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Majority of Black Americans say more needs done to address racial equality: poll

A majority of Black Americans say more work needs to be done to achieve equality for African Americans in the country, according to an AP-NORC poll published Tuesday.

More than half of African Americans say “a lot” more work is needed for racial equality in all categories: good jobs, health care, political representation, education, affordable housing, voting rights, fair treatment by police and the criminal justice system.

Seventy percent of Black Americans say that “a lot” more needs to be done to improve treatment of African Americans by police. 

Forty-seven percent of white Americans said the same. 

Sixty-five percent of Black Americans said that a lot more needs to be done to improve equal treatment for African Americans in the criminal justice system, compared to 45 percent of white Americans that said the same, according to the survey. 

The poll comes just two years after protests erupted in the country following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The 46-year-old Black man was killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck for several minutes until Floyd became unresponsive. 

Chauvin was later convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for killing Floyd.  

The poll also comes after a spate of killings of Black Americans including Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright and Ahmaud Arbery. 

Forty-five percent of Black Americans say things have gotten “a lot worse” for the community in the past five years, while 43 percent of white Americans say things have gotten better for the Black community. In 2018, 37 percent of white Americans said things had gotten better for the Black community. 

President Biden campaigned in 2020 in part on improving racial justice in America, including selecting a Black woman as his running mate and promising to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court should there be a vacancy; he has since nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

Still, 48 percent of Americans overall approve of how Biden is handling race relations, which is down from 59 percent in 2021. Black Americans approve of Biden’s handling more than white Americans, 57 percent to 44 percent.

The AP-NORC poll was conducted Feb. 18 to Feb. 22 among 1,289 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Tags AP-NORC Joe Biden Ketanji Brown Jackson police brutality Racial justice Stephen Breyer

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