Perceptions of white-Black relations lowest since 2001: Gallup

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Protesters hold a sign in support of Black Lives Matter during the Commitment March on August 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network organized a march with families who lost loved ones to police brutality, calling for criminal justice reform and demanding changes to federal legislation against police misconduct.…

Perceptions of relations between white and Black Americans are at their lowest level since 2001, according to a new Gallup poll, as protests against systemic racism and police brutality roil the nation.

A majority of adults in the poll say relations are poor, with 24 percent saying they are “very” bad and 31 percent saying they are “somewhat” bad. Only 7 percent say they are “very” good, and 37 percent said they think relations are “somewhat” good. 

The share of both white and Black adults who viewed relations as generally good has decreased, with now just 46 percent of white Americans and 36 percent of Black Americans saying relations are very or somewhat good.

Those findings stand in contrast with relations between other races in the U.S. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said relations between white and Asian Americans are very or somewhat good, while 68 percent said the same of Black and Asian Americans, 66 percent said the same of Black and Hispanic Americans, and 62 percent said the same for white and Hispanic Americans.

Opinions on relations between white and Black Americans remained positive from 2001 to 2013, but took a sharp nosedive in 2015 after a string of high-profile killings of Black people by white police officers. There was a small rebound in views of race relations before they sunk again in 2020.

Still, the public remains optimistic that relations will improve, with 59 percent of adults saying they think a “solution will eventually be worked out.”

The new survey comes as national protests across the nation continue in the aftermath of the killing and shooting of Black Americans by white police officers. The demonstrations began after the May killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and were further fueled by a recent incident in Kenosha, Wis., where a white officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back in front of his three children.

Many of the protests have remained peaceful, but looting and rioting in Portland, Ore., and Kenosha have garnered national headlines. Both President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have come out against the violence from some demonstrators, fueling a presidential campaign around both the coronavirus pandemic and “law and order.”

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,226 adults from June 8-July 24 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. The sample size includes an oversample of Black Americans weighted to their proportion of the population.

Tags Black Lives Matter Donald Trump George Floyd jacob blake Joe Biden Race and crime in the United States

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