New Polls: Americans More Concerned with Racial Inequality Than a Year Ago

New polls released this week show Americans are more concerned with racial inequalities than they were a year ago

A year after Ferguson, 6 in 10 Americans say changes are needed to assure black and white people equal rights.

In addition to worries about overall equality, surveys over the past year have found more Americans are worried about the state of race relations -- and fairness in the criminal justice system, in particular.

-Washington Post

A Pew Research poll also came out this week finding that across racial lines, more Americans are saying the nation needs to make changes to achieve racial equality.

Over the past year, there has been a substantial rise in the share of Americans — across racial and ethnic groups — who say the country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites, and a growing number of Americans view racism as a big problem in society.

-Pew Research Center

Majority Says Nation Needs to Make Changes to Give Blacks Equal Rights

The anniversary of Michael Brown's death and the ensuing protests in Ferguson is coming up

Activists and advocates in Ferguson and the greater St. Louis region have worked tirelessly to call attention to racial profiling, the inappropriate militarized response by law enforcement to peaceful demonstrations, and the criminalization of a search for answers by members of the community and press.

We know that these problems are not limited to Ferguson either. Just recently a report came out detailing racial bias in the St. Louis County Family Court...

The U.S. Department of Justice released a report critical of the St. Louis County Family Court on Friday, finding that black youths are treated more harshly than whites, and juveniles are often deprived of constitutional rights. Though unrelated to the department's investigation in Ferguson, the new report again raises concern about racial discrimination and profiling in the St. Louis region.

Attorney General Chris Koster released a report this year as well, finding black drivers in Missouri are 66% more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white drivers, marking the 11th time in 14 years there has been an increase.

Reforms are needed at the local and state level

We need all our local police departments to work with community leaders and advocates to change their policies in order to combat these problems. Additionally, the Missouri Legislature needs to pass statewide reforms, aligned with policies proposed by The ACLU, The Don’t Shoot Coalition, The Organization for Black Struggle, and other groups. Institutionalized racism in our police and justice systems is unacceptable in 2015 and something needs to be changed.

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