Worried about the racial tension bubbling in America? You're not alone.
Gallup polled 1,019 Americans between March 2 and March 6 and found that about 35% of Americans worry a "great deal" about race relations. This is a 15-year high, according to Gallup.
The polling company's been asking Americans about race since 2001, and the 35% mark is seven points higher than 2015's findings — only 17% of Americans worried about race in 2014.
So, what's causing this sudden spike? Three words: Black Lives Matter.
The high-profile police killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Akai Gurley, and a number of other African-Americans led to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. A coalition of activists are working to end police violence against people of color. That focus is reflecting in the polls — and in our politics.
"The rising concern about race relations as the nation's first Black
president completes his last year in office is a retreat from the
optimism that swept the country in the immediate aftermath of President
Barack Obama's first election win in 2008," Gallup's researchers said in the report.
African-Americans are twice-as-likely as whites to be troubled by race as whites at 53% to 27% respectively, according to Gallup, and these numbers are also reflected among party lines.
Forty-two percent of liberals are worried about race compared to 28% of conservatives and 27% of moderates, which may explain the rise of Donald Trump.
Despite these stunning findings, racial tensions are still low on a list of concerns for voters. Americans are still most concerned about healthcare, the state of the economy, and crime, according to Gallup.
If nothing else, this study confirms what we all know: Race is weighing on many Americans' minds, and there is no easy way forward on this plaguing issue.
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