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. Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times
New York Times: Race Relations Are at Lowest Point in Obama Presidency, Poll Finds
Sixty-nine percent of Americans say race relations are generally bad, one of the highest levels of discord since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles during the Rodney King case, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The poll, conducted from Friday, the day after the killing of five Dallas police officers, until Tuesday, found that six in 10 Americans say race relations were growing worse, up from 38 percent a year ago.
Racial discontent is at its highest point in the Obama presidency and at the same level as after the riots touched off by the 1992 acquittal of Los Angeles police officers charged in Mr. King’s beating.
Relations between black Americans and the police have become so brittle that more than half of black people say they were not surprised by the attack that killed five police officers and wounded nine others in Dallas last week. Nearly half of white Americans say that they, too, were unsurprised by the episode, the survey found.
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WNU Editor: What a difference seven and a half years make. I cannot count on how many in the media and elsewhere herald the election of President Obama as a positive change for race relations in America when he was first elected in 2008. For the black community .... this was also celebrated as a seismic event, and that many issues of discrimination and inequality would finally be addressed in favour of blacks. Even among my own family .... my brother and his wife .... staunch progressives .... repeatedly scorn my scepticism that anything would change .... especially when I said that it may get worse.
It has gotten worse. And while the focus is on White - Black relations, and on the police .... Black - Hispanic relations are even more poisonous. This has been unfortunate .... President Obama is still best positioned to to deflate much of these current tensions .... but he will not. Future historians will see the chaos in the Middle East as President Obama's main foreign policy failure .... race relations will be regarded as his domestic failure. And here is an easy prediction .... it is going to get worse, and this will be the next President's main domestic headache.