There’s more work to do to help cool racial tensions in America. That’s according to a recent nationwide survey commissioned by the National Bar Association.
The association partnered with Sachs Media Group to survey more than one-thousand people across the country about racial relations in America. Newly elected National Bar President and Tallahassee lawyer Benjamin Crump says the initial results were encouraging. He’s well-known for representing the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown—two black teens whose deaths gained national attention.
“It’s gratifying to learn from the survey that a substantial majority of Americans—both black and white—agree that race relations are better today, than they were 50 years ago,” said Crump. “We would hope to find this outcome after a half century of affirmative action and civil rights programs.”
Still, he says some of the survey results troubled him.
“On the other side of the coin, it is the knowledge that most people of both races believe relations are actually worse than they were 10 years ago,” added Crump. “It is sad and frightening to think that progress has essentially come to a standstill, to think that the forward momentum has come to a halt.”
And, Clarence Anthony agrees. He’s the Executive Director of the National League of Cities.
“Only 24 percent of whites and 19 percent of blacks believe America is close to achieving racial equality. That’s a low number for such a great country,” said Anthony. “And, we must work to improve the perspective of people who believe that things have gotten better. And, that is only going to happen through work and participation and engagement of all sectors.”
In the wake of the shooting deaths of black teens, the survey also showed a majority of black and white participants agree black people are treated unfairly and misunderstood by police.
And, Dr. Karen Cyphers says the overwhelming agreement didn’t stop there. She oversees the survey as director of Sachs Media Group’s Breakthrough Research division.
“For example, 78 percent of black respondents and 88 percent of white respondents believe that the news media fuel racial tensions,” said Cyphers. “This sentiment is highest among the millennial generation. Also, nearly all—88 percent of black respondents and 74 percent of white respondents reject the idea that certain races are genetically superior or inferior.”
Cyphers says nearly every one of the respondents across the country say it would be a good thing if people identified less with their racial group and more as human beings.
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