A majority of Americans say Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality has been realized in the USA, although a significant divide between Black and white people’s perception of equality and race relations still exists, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll suggests.
The Poll found that most Americans– 90% of whites and 85% of blacks– say civil rights for Black people have improved in the USA during their lifetime, although far more whites believe African-Americans have progressed, than Blacks themselves.
While nearly eight in 10 whites say Black people have an equal chance in their community to get any kind of job for which they are qualified, six in 10 African Americans say job discrimination persists.
“Whatever the civil rights movement did or did not accomplish, there remain very different perspectives, on average, between blacks and whites on how they view the country,” says Vincent Hutchings, a political scientist at the University of Michigan who studies racial politics. On such non-policy issues as acceptance of interracial marriage or the prospect of a black presidential candidate, “there is something verging on a sea change.”