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Poll: Since Obama took office, View of U.S. race relations has plummeted

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The view of race relations in the United States have plummeted since the election of President Barack Obama, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. According to the poll, only 52 percent of whites and 38 percent of blacks have a favorable opinion of race relations in the U.S. The poll has charted race relations since 1994; the most recent one was conducted in mid-July by Hart Research Associations and Public Opinion Strategies.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The most recent poll showed a sharp drop from the beginning of Obama's first term. At that time, 79 percent of whites and 63 percent of blacks then held a favorable view of American race relations.

Negative views on race relations have increased substantially. Forty-five percent of whites and 58 percent African-Americans now believe race relations are very or fairly bad. As soon as 2009, only 20 percent of whites and 30 percent of blacks held an unfavorable view.

While the survey only addressed the politically fueled Trayvon Martin controversy obliquely - querying how the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Martin's shooting death had affected respondents' views of the legal system, the survey's historical time frame, proved the steepest declines in positives and increases in negatives coming in the last two years.

Three years after Obama's election, in November of 2011, only 22 percent of whites and 41 percent of African-Americans believed that race relations were fairly bad or very bad. Positive views have fallen correspondingly since November 2011, when 75 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks said race relations were either good or very good.

Obama was harshly criticized in March 2012 for weighing in on the shooting death of Martin, announcing, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

Obama took another tumble in July 2013, after the acquittal of neighborhood watchman Zimmerman in Martin's death, declaring, "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

The Obama administration's Justice Department sent a unit with a history of anti-white racial advocacy to Sanford, Florida to help facilitate protests in the area calling for Zimmerman's prosecution in 2012, including a major rally headlined by activist Al Sharpton.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which steadfastly supports the Obama administration, distributed pro-Obama election flyers in 2012 with lynching and Ku Klux Klan imagery.

Although these efforts may have helped boost African-American turnout to record levels and deliver the key states of Florida and Ohio to Obama, they do not appear to have done much for black Americans. The black unemployment rate in the United States is currently 13.7 percent, more than six points higher than the national unemployment rate, which stands at 7.6 percent.

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