Race relations are worsening in eyes of the public, according to a recent LSU survey. Dr. Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says the share of people who believe race relations are getting worse rose by almost 20 percent since 2014.
He says there’s a racial divide in opinions on whether racial equality exists today.
“Most black residents of the state don’t feel like we as a state or as a country are there yet, whereas a majority of whites do feel like we’ve gotten to that point,” Henderson said.
Henderson says views are equally split in regards to confidence in local police. The survey finds 75 percent of white residents trust police not to use excessive force. He says whites are also twice as likely to think police will treat blacks and whites equally.
“A majority of black residents of the state have just some or very little confidence in police to treat races equally and likewise not to use excessive force,” Henderson said.
While 86 percent of black residents believe the country should continue to make changes to move towards racial equality, Henderson says there’s not a tremendous sense of optimism those changes will be made.
“About half of African-Americans in our state believe not only that the changes to make sure we have equal rights for blacks and white have not been made, but also believe they will never be made,” Henderson said.