FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Race relations have not improved as much in the U.S. as many hoped they would with the election of our first African-American president. When Barack Obama was elected, we heard a lot of talk about all the good it might do for racial tensions.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/30/art.obamas.jpg caption="Barack Obama and his family arrive on stage for his election night victory rally at Grant Park in Chicago on November 4, 2008."]
Well, maybe not... Consider this: 56 percent of Americans think a solution to this country's race relations problem will eventually be worked out. But that's exactly the same percentage of people who felt this way when Gallup first asked this question 46 years ago in December of 1963. So despite all the progress we've presumably made in the last half century - much has not changed.
Gallup conducted a one-night poll on November 5 of last year - right after President Obama won. At that point, 67 percent of those surveyed thought race relations would get better. They haven't.
Not surprisingly, blacks are much more pessimistic about this question than whites. Among blacks, optimism has decreased since last summer from 50 percent to 42 percent.
Gallup also found that 79 percent of Americans say blacks have equal employment opportunities to whites. That number is up since last summer. But - here again - blacks are overwhelmingly more pessimistic about equal job chances.
Lastly, the poll shows 51 percent of those surveyed agree that there's widespread racism against blacks in the U.S.
Here’s my question to you: Why hasn't the nation's first African-American president had a greater impact on race relations?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
B. from Georgia writes:
I am sorry, but only white Americans would believe that race relations would improve because Barack Obama was elected president. Black folks know the deal. They don't see things according to polls and the like. They see things according to American history and the reality of everyday living.
Patricia from Georgia writes:
I am a white older woman who thought when Pres. Obama was elected that we as a nation had overcome the racist thing. However, upon watching tea party signs and comments by talk show hosts, it is clear to me that it was deeply hidden and has now surfaced because we have a black president… I am sadly disappointed in us as a nation because of this and wonder if it will ever go away.
Q. from Massachusetts writes:
It’s because Pres. Obama won't address it. He keeps as far away from the subject as he can, or until pushed by media to speak on it. What ever happened to the great debate on race relations following the "beer summit"? How did I miss that?
Derrick from Redondo Beach, California writes:
Because white people have never been interested in having a serious conversation about race and feel they bear no responsibility for any past transgressions by members of their race. And, whites have no interest in general in rectifying the current effects of a racially-biased government if it in anyway inconveniences them. Whites tend to live in a world willfully blind to the black experience in America. Merely electing a black person changes none of that.
Pat from North Carolina writes:
Jack, Being a white, 67-year-old woman from Western North Carolina, I can tell you that there is nothing President Obama can do to change the behavior or attitudes of bigots from this part of the county. It will take divine intervention!
Keith from Ohio writes:
Martin Luther King he ain't! Every opportunity he has had, he blew it. But, it makes for great beer parties on the South Lawn.