Americans say racism in US widespread: Poll

Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) Over six in 10 Americans have said that racism against blacks is widespread in the US, according to a poll.

The Gallup poll released on Wednesday showed that 61 per cent of Americans believe that racism against blacks is widespread, up by one percentage point over 2015; the percentage of Americans saying racism against whites was widespread increased by eight points over last year, Xinhua news agency reported.

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

At the same time, 43 per cent of whites and 33 per cent of blacks believe racism against whites was widespread, according to the poll.

The latest results were 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 a small increase last year, likely in response to the highly publicised incidents in which black men were killed in confrontations with white police officers in 2014 and early 2015, Gallup found.

There has been more recent deadly encounters between police and citizens this year, 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 were 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 African-Americans 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.



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