June 25th, 2009
08:48 AM ET
14 years ago

Blacks in survey say race relations no better with Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/25/obama.poll/art.chicago.afp.gi.jpg caption=" Obama's crowd in Chicago on Election Night, when fewer blacks thought race relations were a serious problem."](CNN) - African-Americans really like President Obama, but more and more feel that race relations have not gotten better since he took office, a new national poll found.

Ninety-six percent of African-Americans approve of how Obama is handling his presidency, according to a CNN/Essence Magazine/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Thursday.

During the 2008 election, 38 percent of blacks surveyed thought racial discrimination was a serious problem. In the new survey, 55 percent of blacks surveyed believed it was a serious problem, which is about the same level as it was in 2000.

The poll was conducted May 16-18, in telephone interviews with 505 African-Americans and 501 whites.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. D. Tree

    Its only been 6 months – how can we heal over 200 years of problems in such a sort amount of time. Obama has always said his presidency is not about his skin color – we need to continue work on healing the wounds of slavery and segregation as a country, not just because of one person.

    June 25, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. Jacques of MA

    No surprise here. I don't expect anything to change for the better, especially any attempt to engage in thoughtful discussion will come with a "racist" label. All of the political correctness has not changed anyone's feelings. And it will get worse since, if Obama can become President of the US, why can't anyone who looks like Obama make the grades to get through law school, med school or anything else. Barack and Michelle Obama may be examples of how much can be achieved by two extraordinary people, with race not holding them back. What's your excuse?

    June 25, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. Patrick - Indianapolis

    Most far right conservatives prove that racism is very much alive in this country. They cast a dark shadow over this country and makes all of us look bad. As the older generation dies off, so will this vile bigotry. The clock is ticking steadily. All we must do is wait it out. The party of NO is a geriatric party of old white hate. The rest of us will live to see better days.

    June 25, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  4. connie

    what do they want. i know that thought Obama would hand them everything and it hasn't happened. I still hear blacks talk about how Obama is going to get them a house, car, food and just take care of them because he is half black but then he is half white and i don't hear whites talking about what he is going to give them.

    June 25, 2009 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Jon from: S.Carolina

    The election of Obama proves racism is on a huge decline. While yes most of us African Americans know racism is a problem we have to be patient. Its not even been one full year yet so we should hold judgment until the end of the first term.

    June 25, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. JonDie

    Obviously racial relations don't change simply because a African-American is elected president.

    June 25, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  7. yaaba

    I think the president is doing a good job. Patients is what we need; if McCain was our president you wont get a thing and you wont say anything, give the president time.

    June 25, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. Gary

    Our perception of race relations is about how we feel and act not about who the president is. If you have a positive attitude and seek out people who are open to diversity you will find excellent race relations. If you remain synical and let the bad people get you down you will think things are bad. Anyone of any race, religion, sex, sexual orientation who gets educated, works hard, treats others well and strives for excellence can be successful in this country. We need to stop making excuses for our problems and focus on making our own lives better.

    June 25, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. KJ

    Unfortunately, I believe this is true. Race relations are not significantly better, they are just stagnant. This country, especially the south is still so segregrated its disheartening.

    WE all have a part to play in that.

    June 25, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. Chipster

    I'm having a little problem with all the people who are disappointed that, in less than 6 months, the President has failed to solve all the economic, environmental, educational, constitutional, racial, homophobic, foreign, local, personal, and miscellaneous problems facing every person in the nation and world today. He doesn't leap tall buildings in a single bound either. The President is moving forward with his agenda with skill and speed. Some of it will work and some it probably will not. I predict that some people will never be satisfied regardless. But he is working on delivering his promises in a thoughtful, intelligent manner. I'm willing to give him time and I don't expect him to part the Mississippi. Despite snide comments from wingnuts, he is not my Lord and Saviour. He's just a President and that's all I expected when I voted.

