More than half of Americans, including large majorities of blacks and Hispanics, think President Donald Trump is a racist. More than half think his policies have made things worse for Hispanics and Muslims, and nearly half say they’ve made things worse for blacks.
According to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 57 percent of Americans think Trump’s policies have been bad for Muslims, and 56 percent think they’ve been bad for Hispanics. Forty-seven percent, including three-quarters of blacks, think they’ve been bad for blacks.
Fifty-seven percent of all adults, including more than 8 in 10 blacks, three-quarters of Hispanics and nearly half of whites, said they think Trump is racist. Eighty-five percent of Democrats consider Trump racist, but just 21 percent of Republicans agree.
The results show a stark divide on racial issues gripping the country during the presidency of Trump, who has made divisive comments after a white nationalist rally, called African nations “shitholes,” and promised to build a wall along the Mexican border to prevent immigrants from entering the country illegally.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the poll’s findings.
When asked earlier this year what he thinks about people who think he is racist, Trump replied, “No, no. I am not a racist.” He also told reporters: “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.”
The poll, designed to highlight the views of blacks as Black History Month drew to a close, shows deep pessimism among black people about the state of politics and the country. It finds that more than 9 in 10 of blacks disapprove of how Trump is handling his job as president, 9 in 10 think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and three-quarters think that direction has worsened in the last year.
By comparison, 45 percent of whites approve of the job Trump is doing, though only 35 percent think the direction of the country is improving.
About half of all Americans, including two-thirds of blacks, think that race relations in the United States have worsened over the past year, the poll shows.
“Everybody appears to have gotten angry and they are looking at each other differently,” said Terri Jordan, 58, a black resident of Washington, D.C. “I think that’s just a bad thing. We can’t progress that way.”
Jordan said she strongly believed Trump was “racist” based on his previous comments about Mexican immigrants and his slow response to neo-Nazis rallying in Charlottesville, Va., last year.
In the “National African American History Month” proclamation he issued last month, Trump praised the “resolve, resilience, and courage” that blacks have shown in the face of “egregious discrimination and bigotry.” ‘’They have, nevertheless, always been determined to contribute their earnest efforts to America’s greatness,” Trump said.
Just over half of all Americans surveyed in the poll – 51 percent, including 79 percent of blacks and 44 percent of whites – think blacks continue to face disadvantages to getting ahead in the U.S. That’s compared with 22 percent who think blacks actually have advantages and 26 percent who think race makes no difference in getting ahead. Majorities also think Muslims (60 percent), immigrants (59 percent), LGBT people (52 percent) and Hispanics (51 percent) face disadvantages in American society, while close to half (45 percent) think women face similar hurdles. About 6 in 10 think whites and men have advantages over other groups.
Ralph Loud, 68, a black resident in Houston, Texas, said he didn’t see the conditions of blacks changing as long as Trump remained in office.
“He makes my blood boil because of the things he does and the things he says,” said Loud. “We ain’t going to get better as a country. We need new leadership.”