has been fairly steady in recent years, coming in at about the same level since 2013, including the 59 percent rating from 2020.
The Gallup poll was conducted from June 1 to July 5, a period during which former police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 270 months, or 22 1/2 years, in prison for killing Floyd. The custodial sentence is one of the longest ever handed down to a U.S. police officer for unlawfully using deadly force, Gallup said.
As recently as 2001, 70 percent of U.S. adults rated black-white relations positively but that changed after several high-profile killings of unarmed black people by police officers around the United States received saturation media coverage. “These incidents precipitated the formation of multiple social justice movements that remain active today,” according to the company.
David Randall is director of research at the National Association of Scholars where he tracks race relations, critical race theory, and the nation’s culture. He told The Epoch Times that institutional hostility to white Americans has contributed to worsening race relations.
“Policies and sentiment rooted in anti-white discrimination, bigotry, and hatred, under such names as ‘affirmative action,’ ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion,’ ‘critical race theory,’ and so-called ‘anti-racism,’ are at an all-time high in the United States and getting worse all the time,” he said in an emailed statement.
“Our governmental and corporate elites now impose this discrimination, bigotry, and hatred on the unhappy nation without any respect for the Constitution or common decency. These poll results register the American public’s apprehension of this truth,” Randall said.
Donna Jackson is a member of Project 21, a black leadership network that is a project of the National Center for Public Policy Research.
There is a perception “right now that whites are born evil, that they’re irredeemable, that everything that whites do is to oppress minorities,” Jackson told The Epoch Times in an interview.
The biggest problem is that “a lot of people want that narrative because they get to keep the power.”
The country’s racial problems are “more perception than reality and I think it’s on purpose that a lot of individuals want to keep that perception in order to keep people apart in real life,” but, she added, “people are more alike than they’re different.”
Critical race theory, which “goes against everything that Christianity and Judaism preach,” is playing “a big part” in driving people apart, Jackson said.
This article by Matthew Vadum appeared July 28, 2021, in The Epoch Times.