As Nation marks MLK Jr. Day, Poll Finds Fewer New Yorkers See Positive Race Relations

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BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – As the nation marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a Siena College Research Institute poll suggests fewer New Yorkers have a positive outlook on race relations than just a few years ago.

df125ba5-027b-4d26-b234-6b60df54e579Questions about feelings toward the state of race relations in New York were included in a poll conducted over five days earlier this month, which collected replies from 805 participants.

Only 35 percent of those responding consider race relations to be “excellent” or “good.” Most, 43 percent, consider them only to be “fair” while the remainder held more negative feelings or were unsure.

“One of the questions we asked voters was ‘do you think minorities in New York State – African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians – experience discrimination?'” said Steven Greenberg, pollster for Siena College Research Institute. “More than two thirds of New Yorkers, 68 percent of New Yorkers, say yes, minorities do experience discrimination here in New York.”

Three in every ten respondents, Greenberg added, stated they had personally been the recipient of harassment based on race, gender or sexual orientation.

The most notable and disturbing trend, he suggests, is that New Yorkers’ outlooks on race relations within the state have lessened in recent years.

“If we go back just six years ago, to MLK Junior’s birthday back in 2013, at that time 54 percent of New Yorkers had a positive view of race relations,” Greenberg said.

Click here for the results of the Siena College Research Institute’s poll on race relations and discrimination, which also asked respondents about their opinions of several elected officials.