    June 25, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  11. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Tthe sense of elation and inclusiveness that I felt as a black Dominican right after the inauguration has given way to enlightenment.
    I have discovered folks that are racially-tolerant, and ,in particular in these blogs,I have rediscovered the "ugly American" uncensored.
    Those that just can't stomach us 'people of color' are irate beyond belief after the election of President Obama, and they don't mind letting you know it. However, I choose not to dwell on this group, I choose instead to embrace all of those that have come out of the closet in great numbers to say that they aspire to a higher plane where they will deal with an individual based on who he is, not the color of his skin.

    June 25, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. mojo3

    It is true. Race relations haven't improved since President Obama took office. If anything...his being a man of color has pronounced the
    dislike of his being "the most powerful man in the country." And, it
    has caused many to display their "hidden racism," antics to be exposed. I, myself, have witnessed many examples. What is tragic and sad: is to see some in one race harbor such hatred for someone they have yet to even know...or care to get to know. That is a travesty.
    Until we as a nation, embrace ALL...no matter the ethnicity...there certainly WILL NOT be "peace in the valley."
    And, I for one, don't see this occurring in my time. (Although I do pray for it daily. I continue to hold on to HOPE!!!)

    An educated, African American senior citizen who cares!

    June 25, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Neilz

    From what I've seen, things are worse now than before he was elected. Maybe the prejudice was always there but kept below the surface by more moderate leaders. But with the election of Obama, the gloves have come off. Bigots carrying guns and badges are terrorizing entire communities. Right Wing Evangelicals openly call for armed revolt. Federal agencies support para-military militias to patrol borders, south and north. The government and Congress repress civil liberties in order to "keep us safe" while their agents murder innocent people and terrorize the electorate. The government warns of another Muslim threat but does nothing to keep us safe from Evangelical Christian Extremists. Because they're white. If you're White, Christian or Catholic in this country, you get a pass. Especially in the media. We are a Murdock Nation.

    June 25, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. Craig in NC

    Ouch! Dang... the Dems can't be too happy about that. Hmmm.... or can they?

    June 25, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. Former Republican firmly supporting Obama

    This survey simply demonstrates that race relations in America are complex. It will take more than electing the first Black president to repair centuries of racial strife and discord that is pervasive throughout this nation's history. I do believe that electing Obama was a great first step toward this repair, but there is much more work to be done.

    June 25, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  16. arc, Lugano CH

    The United States is a universally racist country and probably one of the most racist nations in global history; it doesn’t matter what is the color of your skin because everyone hates someone. To hate is to be human in the same vein as it is to err. What do you think this country was based upon? I remember reading a statistic at one time many years ago which said that Native Americans make up less than 2% of the college population. That should be pretty self-explanatory. Take a look at the Vice Presidential candidate this past election cycle.

    President Obama isn't going to change race relations in America.

    June 25, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. bj, Texas

    Ninety-six percent of blacks think Obama is doing a good job? That's where the problem starts. How many blacks voted for Obama simply because he's black? Ask yourself America, who's really being racist?

    June 25, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  18. Farley

    Obama has set back race relations at least 20 years in this country.

    He is a disgrace.

    June 25, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  19. methodman

    Here is the real deal. It does not matter who you are the keys to success in our country are you have to learn to type use sponge bob typing course it is funny and good. The second is you have to learn how to read textbooks. There are video training courses like VTC Safari online books for $10 a month I can develop my design skills for computers. School is insanely expensive and if you are still developing your flexibility you can't get out of it what it costs you to attend. I feel that I only go to school after I am comfortable to get my certificate.

    The other thing is to substitute important progress by Black people. Get Microsoft Encarta's Black Encyclopedia look up interesting contributions made by Black people and throw it in mixed company. Americans can handle the truth and most Americans Forget about the doormat evangelicals = want diversity and don't hate every one because they are just not like them. As a disable person I know the jumping off points of heuristics and algorithms well the cliffs are different from sitcom cliffs. So if you want a future you have to stake out a different direction. But you have do type and read and kick things out as a product as you learn. Sorry if you can't follow this but it is true.

