04:57 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Police officers take a protester into custody Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson

    Racial Tensions Named One of the Top Issues Facing the U.S.

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    According to a recent survey by ICM Research conducted exclusively for Sputnik, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe racial and ethnic tensions to be one of main problems facing the United States.

    Nearly 70% of all respondents agreed that interracial and interethnic differences present some of the greatest problems America must overcome.

    Theodore Shaw, Director of the Center for Civil Rights, doesn’t find these numbers particularly surprising.

    “Although we have made [a] tremendous amount of progress, the issue of race is remaining with us,” Shaw told Sputnik. “I think that the United States needs to make a commitment to addressing issues that impact African-American or minority communities.”

    While many held out hope that the election of the U.S.’s first black president would bring an end to racial injustice, America still faces an uphill climb toward equality.

    “There was this great hope that this would be a new way to approach race relations, that there was someone who was competent…that might give us a new hope of even a post-racial society,” Dr. Angelique K. Walker-Smith, spokesperson for Christian lobbying group Bread for the World, told Sputnik.

    Recent events point to an America miles away from being post-racial. Protests have erupted across the country in response to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers. While the shooting death of Michael Brown in August may have been the initial spark, the lack of police accountability in the deaths of Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice reinvigorated demonstrations.

    “We have now learned that we still have to be explicit and we have to be implicit around how we approach race relations, both are still the order of the day,” Walker-Smith said.

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