Newsflash: Racism is a Problem

racism is a problem race relations pollAnother Gallup poll—conducted a few weeks after the tragedy in Charleston—found an increase in the percentage of Americans who name race relations or racism as the most important problem facing the country. It’s up to 9% in Gallup’s July poll, compared to 3% in June.

Mentions of race relations as a top problem have risen and fallen multiple times over the past seven months as racially charged events have dominated and then faded from the news cycle.

Americans’ mentions of racism and race relations as the most important problem facing the country spiked in December 2014 to 13% amid protests over high-profile incidents of police brutality toward blacks in Staten Island, New York, Ferguson, Missouri, and other places across the U.S. …

For more than a decade prior to December 2014, no more than 5% of Americans had named racism or race relations as the top problem facing the U.S., with the figure often measuring 0%.

Frankly, we think the saddest part of this is that the percentages are so low. (0%? Really?!) We know that the economic hardships of the past decade have hurt communities of color much more than white communities. And we know that racism is prevalent in employment, housing, education, and the criminal justice system. Racism will be a problem in America as long as we continue to pretend like it’s not.

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