Poll: Views on race relations hit two-decade low

Poll: Views on race relations hit two-decade low
Protesters in Baltimore exercising their First Amendment rights (credit: AP/Patrick Semansky)

[Ed. – Obama can feel so proud.]

Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in the United States are bad, the highest percentage since 1992, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, which finds that majorities of both whites and blacks now view race relations negatively.

Meanwhile, 79 percent of African Americans think police are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than a white person, but 53 percent of whites say race does not play a role in such instances.

The survey found that blacks are more likely than whites to report that their local police make them feel anxious rather than safe.

In the wake of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the unrest that followed, Americans’ views on race relations in the U.S. have grown significantly more pessimistic. Sixty-one percent now say race relations are generally bad, up 23 points from earlier this year. It is the first time a majority has held this view since the 1990s. Just a third of Americans now say race relations are good. These opinions are the most negative this poll has found since 1992, when riots broke out in Los Angeles following the acquittal of police officers in the beating of Rodney King.

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