Race relations in America are better than they used to be. And most Americans see diversity as a good thing.
But there’s still a long way to go, according to two new surveys from Nashville-based Lifeway Research.
Researchers asked 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Protestant pastors about their views on race relations. They found many Americans have mixed feelings about the state of racial diversity in the United States.
Scott McConnell, vice president of Lifeway Research, says Americans are still adapting to the nation’s demographic shifts.
In 1960, 89 percent of Americans were white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, America is much more diverse. Fewer than two-thirds of Americans—and just over half of schoolchildren—are Non-Hispanic whites. By 2050, no one group will be a majority.
That’s a big change, says McConnell, and one Americans are still trying to sort through. The fallout from the deaths of Mike Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York have increased tension about racial relations.
“Recent high profile cases highlight the lack of understanding, respect, and trust that remain between races,” he says.
Among the findings of the two surveys:
- 82 percent of Americans say racial diversity is good for the country.
- 74 percent agree with the statement, “We have come so far on racial relations.” (There was broad agreement across ethnic groups. Three quarters of whites (74 percent), African-Americans (74 percent) and Hispanic-Americans (73 percent) all agree.)
- But 81 percent also agree with the statement, “We’ve got so far to go on racial relations.”
- 49 percent believe race relations have stayed the same since the election of President Barack Obama, with 29 percent saying they are more strained and 15 percent say things have improved.
- 65 percent say religious leaders play a positive role in race relations in the United States.
- 90 percent of pastors agree with the statement: “Racial reconciliation is mandated by the Gospel.”
- 72 percent of pastors say their church is “personally involved at the local level in addressing racial reconciliation.”
Read the full story at LifewayResearch.com.
Recently, several Christian leaders gathered in Memphis at the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum, the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, for A Time to Speak — a discussion on race, the church and where to go from here.
The event is available for replay at live.kainos.is.
For more stories about racial reconciliation and the church visit FactsAndTrends.net/Multiethnic.