After what seemed like a year of heightened state violence against Black communities, a new survey is revealing that Americans feel Blacks were treated more fairly in 2007 than now.
The Gallup 2015 Minority Rights and Relations poll showed that across the board, Whites, Blacks and Hispanics were dissatisfied with the way Black people were treated in the nation. The numbers of those who believe treatment of Blacks is equal, however, remains high at 49.
But compared to just two years ago, when numbers reached a staggering 62 percent, it seems like the overall sentiment of injustice towards minorities is being felt across the U.S.
The survey of more than 2,000 respondents, conducted from June 15 until July 10, comes at a tense time between U.S. law enforcement and the communities in which they operate, particularly after grand jury decisions not to indict white officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City.
“The effects of those incidents have led to an increase in the U.S. public’s perceptions of race relations as the most important problem in the country, a decline in confidence in the police and a significant decrease in Americans’ satisfaction with the way blacks are treated in the U.S.,” Gallup said on its website.
The decline in satisfaction among blacks (33 percent in 2015 compared to 47 percent in 2013) was expressed “even though blacks themselves are no more likely than two years ago to report being treated unfairly in various situations because of their race, including dealing with the police,” Gallup said.
Satisfaction with the way blacks are treated also dropped among whites (53 percent in 2015 compared to 67 percent in 2013) and Hispanics (44 percent in 2015 compared to 61 percent in 2013), poll results showed.
“Americans are also now more likely to perceive that blacks are treated unfairly in various situations, including dealing with the police, but also at work, when shopping and when visiting restaurants and other establishments,” the survey organization said.
In fact, 29 percent of participants said Blacks were treated unfairly while shopping in malls and stores, a 10 percent increase from 2007. And in the wake of countless numbers of Black people shot, assaulted or killed by police while unarmed, 43 percent of participants said police treated Black people unfairly (a six percent bump from eight years ago).
The numbers come at a tense time — in just a few days, the nation will see the first anniversary of Michael Brown Jr.’s death, the unarmed Black teenager shot and killed by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer last summer.
In a lengthy New Yorker profile, former police officer Darren Wilson claimed the situation had nothing to do with race, although the police department was criticized in a scathing Justice Department report for upholding racially biased practices.