Posted on May 21, 2021

Nearly One Year After George Floyd’s Murder, Black and White Americans Have Very Different Views on Race

Meera Jagannathan, Market Watch, May 19, 2021

As the one-year mark of George Floyd’s murder approaches, only a small share of Americans say race relations have improved in the past year — though many also feel hopeful for the future.

About four in 10 U.S. adults (42%) think race relations in the country are worse today than they were a year ago, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, although this was the smallest share of people to express that view since 2015. Thirty-nine percent of people say race relations are about the same, and 17% say they’re better.

White people are more likely than Black people (45% versus 34%) to believe race relations have gotten worse over the past year. But more than half of respondents overall (57%) predicted that race relations would be better for future generations than they are now.

Nearly seven in 10 people said they had never or rarely experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly due to their race or ethnicity. But the poll also provided yet another snapshot of how Americans experience race differently: 61% of Black Americans reported often or sometimes experiencing discrimination, while 84% of white respondents said they had rarely or never experienced it.


Some 53% of respondents believe local police in the community where they live and work treat people of color the same as they do white people, but Black respondents (61%) and Latino respondents (39%) were more likely than white respondents (25%) to say people of color were treated more harshly.