    June 25, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    I was really hoping that things would have improved.

    Yet all you see is minorities shouting "racism" whenever someone criticizes the president... and whites shouting "reverse racism" (whatever that means) whenever he does something to advance minorities.

    It's so sad. MLK was probably shedding tears of joy in heaven when Obama got elected... and he's probably shedding tears of sorrow now. Don't worry, Dr. King... things are better now than in your day. But we have a long, long way to go.

    June 25, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  21. Scott, Tucson

    True.. the Blacks still have BET, Miss Black America, Black History Month as if that's not racist and hypocritical. At least here in Arizona we are having a voter amendment on the ballot in 2010 to abolish Affirmative Action. One would be hired, promoted, etc based on your accomplishments which is only fair.

    June 25, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  22. TCM

    Better? IT'S WORSE!

    I'd wager that most blacks voted for Obama because he appears to be black; nothing more needed to be known about the guy in their eyes. He mentions, "I'm black, and I'll fund entitlements...." that's all they needed to hear. I've proven this statement hundreds of times through simple conversations with blacks, asking, "Identify 5 of his postions, or give me 3 in detail...." What I hear back is, "Hope and Change," and "you're a hater..." haha....they hate the truth.

    So, I'd bet that many of you have encounted the same thing; if involved in a conversation about Obama, and anything of a negative nature arises in the conversation, any blacks nearby get defensive. Virtually all of the time they cannot defend a single stance, (heck, even whites cannot defend him) however, they get defensive and want to play the race card..and cry foul......

    It's so bad that in the "old days," when there was an election, you could have a "Pro," or "anti" candidate bumper sticker on your car...and people would live and let live.....However, since I had a "No Taxes, NOBAMA," sticker on my truck, I 've been accosted numerous times soley by blacks.....to the point one time where I had to show two punks who the Judge was (the Taurus Judge, that is)....so, in summary, Obama's done nothing but increase racial tensions. He's filled their coffers with entitlement goodies...but soon the well's going to run dry, and then all races will be against him......

    Just like he's lied about taxes, transparency, 5 days of sunshine...etc..etc....bipartisanship....he lied to the black folks as well.
    As I 've said before, it's all about power and control with Obama....period.

    June 25, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  23. Eileen

    The racial tone has gotten much more ugly at least – and it's coming from the right. Surprise surprise.

    After watching the mccain/palin rallies – (that were one small step away from klan rallies), to the tea bagging with the horrendous comments and signage – to the reaction to the Sotomayor nomination – it's just gotten uglier. Blowhard bigots like limbaugh fuel the fire of ignorance. It's archaic and shameful that in this day and time, there's ignorance like that on display – in fact, many wear their bigotry like a badge of honor. It's a shame the republicans don't see their backwardness only plays to a small group and is totally unacceptable to the majority.

    June 25, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  24. k-

    race relations have not gotten better??? What else do they want??? Don't they know that their "Savior president is half WHITE??? They already think the world owes them for what their own race did to them...It was their own race that sold them into slavery!! Racial discrimination is a problem, but it is becoming more and more blacks that are continuing to raise they children to be racist...and as long as people continue to teach their children to be racist, it'll never go away..It is so refreshing to see any child still too young to know what racism is..I never taught my kids to be racist. They were never allowed to use the "n" word like so many others. obama should not be in office to appease blacks. Blacks and whites alike should be more concerned with how obama is running our country, not what he is doing or not doing for a particular race..He is or should be their to do what good he can for All people..All Americans...not just one race...

    June 25, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Really? What do you know? Meet the new boss same as the old boss. These elites do not care about the people. They are working for something completely different, like power and money as always comes before the people with the leadership of the two major parties.

    June 25, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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