Donald Trump would have been 17 years old in 1963 when MLK Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” I seriously doubt that Trump ever listened to that speech. MLK Jr. said:
“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men—yes black men as well as white men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”
Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ”insufficient funds.”
Today, 53 years later, America is more diverse than ever. The millennial generation, or those Americans born between 1982 and 2000, is now the country’s biggest segment of the population, with 83.1 million members. Millennials, who represent more than one-quarter of the U.S. population, are more racially diverse than the nation’s older generations. About 44 percent are part of a minority race or ethnic group, compared with only about 22 percent for Americans over the age of 65. The country’s youngest citizens, those younger than 5 years old, are the first group in U.S. history to represent a “majority-minority,” which means more of them are minorities than whites. About 50.2 percent of Americans younger than 5 are minorities. Yet as the number of people who are racially diverse has increased to an all-time high, race relations in America is at a 15 year low. Thirty-five percent of people in America worry “a great deal” about the state of race relations in America, the highest the poll has reported since it began asking the question in 2001. That number is also up from 28 percent in 2015 and has more than doubled since 2014, when just 17 percent of Americans said they were extremely anxious about racial strife in America. The perception of worsening race relations was actually stronger among black people in the survey, which showed that 53 percent of black people and 27 percent of white people saying they were worried about race relations. Compare those numbers to 2014 statistics. In 2014 31 percent of black people and 14 percent of white people said that.
Although racial tension, and the perception gap, is the highest it’s been in the poll’s 15-year history, black people in a separate Gallup poll report said they experienced roughly the same — or even less — mistreatment at the hands of the police now compared to the past. So the question is why is the perception of race relations in America at such a low point?