Race-relations not showing improvment under Obama
POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2009 - 2:33pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:03am
UNDATED — A new Gallup poll shows President Obama has had very little impact on race relations in the U.S.
A majority of Americans, 56%, believe that a solution to America's race-relations problem will eventually be worked out — a figure that is roughly the same as those Gallup found in the years prior to last fall's historic election of Barack Obama as president.
Among blacks, optimism about an eventual solution to race-relations problems has decreased since last summer, from 50% to 42%. In fact, the current 42% is essentially the same percentage that Gallup measured among blacks on several previous occasions.
In the current poll, 79% of Americans say blacks have equal employment opportunities. This is technically the highest positive response measured to date, albeit just two points higher than what Gallup measured in the 1998 survey. Compared to last summer, the current figure represents an increase of eight percentage points.
A large majority of whites say blacks have as good a chance as whites to get any type of job for which they are qualified. Blacks, on the other hand, are divided in their views. The current perceptions among blacks of the job situation for blacks represents an improvement from recent years, although at one point in 1995 — after O.J. Simpson's acquittal — blacks were slightly more optimistic than they are now.
A third Gallup trend asks Americans about racism against blacks in the U.S. At the beginning of last summer — after Obama had essentially clinched the Democratic nomination — 56% of Americans agreed that there was widespread racism against blacks in the U.S. That percentage has now dropped to 51%. The slight drop over the last 20 months has occurred to some degree among both blacks and whites.
There has been a slight uptick (from 41% to 44%) in the percentage of Americans who perceive widespread racism against whites in the U.S. Again, the overall increase reflects increases among both blacks and whites.