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Poll: Black Americans not satisfied with treatment

Cyril Josh Barker | 9/5/2013, 12:12 p.m. | Updated on 9/5/2013, 12:12 p.m.
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A poll released by Gallup last week reveals that Black Americans are not satisfied with their treatment. The number went down this summer and is being partly blamed on the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case.

Only 41 percent of Blacks are satisfied with the way they are treated compared to 47 percent earlier this summer. The polls were taken in July and August.

The 1,001 Blacks surveyed were asked about whether their views of race relations were affected by the July “not guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman. A jury, made up of mostly white females, acquitted Zimmerman on murder charges for killing Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old Black male.

A poll taken after the case found that 85 percent of Blacks thought the verdict was wrong.

“Given that Blacks’ satisfaction with the way Blacks are treated is down since June and early July, while their views of the way other minority groups are treated are unchanged or even up slightly, the verdict appears to have had at least a slight impact on how Blacks perceive they are treated in the U.S.,” wrote Jeffery Jones from Gallup.

In a poll taken late last month, 61 percent of Blacks say new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination, up from 53 percent in a June-July poll. They also believe that government should have a “major role” in helping out issues of economic and social equality.

However, many of those polled said things have gotten better with time.

“At the same time, Blacks’ views on the amount of progress that has been made during their lifetimes in advancing civil rights for Blacks has changed little,” said Linda Saad from Gallup. “Twenty-five percent now say the civil rights situation for Blacks has greatly improved, and another 55 percent say it has ‘somewhat improved’. This compares with 29 percent saying greatly improved and 52 percent ‘somewhat improved’ in the month just prior to the verdict.”

Additionally, Gallup polled Blacks about progress over their lifetime, with 25 percent saying the civil rights situation for Blacks has greatly improved. Another 55 percent said it has somewhat improved. A majority of older Blacks said they have seen great improvement. A majority of seniors, 54 percent, say the situation for Blacks has improved greatly over their lifetimes.

Gallup said that it plans to do future polls that will look at Black-white race relations and focus on specific types of discrimination Black Americans face.