How Long Has Racism Been A Problem

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People listen to Al Sharpton’s eulogy during a memorial service for George Floyd on June 4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Getty Images via Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis

How Long Has Racism Been A Problem

How Long Has Racism Been A Problem

The current protests — and the anger fueling them — didn’t come out of nowhere. They cry out in agony from a raw nerve that has always plagued a largely ignored America.

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That unrest had many causes and was fueled by many things: biased and violent policing and, of course, the far-reaching effects of segregation on education, employment opportunities, and health; a multi-tiered wage system that financially rewards white men over others; A criminal justice system that is punitive if you’re black, but forgiving, compassionate, and understanding if you’re white; Feeling that not only their own labor but also their own lives are worth less than other citizens because of the color of their skin.

People on the streets have become victims of this injustice. They are asking Americans not to allow themselves to be policed ​​like they are. They are destroying the memories of the traitors who still enslave them. They want to make lynching a federal crime. They want equal pay; They want political change. They want people to listen carefully and considerately and be willing to change their hearts and behavior.

George Floyd’s body was brought by horse-drawn carriage to the Houston Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Pearland, Texas on June 9. Mario Tama/Getty Images

A historic number of Americans are participating in these protests: according to the Pew Research Center, 6% of American adults have taken to the streets in recent weeks, which translates to about 17 million people. Millions of people who are not out want to see real change. The latest data shows this – and how the country got to this point – in the nine charts below.

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From students being dragged from their cars in Atlanta, Georgia, to a 75-year-old man being pushed to the ground in Buffalo, New York, there have been recent police killings and well-documented police violence during peaceful protests. The bleeding stopped. — Americans appear to have increasingly negative views of the police, according to a Democracy Fund/UCLA Nationscape poll of more than 6,000 Americans conducted May 28-June 3.

Pollsters found that the percentage of Americans who viewed the police unfavorably rose from 28 percent in the May 21-27 survey to 31 percent in the May 28-31 poll. The two-week poll had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points, meaning it was either 2.2 percentage points higher or lower than the official tally.

However, this increase suggests that the American public’s perception of law enforcement is beginning to more closely reflect the sentiments of black Americans, who had expressed considerable skepticism about the police even before the recent protests and killings.

How Long Has Racism Been A Problem

For example, in a Pew Research Center study conducted from April 20 to April 26 — about a month before George Floyd was killed — 10,139 American adults were asked about their views of the police, and researchers were asked about racism. Very different answers were received. According to the basis.

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Most Americans have high trust in the police, the study found — except for black Americans. With a margin of error of 1.5 percentage points, 56 percent of black Americans said they have a lot or a fair amount of trust in the police, compared to 78 percent of white Americans. Trust among black Americans was even lower — 49 percent said they had a great deal or fair amount of trust in the police.

Some of that lack of trust is reflected in the belief that police officers are unethical — Pew found that 48 percent of black Americans rated officers’ ethical standards as low or very low.

Several other polls have captured this lack of confidence — for example, a Jan. 2-8 Washington Post/Ipsos poll of 1,088 black Americans (with a 3.5 percentage point margin of error) found that 83 percent said they did not. Don’t believe the police who say “all castes should be treated equally”. Only 14 percent said they had faith in the police.

A Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted on May 29 and 30 — four days after Floyd’s murder — found 94 percent of black Americans of 1,060 US adults (with a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points) believe the justice system is guilty. . White Americans are better. In the same survey, 91 percent of black Americans do not believe that whites and blacks are treated equally by the police. A Monmouth University study (conducted May 29-June 1 of 759 US adults, with a 3.6 percentage point margin of error) found that 87 percent of black Americans believe police use excessive force against blacks.

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In a survey of 9,654 U.S. adults from June 4 to June 10, the latest work from Pew found that a majority of blacks — 64 percent — say they have been harassed by the police, with a margin of error of 1.5 percentage points. Perfectly restrained.

The upshot of all these studies is that black Americans lack trust in the police — certainly not as much as white Americans. One of the main reasons for this is fear: violence, unfair treatment, death.

This general lack of trust, depicted in a video aired on Fox 11 in Los Angeles, has long led to widespread tension in which police responded to incidents of foreclosures against black businessmen and business owners. They began to be taken into custody instead. Violation of law.

How Long Has Racism Been A Problem

It’s one of the craziest moments I’ve ever seen on live television. pic.twitter.com/Uvzig8YGSa — Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 2, 2020

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It’s an unpredictable conflict — knowing that any contact with the police can quickly escalate into an unfair, traumatic, life-ending incident. That’s why Ta-Nahisi Coates recently told Ezra Klein that she was reluctant to call the police when fights broke out in her family’s neighborhood. Sometimes the police will come and calm them down. But they can detain the wrong people, as happened in Los Angeles, or even pursue an action that leaves someone dead, as in the case of George Floyd.

The tension created by this uncertainty was reflected in a May 29-30 YouGov poll, which found that 60 percent of black Americans feel “somewhat safe” at the sight of a police officer. A third — 22 percent — of white Americans said the same, while 32 percent of white Americans said seeing an officer made them feel safer, a sentiment shared by only 5 percent of black Americans.

One reason is the specter of death police carry for black Americans. In a study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, and Washington University in St. Louis, Dylan Scott explains that black people have a 1-in-1-000 chance of being killed by police. . This is not a statistical summary of any black Americans. Not so much for other Americans: since Floyd’s death, the public has become aware of the murders of Javier Ambler, Maurice Gordon, Manuel Ellis, Tony McDaid, Momodou Lamine Sissi, and Richard Brooks.

Not only is there a fear of murder, but also of racially motivated and over-incarceration. YouGov’s work found that 43 percent of black Americans have been treated unfairly by the police, while 44 percent of black Americans in Monmouth’s study felt they or a family member had been treated unfairly. A percentage of white Americans said the same.

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The Monmouth study found that a majority of black Americans — 87 percent — believe police are more likely to use force against black people, a sentiment concurred with white Americans, though not by a large margin; 49 percent of white Americans said they were more likely to use force against black people, while 39 percent thought the use of force was not tied to race.

In addition to fear, conflict, and uncertainty, there is a kind of pessimism—the feeling that nothing will happen if someone is a victim of police violence or misconduct. The speed with which Derek Shove, the former police officer who killed Floyd, was arrested was surprising: four days after Floyd was killed. Arrests for officers who rarely commit murders can be as quick, if not faster — it took about a month for the Baltimore officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray and four years for former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley.

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