President Obama’s Impact on the Way the World Views Race

How has President Obama affected race relations?

On the heels of a new Pew Research Center poll, the question racing through the minds of Americans right now is whether or not President Obama has helped or hurt racial relations.

By Brianna Cicero Published on June 28, 2016

It has been 8 years since President Obama assumed office and became the United States’ first African-American President. And according to a new Pew Research Center survey, there are still deep racial divides in the United States.

The survey revealed that 88 percent of African-Americans feel that the country has to continue to make changes in order for them to have equal rights to Whites, compared to the 53 percent of Whites that feel the country has to continue to make changes in order for African-Americans to have equal rights to them.

This statistic continues to break down into revealing subcategories, with 43 percent of African-Americans stating that they are skeptical that these changes will ever be made, and only 8 percent of them feel that these changes have already been made. A mere 11 percent of Whites feel skeptical that these changes will ever be made, and 38 percent already feel that the necessary changes have been made.

There is a bit of optimism to these statistics though. 42 percent of African-Americans feel that the country will eventually make the necessary changes so that they can have equal rights, and about four in every ten Whites believe that the necessary changes will be made eventually as well.

This raises questions as to whether or not President Obama has done anything to help bridge the inequality gap across races. Thirty-four percent of all adults feel that the president has helped improve race relations, but 28 percent say that President Obama has tried to help bridge this gap and failed. A quarter of Americans feel that he has made race relations worse.

When this statistic breaks off into different groups is when the division really begins to show through. 51 percent of African-Americans feel that President Obama has made race relations better, compared to only 28 percent of Whites. The opposite end of this spectrum is that five percent of African-Americans think that President Obama has made race relations worse, whereas 32 percent of Whites feels that President Obama has made race relations worse.

Some, including Politico, are concluding that while the president has tried to bridge the gap in race relations, he has actually split the population.

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