Report: More Than Half of Blacks Believe Race Relations Have Improved Under Obama, 34% Believe He ‘Tried but Failed’ to Make Progress
June 28, 2016 | Posted by
Since his election to the U.S. presidency in 2008, President Barack Obama has made conscious efforts to improve race relations in America. A majority of Americans agree that the president has been successful in his efforts, but a dissenting quarter of Americans believe race relations have actually gotten worse under his leadership.
In contrast, 32 percent of white respondents believe race relations have gotten worse under Obama, whereas 24 percent said he tried, but failed, to make things better. A whopping 62 percent of white Republicans also said the president has worsened race relations, the study reports.
“Race relations have always been tenuous in America,” Clarke told host Sean Hannity. “Slavery and discrimination have left an ugly scar on the soul of America. But that scar has been healing over the years. President Obama came along with sandpaper, rubbed it raw, and then poured salt in it to inflame it for political gain. He doesn’t believe that and neither does anybody else.”
“What he’s failed to do consistently is express the anger and frustration of a very important constituency of his own, to not just cultural misunderstandings, but to structural oppression,” Jason Johnson, a professor of political science at Hiram College, told The Hill in 2014.
Despite his haters, the president still has a number of supporters who approve of his efforts to close the rift between white Americans and minorities. Being a target of racial jokes and insults himself, it’s hard for some to see how the president’s attempts at improving race relations could be deemed as “divisive.”
Meanwhile, just 53 percent of white respondents believe America still has work to do for Blacks to achieve equality. An even smaller 11 percent expressed doubt that such changes will occur, according to the report. Six-in-ten (59 percent) of white Republicans feel that too much attention is paid to race and racial issues in the first place.
Similar studies have examined how Americans feel about race issues in this country. According to Atlanta Black Star, a 2016 survey by Gallup Poll found that 35 percent of Americans are uneasy about race issues in America. That number jumped from 28 percent back in 2001.
Per the survey, 57 percent of white respondents said whites and Blacks were equally responsible, while one-third of Blacks held both races responsible. Another third pointed the finger at “white people of the past.”