As the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march and the events in Selma, Alabama, approaches, a new CNN/ORC poll’s findings would seem to suggest that the United States still has a long way to go to improve race relations.
Roughly four in ten Americans believe that race relations have worsened since President Obama took office, with 45 percent of whites and 26 percent of blacks. Only 15 percent of those polled believed that race relations had improved, with 45 percent saying they had remained the same.
About half of those polled believe the United States could still use some work, with 51% saying the Voting Rights Act is still necessary to ensure the right of minorities to vote and 50% saying the criminal justice system favors whites over blacks. However, employment numbers have improved, with 72% overall saying blacks are just as likely to get a job as whites.
The numbers are further divided along racial lines, with 76 percent of blacks saying the Voting Rights Act is necessary and only 48 percent of whites. Furthermore, 54 percent of blacks say it is harder for them to get jobs than it is for whites, while only 19 percent agree. 76 percent of blacks say the criminal justice system favors whites, while only 42 percent of whites agree.
The poll was also divided along partisan lines, with 65 percent of those polled saying things had worsened under Obama, compared to Democrats’ 26 percent, though even the Democratic numbers showed only 20% believed things had improved.