Poll: Half of Americans Say Criminal-Justice System Favors Whites Over Blacks

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
Protesters hold signs during a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” demonstration in front of the San Francisco Hall of Justice Dec. 18, 2014.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Four in 10 Americans believe that race relations have gotten worse since President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, a new CNN/ORC poll has found.

The poll’s findings come at a special time in American history as Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma, Ala., during which several hundred individuals attempted to peacefully protest in support of the voting rights of African Americans but were severely beaten by Alabama police officers.


Many find it telling that 50 years later, Americans are still leery about how much progress has been made on the issue of race.

White Americans have a bleaker outlook on whether race relations have gotten worse (45 percent) than black Americans (26 percent). Only 15 percent of Americans say that race relations have improved under Obama, while 45 percent said that relations have “stayed about the same,” a CNN report explained. 

Many people were upset after the Supreme Court in 2013 invalidated a significant component of the Voting Rights Act, with the poll finding that a little more than half of Americans feel that the law is still needed to enforce equity in the voting system. Meanwhile, 47 percent say it’s no longer needed.

Nearly half of Americans say that the criminal-justice system favors whites over blacks, while 42 percent believe that the system treats both races equally.


Read more at CNN.

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