Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Division Hell

Pew Research has unsurprisingly found major racial divisions in how blacks and whites view the case of Michael Brown, the man shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri nine days ago.  The disagreements are very telling nationwide:

Blacks More Likely than Whites to Say Brown’s Shooting Raises Racial Issues

Some 80% of blacks say the case raises important issues about race, while a plurality of whites, 47%, say "Race is getting more attention than it deserves."  That actually doesn't surprise me in the least and I'm honestly shocked it's not a full-blown majority of whites who feel this way.

As far as the police response is concerned:

Whites Divided in Views of Police Response to Ferguson Shooting

Nearly twice as many blacks, 65%, as whites, 33%, believe the police response in Ferguson has gone too far.   Perhaps it's because black America is actually paying attention to the story: 54% of blacks say they are following this story very closely, where only 25% of whites are.

After last night's police response where both MSNBC's Chris Hayes and CNN's Jake Tapper and Don Lemon were on the ground in Ferguson and tear gassed, maybe these numbers will change.

For his part, Chris Hayes suggested that maybe police should charge Officer Darren Wilson with the shooting of Michael Brown, but that's just going to happen.

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