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Obama and Race Relations May 31, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Dwight Furrow's Posts.
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This recent CBS poll is heartening regarding race relations in the wake of Obama’s election.

Fifty-nine percent of African-Americans – along with 65 percent of whites – now characterize the relationship between blacks and whites in America as “good,” according to a new CBS News/New York Times survey.
Less than a year ago, just 29 percent of blacks said race relations were good. The percentage of blacks who say race relations are bad, meanwhile, has dropped from 59 percent last July to 30 percent today.
Sixty-one percent of blacks say there has been real progress in getting rid of racial discrimination since the 1960s. That’s up from 37 percent in December 1996. Eighty-seven percent of whites say there has been real progress since the 1960s.

So has Obama’s election transformed race relations in the U.S as this recent article in Salon claims?

I suspect it will have some modest positive effect.

Despite Obama’s election, blacks in the U.S are systematically poorer, and have less access to the resources needed to alleviate poverty. Until this changes, I don’t think racial divisions will be healed.

But certainly Obama will inspire many young African-Americans to aim high and perhaps put the lie to many of the negative racial stereotypes that continue to infect racial dialogue in the U.S.


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