Two new polls show race still matters.
A Zogby Interactive poll found that 45 percent of likely voters say race relations “have worsened over the two years that Barack Obama has been president.” Thirty-seven percent say there is “no difference”; a mere 13 percent believe race relations have improved.
Similarly, a Washington Post poll found that 35 percent think race relations have improved in the Age of Obama, down from 58 percent in January 2009. Fifty-one percent of black Americans say Obama has helped race relations, down from 75 percent on Inauguration Day.
There is a racial gap in whether African Americans overall have moved on up. The Post reports:
Almost half of whites say that blacks have achieved racial parity, up significantly since Obama's inauguration two years ago. By contrast, views among African Americans have barely budged since Obama took office: Just 19 percent of blacks now see a level playing field. Then, as now, about half say racial equality either won't be achieved in their lifetimes or never will be.
In January 2009, most whites also anticipated Obama's bringing about a thaw in race relations; fewer than one in three now sees such progress. Among whites, 47 percent say racial equality has been achieved, up nine points over the two years.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more they remain the same.