Speed Reads

race in america

Most white Americans say they do not live, work, or come in regular contact with more than 'a few' blacks

Large majorities of white Americans say they do not live (79 percent), work (81 percent), or come in regular contact (68 percent) with more than "a few" black people, The New York Times reports. Four percent of white respondents said they do not regularly come in contact with black Americans at all.

While the racial segregation of black and white lives has remained relatively consistent over the past 15 years, the Times did add that geographic segregation seems to be lower, with a third of black respondents saying that "almost all of the people" who live near their homes were of the same race, as opposed to half that said the same in 2000.

However, nearly six in 10 Americans believe that race relations are bad and nearly four in 10 think they're getting worse. The numbers represent levels of discontent among blacks (68 percent) almost as high as those following the 1992 acquittal of the police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King.

The New York Times' poll was conducted in the weeks following the killing of nine black worshipers in a Charleston church, allegedly by a white supremacist.