A new poll highlights the extreme differences that exist between the ways Blacks and Whites view the treatment of Blacks by police. On Wednesday, the National Bar Association, the organization of Black lawyers and judges, released data showing that 88 percent of Blacks believe Black people are treated unfairly by police, compared to only 59 percent of Whites who share the same opinion.
Unsurprisingly, when it came to the South (stretching from Florida to Delaware), those differences were even more clean-cut with 90 percent of Blacks and just 55 percent of Whites holding a similar view. In the Northeast, however, the gap is much narrower — 74 percent of Blacks say police treat Blacks unfairly compared to 63 percent of Whites.
Interestingly enough, 67 percent of Whites compared to 52 percent of Blacks feel that authorities are simply misunderstood by Black people. Those views are consistent across the map for Whites, but in the Northeast, a national low of 35 percent of Blacks concurred. Compare that to the 70 percent of Whites and 58 percent of Blacks who agree with that opinion in the South and you can’t help but see a huge disconnect. USA Today reports.:
“The national poll of 1,088 adults was conducted on June 25-July 6 by Tallahassee-based Sachs Media Group, for the association, the country’s oldest and largest national association of predominantly black lawyers and judges. Tallahassee attorney Benjamin Crump was elected president of the association in July. Crump, a nationally known civil rights attorney, worked with the family of Trayvon Martin after the 17-year-old was killed by George Zimmerman.” Reports USA Today.
The poll was conducted in the midst of a heated summer of debate about police treatment of blacks, especially young black men — Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, where the city just agreed to a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement and officers are awaiting trial.”
“Our national conversation about race has been going on for a long time, and it’s encouraging to see signs of progress,” Crump said. “However, 50 years of conversation is too long without seeing more movement and, to a certain extent, regression. This survey shows that clearly there remains work to be done.”
While this is only a glimpse of the poll, which is to be released in its entirety sometime today, it is certainly eye opening. Are you surprised by the stark differences between how Blacks and White view the treatment of Blacks by police? Sound off in the comment section below.