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Most Americans say Trump has made US race relations worse: Poll

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
People attend a rally against racism on February 02, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (AFP photo)

More than half of Americans say US President Donald Trump has made race relations worse during his time in office, and more than two-thirds believe it has become more common for people to say racist things since he was elected, according to a new survey.

The poll, titled “Race in America 2019,” was released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, which asked Americans their feelings about race in the United States.

Almost 3 out of 5 Americans, or 5 percent, say race relations in the US are generally bad, and 56 percent of those in the survey said Trump has made race relations worse.

Just one-fourth, or 25 percent, said former US President Barack Obama, a Democrat and the country’s first African American president, made race relations worse.

About two-thirds of Americans, or 65 percent, also say it has become more common for people to express racist views since Trump won the White House.

“One of the key takeaways is that Americans have a negative view of the country’s racial progress and the current state of race relations,” said Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Pew’s associate director of research and one of the report’s authors.

Blacks are particularly gloomy about the country’s racial progress. More than eight-in-ten black adults say the legacy of slavery affects the position of black people in America today.

Black people thought that racial discrimination was the top thing holding them back in the United States, followed by less access to high-paying jobs and less access to good schools. White people agreed on the causes, but more of them thought education was the top issue.

For example, while more than 3 in 5 people in the US, or 63 percent, said they think America’s legacy of slavery affects the position of black people in the country, 84 percent of African Americans agreed with that statement and 58 percent of white Americans agreed with it.

Also, 50 percent of African Americans surveyed thought that it was not too likely or not at all likely that African Americans would eventually have equal rights in the United States.

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