President Obama’s inspiring message of hope and change seven years ago is lacking in the "hope" part – especially when it comes to the issue of racial tension. If the latest Rasmussen Reports survey is any indication, it seems that when Obama stepped into office, race in America took about 10 steps back.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 50% of American Adults now think race relations in this country are getting worse, up from 44% a year ago and 30% as recently as January 2014. Only 20% believe race relations are getting better, a new low that compares to 38% five years ago. Twenty-six percent (26%) say race relations are staying about the same. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
In case you missed that little tidbit in the middle, only 20 percent of those polled think race relations are improving – a new low.
Baltimore, Ferguson and New York are just a few cities that bring to mind the unnerving images of violent looting and protesting in the aftermath of cop shootings involving the deaths of young African-American males. While Obama obviously isn't to blame for the broken doors and the bloodshed, he has not exactly helped to quell the hateful rhetoric nor the violence. At the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago last year, he noted the heroism of police, yet also insisted there was racial bias in the system.
Our communities need healing. Citizens of any color should not be fearful when they see a uniformed officer on their street - and vice versa. Divisive rhetoric, the above poll proves, is not going to fix the strained relationship.