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75% of Americans say the country is racist on anniversary of George Floyd murder

Only 19 per cent of Republican voters believe that America needs to continue to change to give Black Americans equal rights

Maroosha Muzaffar
Monday 24 May 2021 15:36 BST
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FILE - In this 28 August, 2020, file photo, people carry posters with George Floyd’s image on them as they march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington. As the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder approaches, a poll has revealed that Black Americans are more likely to experience potentially dangerous interactions with the police
FILE - In this 28 August, 2020, file photo, people carry posters with George Floyd’s image on them as they march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington. As the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder approaches, a poll has revealed that Black Americans are more likely to experience potentially dangerous interactions with the police (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
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As Minneapolis marked the upcoming first death anniversary of George Floyd with street marches and demands for racial justice, a recent poll revealed that more than 75 per cent of people believe that America is a racist country.

The Axios-Ipsos Hard Truths Civil Rights & Social Justice poll — conducted between 28 April and 4 May, using a sample of 1,875 — also revealed that “Black Americans are more likely to experience potentially dangerous interactions with the police.”

Only one in three Americans, the poll says, agrees that the 2020 racial justice protests had a positive impact on society, and more than 75 per cent believe that US is a racist country.

In a statement, market research and consulting firm Ipsos said: “America continues to struggle with resolving tensions between race and justice” and added that “Most noteworthy is the finding that in traffic stops, Black Americans are three times more likely than white Americans to report police officers unholstering a weapon.”

The survey says that while Black Americans are less likely to experience being pulled over by the police (70 per cent) than white Americans (83 per cent) “mostly due to lower rates of car ownership,” they are much more likely to experience escalations with the police.

A month ago, the accused in the George Floyd case, white cop Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of murdering him by kneeling on his neck. On Sunday, hundreds gathered in front of the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis demanding justice for the families of th Black Americans who have been slain at the hands of the police.

Many carried placards with photos of Floyd and other victims such as Philando Castile, who was shot during a traffic stop by the police in 2016 in Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MAY 23: People listen during an inaugural remembrance demonstration for George Floyd on 23 May 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The National Action Network and members of George Floyd's family hosted an inaugural remembrance demonstration to honour the life of George Floyd who was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020. Chauvin has since been convicted of 1 count of Second-degree murder, 1 count of Third-degree murder, and 1 count of second-degree manslaughter. (Getty Images)

Protestors including Floyd’s family chanted slogans such as “no justice, no peace” and “Say his name.”

A year after Black Lives Matter protests across the country, the Axios-Ipsos poll says many Americans believe that the rallies and marches didn’t have much impact on the social injustices and racism faced by Black Americans.

Thirty-five per cent — one in three Americans — agree that 2020 racial justice protests had a positive impact on society. And more than half — 59 per cent of Americans — believe that the country needs to give Black Americans equal rights. About 13 per cent of those polled believed that the treatment of Black Americans by the police has improved over the last year. Half of those polled believe that it has in fact remained unchanged.

Tuesday marks the first death anniversary of Floyd. Since last year, calls for changes in policing in the US have gathered force.

The Axios-Ipsos poll says that a clear majority voted to support of the “increasing funding of the police.” Only about a quarter — 27 per cent — of Americans support the “defund the police” movement.

The poll also reveals that only 19 per cent of Republicans believe that America needs to continue to change to give Black Americans equal rights and about 87 per cent of Democrats believe this.

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