Even in the Era of Obama, a New Pew Research Study Finds that Blacks and Whites Differ on Race


Hopes for improved race relations that soared with President Obama’s election have dampened as many American still feel race relations remain poor, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. 

In a Pew survey conducted during Obama’s run for office, black respondents didn’t think he would win, said Juliana Horowitz, Pew’s associate director for social trends research and the report’s lead author. At the time of his inauguration, people generally felt race relations would improve, she said.

Now, in the last year of the second term of the country’s first black president, 88% of black Americans think the country needs to do more to achieve equal rights and about a third doubt such changes will ever happen, the study found.

White Americans see a rosier state of affairs, with 53% saying the country still has far to go toward equal rights. About one in 10 say they doubt the U.S. will achieve racial equality. Seven in 10 black Americans cite racial discrimination as a reason for their struggle to get ahead, compared to 4 in 10 white Americans, the study found.

Pew surveyed 3,769 adults between Feb. 29 and May 8, including 1,799 white Americans, 1004 black Americans and 654 Hispanic Americans.

Many other studies through the years have concluded that black Americans and white Americans disagree on the state of race relations in America, and on whether black Americans face different treatment in schools, at work and in housing.

Pew revisited race relations to take the country’s temperature eight years into the Obama administration and in the wake of high-profile police brutality cases targeting African American males and the violence a year ago at a black church in Charleston, S.C., Horowitz said.

This survey has shown that the situation remains imperfect, she said.

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Source: USA Today | Melanie Eversley