Opinion

Bipartisan survey: Race relations have deteriorated under Obama

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In a recent survey of Florida voters, most of whom were Democrats, five times as many thought race relations have worsened under President Barack Obama, as opposed to those who believed they have improved.

The statewide poll was conducted July 18 by Viewpoint Florida of 900 registered voters, “to assess voter attitudes related to the much-publicized trial of George Zimmerman,” according to the polling organization.

Forty-two percent of the respondents considered themselves Democrats, 39 percent Republican, with the remainder either third-party or no party affiliation or unsure.

A majority of those surveyed — 56 percent — thought the Zimmerman jury made the right call in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin versus 38 percent who thought they got it wrong. Moreover, only 30 percent of the respondents felt Zimmerman should be subjected to federal charges.

The most amazing poll result concerned a question thrown in dealing with race relations. The respondents were asked, “In your opinion, have race relations in the United States gotten better or worse since Barack Obama took office almost 5 years ago, or have they stayed about the same?”

Fifty-five percent thought race relations have gotten worse, while only 10 percent believing they have improved.

With Obama as our first African-American president, one might assume the races have come together as never before. He himself made that prediction when he said during his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, “There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

Martin Luther King in Washington DC.Those words were reminiscent of those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his “I had a dream” speech. “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Yet skin color, as opposed to character, has been the hallmark of this administration, beginning with the dismissal of the New Black Panthers intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place, to the president’s own surprise racial profiling speech made Friday.

Cranking it up further, the White House announced Tuesday that it will step up “racial standards for neighborhoods” according to Fox News.

So long as race is factored into any standard, argument or statement, it will forever remain an issue.

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