NEW YORK, July 23 (UPI) -- The majority of Americans feel there are major deficiencies in racial equality in the country, a reversal in opinion compared surveys taken immediately after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.
The poll, conducted last week by The New York Times and CBS News, asked a variety of questions on U.S. race relations -- including whether citizens believe racial equality is improving or getting worse. Six in 10 answered that relations in the United States are generally bad. Four in 10 said things are getting worse, the Times reported.
Two-thirds of Americans surveyed after Obama's election seven years ago said they believed race relations were generally good.
The opinions of African-Americans on the tiopic appear to have substantially declined. The poll revealed that nearly 70 percent stated race relations are bad, a number close to those who responded similarly after the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
About 20 percent said race relations are improving and 37 percent said they are good, the Times poll showed. And about 40 percent said relations are about the same as they have previously been.
The poll's numbers come after a series of racially charged incidents in the United States in recent years.
In August, the town of Ferguson, Mo., exploded into protests after the police shooting death of Michael Brown. A year earlier, George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin. And last month, nine people were shot and killed in what authorities are calling a hate crime attack on a black church in South Carolina.
Earlier this month, state governments and retailers have made major moves regarding the Confederate flag, which is considered by some to be a symbol of racial oppression.
Pollsters surveyed more than 1,200 people nationwide by telephone. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.