Last month, a poll published by PBS showed that race relations in the U.S. are at a low point in recent history. This poll highlights the fact that although the civil rights movement of the 60’s occurred over 50 years ago, America still has a long way to go until most people can perceive equality to be a real thing.
The poll asked the same questions to both Caucasians and African Americans on their perception of equality. One striking result was that both races agreed upon the fact that they believe race relations to be worse today than they were a year ago. Although both races agreed on this, their agreeable answers stopped there.
Most African-Americans feel that they do not have the same job opportunities or are receiving equal justice compared to their white counterparts. They also feel that the “Black Lives Matter” campaign is a real social movement while 59% of Caucasians surveyed felt as if it was simply a slogan and a bit of a distraction towards achieving equality.
Over time, it has been believed by many that the United States has achieved racial equality. This is in part due to the fact that many points in Dr. Martin Luther King’s historical “I Have a Dream Speech”, have been achieved. Notable examples include the U.S. having an interracial school system, disbanding segregation in public establishments, and legislation supporting interracial marriages and relationships. Despite these achievements and milestones, most African Americans still feel that they have yet to obtain the equality they seek.
“I feel like this country is hilariously good at pretending it’s an equal opportunity place,” said Sacramento resident Sean Woods when asked if he believed he had equal justice. “But anyone with eyes can see that’s not the case.”
“Absolutely not,” Woods stated when questioned if he felt blacks received equal job opportunities. “It’s by no means impossible to be successful, but the best opportunities are tilted in a white persons favor.”
In Sacramento the Building Healthy Communities initiative is working to take steps in achieving equality. One of their methods is the Boys and Men of Color Initiative and President Obama’s My Brothers Keeper event. These programs hope to bring leaders and young people together to talk about ways to reach these goals.