Washington, July 15 (IANS) At least six in 10 Americans say race relations are growing worse, up from 38 per cent a year ago while hitting its highest point in the Obama presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll published on Thursday.
Race relations deemed bleak by most in the US, a New York Times report lamented, noting that the proportion of Americans who believe race relations are generally good has declined over all since 2009 and at the same level as after the riots touched off by the 1992 acquittal of Los Angeles police officers charged in the Rodney King’s beating case.
Despite Obama’s Tuesday remarks that the races in the US are “not as divided as we seem”, the poll shows that black and white Americans hold starkly different views on race, particularly regarding the treatment of African-Americans by the police, according to Xinhua.
More than two-fifths of black people say the police in their communities make them feel more anxious than safe. By wide margins, whites and Hispanics say the police make them feel safer, the poll shows.
Asked whether the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than a white person, three-quarters of African-Americans answered yes, and only about half as many white people agree.
Fifty-six per cent of whites said that the race of the suspect made no difference in the use of force; only 18 per cent of black Americans said so.
A majority of black people say they are not surprised by the attack that killed five police officers and wounded nine others when Micah Johnson, a 25-year-old black army veteran, opened fire at a protest in Dallas last week. Nearly half of white Americans say that they, too, are unsurprised by the tragedy, the poll finds.
The nationwide Times/CBS News Poll was conducted from July 8 to 12 on mobile phones and landlines with 1,600 adults, including 171 black respondents and 1,207 whites. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for all adults, three points for whites and nine points for blacks.