Californians’ perceptions of race relations in the state have shifted dramatically since the spring, with views statewide having grown significantly gloomier than they were five months ago, according to a new statewide poll.
The survey, which compares its results to a similar poll conducted in February, offers a before-and-after look at how Californians’ attitudes have shifted in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, George Floyd’s death and the nationwide demonstrations that ensued.
Some 54% of respondents said that relations between people of different races and ethnicities in California were just fair or poor, an uptick of 13 points since February. The number of California adults who believe those relations were excellent or good dropped from 57% to 44%, the poll found. The shift, the poll indicated, occurred across racial and ethnic groups in relatively equal numbers.
White Californians are now much more likely than they were earlier this year to say that Blacks, Latinos and Asians are “frequently” discriminated against. The uptick comes as data have shown that the virus disproportionately affects Black and Latino communities, and has led to an explosion in anti-Asian hate incidents, said Paul Ong, director of UCLA’s Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, who was not involved in the poll.
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