An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released soon after the George Zimmerman verdict showed that while a majority of Americans feel that their fellow citizens are judged by their character, black Americans felt strongly that race was a decisive factor. 54% of those polled felt character was primary, while 45% felt race was primary. But among black Americans, 79% felt race was the deciding issue.
Another question posed was whether race relations in the U.S. were good. 52% said yes, but that compared badly with Jan. 2009, when 79% agreed, 2010, when the figure was 72%, and 2011, when it was 71%
Lonnie Bunch, the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, said loftily on MSNBC Tuesday, “There is no doubt that race has been – and continues to be – the most important issue that divides us. We’re always going to be grappling about questions about race.”
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., chimed in on NBC’s , “We have a lot of work to do. The dream is not yet fulfilled.”