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Trayvon Martin case: Polls reveal depth of racial divide (+video)

Two polls conducted after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin reaffirm the dramatic divide between white and black Americans, including over whether the trial raised urgent issues.

Madison, Wisc. discussion about Trayvon Martin
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Two polls this week have reaffirmed that white and black Americans see the acquittal of George Zimmerman in very different lights.

The adjectives used to report the racial disparity these polls describe are telling: “dramatic,” “overwhelming,” “drastic.” Those used in comments on those reports, too, evoke a certain mood: “depressing,” “sobering,” “despair-inducing.”

These are only some of the reactions to Monday’s Pew Research Center poll that said 86 percent of black Americans express “dissatisfaction” with the verdict, compared with just 30 percent of whites. At the same time, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found a similar gap: 9 percent of blacks “approved” of the acquittal, compared with 51 percent of whites.

 

Indeed, the killing of Trayvon Martin and the jury’s not-guilty verdict has agitated deep-seated and long-standing emotions for many Americans, laying bare a sensile cultural rawness when it comes to matters of race. These polls come in the wake of weekend protests and demonstrations, battling memes posted on FaceBook and Twitter, and what some see as clichéd calls for a national “discussion on race.”

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