September 28th, 2015

How do people of different backgrounds view racial equality in the U.S.? — Class Discussion


Race relations have been a major topic recently in the United States. Incidents like the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and, more recently, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Tamir Rice in Cleveland and others have resulted in mass protests over the way police treat of black people.

To examine how these events have influenced public opinion, PBS NewsHour and Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion conducted a survey on how Americans view race relations today. Look over the poll results below with your class and have them answer the questions below individually. Then discuss their answers as a class.


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Do you feel race relations in the U.S. have gotten better, worse or remained the same over the past year? Explain.

What factors do you think contributed to this?

What do you think the reason is for the difference in opinion between blacks and whites on the topic of equal justice and job opportunity?

If inequality exists, what should be done to address it? If it does not, why do people perceive its existence?

What can be done to improve race relations in the U.S.?

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