When Barack Obama was sworn in as America’s first black president, nobody on the Left believed race relations would deteriorate. But since Obama’s first inauguration, all but one poll conducted by CBS News/New York Times revealed a growing racial unease in America — reflected most alarmingly following the death of Freddie Gray. In April 2009, 66% said race relations were good, compared to 22% who said they were bad. By December 2014, those numbers were nearly even at 45% and 43%, respectively. In February, the percentages improved slightly to 52% and 38%. But in the latest poll, just 34% said race relations are positive compared to 61% who they are bad. That was the worst finding since 1992. And according to CBS, “For the first time since 1997, majorities of both whites and blacks think race relations in the U.S. are bad. Opinions among white Americans have grown sharply more negative in this poll, and are the reverse of what they were earlier this year. Sixty-two percent of whites now say race relations are bad, compared to just 35 percent in February.”
Moreover, the rioting in Baltimore has left America with a pessimistic outlook. According to The Wall Street Journal, “A resounding 96% of adults surveyed said it was likely there would be additional racial disturbances this summer, a signal that Americans believe Baltimore’s recent problems aren’t a local phenomenon but instead are symptomatic of broader national problems.” That comes as even more of a shock to those who believed Obama’s historic election would eradicate any remaining racial disunity. Race relations haven’t deteriorated because Obama is black; they’ve deteriorated because our first black president promotes racial discord with entitlement programs and divisive rhetoric — like on Monday when he opined that America’s “tragic history … has made it tougher for some” and has also “helped fuel some of the protests we’ve seen in places like Baltimore, and Ferguson and right here in New York.” It’s a shame that, in 2015, a man who had the power to radically change minorities’ plight has thrown away the opportunity.