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Gallup poll: 61% of Americans say racism against black people widespread

By
Allen Cone
Protesters sit locked in arms in St. Louis on August 10, 2015. They marched to the Federal Building as part of a day of disobedience held during the one-year anniversary of the Michael Brown Jr. shooting death by police in Ferguson, Mo. A Gallup survey shows 61 percent of Americans think racism against blacks is widespread in the United States. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Protesters sit locked in arms in St. Louis on August 10, 2015. They marched to the Federal Building as part of a day of disobedience held during the one-year anniversary of the Michael Brown Jr. shooting death by police in Ferguson, Mo. A Gallup survey shows 61 percent of Americans think racism against blacks is widespread in the United States. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- More than three-fifths of Americans say racism against black people is widespread in the United States, according to Gallup's Minority Rights and Relations survey released Wednesday.

The survey results showed 61 percent of U.S. adults think racism is widespread, 1 percent higher than measured last year but 10 percent more than in 2009 during the first year of Barack Obama's presidency.

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Conversely, the latest survey found 41 percent think racism against white people is widespread.

Recent deadly encounters between police and residents this summer, including in Dallas and Louisiana in which black men shot and killed white police officers, occurred after interviewing for the poll finished July 1.

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The survey was conducted June 7-July 1 with 3,270 U.S. adults, including 1,320 non-Hispanic whites and 912 non-Hispanic blacks who previously were interviewed in the Gallup Daily tracking poll and agreed to be re-interviewed for a later study. The survey's margin of error is 3 percent among the total sample.

Among black people, 82 percent say racism against black people is widespread compared with 56 percent of white people. These figures are higher than 2009 -- 10 percent among black people and 7 percentage points among white people.

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Hispanics are more likely than white people but less likely than black people to perceive racism against blacks as widespread: 66 percent, which is an increase of 59 percent from 2008. Gallup did not break down the percentage of Hispanics in 2009.

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Among those who believe racism against white people is widespread, it's 43 percent among white people and 33 percent among black people. Last year the figures were 32 percent among both races.

Among Hispanics, 42 percent believe racism against white people is widespread in the United States.

"The trend on whites' opinions about racism against whites indicates 2015 was the unusual year," Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones wrote in a release. "Perhaps the extensive news coverage of racial incidents, particularly those resulting in the deaths of black men, may have left the impression that racism in the U.S. was largely directed against blacks."

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