Thursday, August 18, 2016

Americans say racism in US widespread: Gallup

Over six in 10 Americans say racism against blacks is widespread in the United States, while 41 percent say racism against whites is widespread, Gallup found in a poll released Wednesday.

The poll shows that 61 percent of Americans believe racism against blacks is widespread, up by one percentage point over 2015; the percentage of Americans saying racism against whites is widespread increased by eight points over last year.

Now, 82 percent of blacks and 56 percent of whites say racism against blacks is widespread, reflecting increases of 10 and seven percentage points, respectively.

At the same time, 43 percent of whites and 33 percent of blacks believe racism against whites is widespread, according to the poll.

The latest results are based on Gallup's Minority Rights and Relations survey, conducted June 7-July 1 with 3,270 US adults, including 1,320 non-Hispanic whites and 912 non-Hispanic blacks, Gallup said.

Americans' perceptions of widespread racism against blacks remain elevated this year after an uptick last year, likely in response to the highly publicized incidents in which black men were killed in confrontations with white police officers in 2014 and early 2015, Gallup found.

There have been more recent deadly encounters between police and citizens this summer, including incidents in Texas and Louisiana last month, in which black men shot and killed eight white police officers, but those incidents occurred after interviewing for the poll finished July 1.

Both blacks and whites are more likely to say racism against blacks is widespread today than they were in October 2009, during the first year of Barack Obama's presidency, Gallup found.

Perceptions of racism against US blacks were already high before several deadly confrontations between police and black citizens in 2014 and 2015 led to increased concerns about race relations in the US, but they have increased modestly since then.

Americans' belief in equality of opportunity for blacks in being able to find good jobs, a quality education, and any housing they can afford are the lowest they have been since at least the 1990s.

These trends underscore that Americans perceive the situation for blacks as worse than it has been in the recent past, Gallup said.

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