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Black-white race relations in US lowest in 20 years, poll finds

Race relations in the US between black and white adults are at the lowest point in more than two decades and black Americans are 20% less optimistic about future racial harmony, poll finds

  • A recent Gallup poll said race relations between black and white in the US are at their lowest point in more than two decades
  • Currently, 42percent of Americans say relations between the two racial groups rated it as positive as opposed to 57percent who say it’s negative
  • Last year, it was 44percent positive
  • Race relations have eroded since it was 70 percent positive in 2013 
  • The future is mixed based on racial group, with 60percent of white Americans Americans seeing a better future versus 40percent of black Americans

For the second consecutive year, race relations between black and white in the US are at their lowest point in more than two decades, and there’s a 20-point gap in how white and black Americans view the future. 

A Gallup poll published on Wednesday found 42percent of Americans say relations between the two racial groups are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ good as opposed to 57percent say they are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ bad.

Last year, the same poll found black-white relations for 44percent positive in the aftermath of George Floyd‘s murder and the subsequent nationwide protests and calls for racial justice.

And only 40percent of black adults are optimistic there will be racial harmony, as opposed to 60percent of white adults, according to the poll by Gallup, which is a Washington DC-based analytics and advisory company.  

‘This is the largest gap recorded in Gallup’s three-decade trend, and it is particularly striking given that it comes on the heels of a 10-point uptick in black Americans’ optimism last year,’ the Gallup company said in its report. 

Black Lives Matter protests, like the one shown here in New York City, erupted all over the country following the murder of George Floyd

Race relations between black and white Americans have deteoriated in recent years, reaching a new low in 2021, according to a recent Gallup poll

Race relations between black and white Americans have deteoriated in recent years, reaching a new low in 2021, according to a recent Gallup poll

At it's height, 70percent of white and black Americans said there was a positive relationship in 2013. It quickly eroded since

At it’s height, 70percent of white and black Americans said there was a positive relationship in 2013. It quickly eroded since 

The outlook for the future of racial harmony is a 20-point difference between white and black Americans, the largest ever

The outlook for the future of racial harmony is a 20-point difference between white and black Americans, the largest ever

Black-white relations in the United States have eroded since 2013, when 70percent of adults said they believed the two racial groups had a positive relationship. 

By 2015, that number fell off a cliff to 53percent and has continued to decline. 

The poll doesn’t pinpoint the reason for the sudden drop from 2013 to 2015, but America went through a racial reckoning in Ferguson in the weeks following August 9, 2014, when Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot by white police officer Darren Wilson.  

That started a string of police shootings of black Americans and led to the formation of multiple social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

In the last two years, cities have hosted countless peaceful protests for peace. But some of the protests have turned into violent riots that included looting and violence. Far left- and right-wing extremist groups have become more prevalent and clashed several times.  

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