Shortly after Barack Obama clinched the Democrat nomination for the presidency in 2008, a poll released by the Washington Post-ABC News showed that most Americans believed Obama could transform race relations in America.
Almost six in ten people told the pollsters that they believed Obama’s candidacy had the potential to transform the country’s racial politics.
But as reported by bloomberg.com shortly after the recent midterm elections, people now believe that President Obama has indeed had quite an impact on race relations…though not in a positive way:
Early exit polling reported by CNN shows that 39% of Americans believe that race relations have gotten worse of late—the same percentage as believe they have stayed the same.
This is a discouraging turn of opinion since President Obama, the country’s first black president, took office.
Then, Bloomberg Politics conducted its own poll and found similar results on the negative side of the race relations question:
…a majority of Americans, 53 percent, say the interactions between the white and black communities have deteriorated since [Obama] took office, according to a new Bloomberg Politics poll.
Those divisions are laid bare in the split reactions to the decisions by two grand juries not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y.
One hardly needs polling to see that racial tensions have lately been running extremely high in the wake of the Ferguson and Staten Island incidents. A number of community and civil rights leaders have been blaming rampant racism in America for the deep distrust and divisions between law enforcement and communities of color.
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And now, in the midst of all this — despite the evidence that runs firmly against his opinion — President Obama declares that the United States is “less racially divided” now than it was when he took office.
As we learn from a post at weeklystandard.com, Obama made the head-spinning comment in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR):
The president was responding to this question, from NPR host Steve Inskeep, “Is the United States more racially divided than it was when you took office six years ago, Mr. President?”
“No, I actually think that it’s probably in its day-to-day interactions less racially divided. But I actually think that the issue has surfaced in a way that probably is healthy,” Obama responded.
And in a piece posted at nypost.com, there’s further compelling evidence that Obama appears strangely out of touch with racial reality in America — a worsening reality that many critics believe the president himself helped to create:
A Pew Research Center poll found that only 40% of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling race relations. Black approval is down to 57%, while approval among whites is down to 33%.
More young people under age 30, the age group who were most enthusiastic about electing the nation’s first African-American president, now disapprove of his performance on racial issues than approve.