According to a post-ABC poll conducted July 18 to 21 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, it appears the racial divide is broadening.
The poll shows African Americans have a mostly shared and sharply negative reaction to the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the not-guilty verdict in the resulting George Zimmerman trial, while whites are far more divided, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
87 percent of African Americans say the shooting was unjustified; among whites, just 33 percent say so. 51 percent of whites approve of the not-guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial, while African Americans overwhelmingly and strongly disapprove. Some 86 percent of blacks disagree with the verdict — almost all of them disapproving “strongly.”
There is also a partisan tinge to the public views. Among whites, 70 percent of Republicans but only 30 percent of Democrats say they approve of the verdict.
Wildly different views on the roles of race in the criminal justice system – from both Blacks and Whites – is said to be the reason for the disparity.
Fully 86 percent of African Americans say blacks and other minorities do not get equal treatment under the law; the number of whites saying so is less than half as large, 41 percent. A majority of whites, 54 percent, say there is equal treatment for minority groups. Some 60 percent of Hispanics say blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment with whites in the criminal justice system, and by a two-to-one ratio, they disapprove of the verdict in the Zimmerman trial.