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Poll: Majority of Americans say racism a major problem

Poll: Majority of Americans say racism a major problem
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Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that racism is still a major problem in American society and politics, according to a new NBC News–SurveyMonkey poll.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said racism remains a major problem, while 30 percent said racism exists but is not a major public issue. Three percent said racism once existed but is no longer a problem, and 1 percent said racism has never been a crucial problem. 

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The poll also shows that nearly half of Americans think that race relations are getting worse in the country.

Forty-five percent of respondents said that race relations in the U.S. are worsening, while 41 percent of respondents said that too little attention is paid to race and racial issues.

Nearly a third of those surveyed, 30 percent, said they think race relations is the biggest source of divide in America, an increase of 4 points from February.

The survey comes as racial tensions continue to play a large role in American business and politics.

On Tuesday, Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores for anti-bias training aimed at educating staffers on unconscious bias and racism. CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement that about 175,000 Starbucks employees would take part in the training.

The sessions came as a response to the arrests of two African-American men in a Philadelphia Starbucks. The men were arrested after a manager called police on them for sitting in the store while they waited for a friend. 

Forty percent of African-Americans in the survey say they have been treated unfairly in a store or restaurant because of their race. Meanwhile, just 26 percent of Hispanics and 7 percent of whites said they have been the subject of unfair treatment at a store because of their race. 

The NBC News–SurveyMonkey poll was conducted from May 14 to 21 and included a national sample of 6,518 adults. The findings have a margin of error of 1.5 percentage points.