A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 96 percent of those surveyed last month think we’re in for a summer of racial unrest. Furthermore, 54 percent believe a disturbance is likely to happen in the metropolitan area closest to where they live.
Sixty-eight percent of adults said they believe it is “very likely” that there will be more protests and clashes around the country. Another 28 percent said that they believe such unrest is “somewhat likely.”
Fifty-three percent of Whites said they think more confrontations in their closest city are likely this summer, while 46 percent of Black said the same.
Sixty percent of blacks said the recent riots reflected “long-standing frustrations about police mistreatment of African-Americans.” Another 27 percent of black respondents said the disturbances were caused by people who used protests “as an excused to engage in looting and violence.”
Among Whites, the opinion switched: 58 percent said people were seizing an excuse to loot, while 32 percent said the events reflected long-standing frustrations with police.
Meanwhile, the nation shows a weariness of President Obama, with more than 70 percent saying the next president should take a different approach from him. This marks a big change from the period shortly after Obama’s election, when 77 percent said race relations were good and 21 percent who said they were bad.
In mid-2013, Whites viewed race relations favorably and not negatively, with 52 percent calling them “very good” or “fairly good,” while 45 percent called relations “fairly bad” or “very bad.” During the same period, 38 percent rated relations as very or fairly good, and 58 percent viewed them as very or fairly bad.
Some 71 percent agreed that Americans were sending Obama a message with midterm-election results, with more than half saying he hadn’t gotten that message or had done so but chose not to make changes to programs or policies. Some 16 percent said he had gotten a message and was making adjustments.
An overwhelming majority of Black, 69 percent, believe the government only pays attention to black problems “when blacks resort to violent demonstrations or riots,” while only 15 percent disagree. By contrast, only 37 percent of White respondents thought the government only paid attention to violence during times of violent unrest, while 47 percent disagreed.
We’re a nation divided and filled with anger. And sadly, it looks like we may see things happening in our cities that are going to completely shock not only us, but the world as well.