The nation is less racially divided today than it was six years ago, President Barack Obama says.
In an excerpt from a 40-minute interview the president gave National Public Radio on Dec. 18, which was made available Friday, Obama asserted that low morale about race relations is exaggerated by the reactions across the country to recent racially charged violence, including the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police and the revenge slayings of two New York City Police Department officers.
Asked whether there’s more racial division now than when he took office in 2009, Obama replied, “No,” NPR reports.
“I actually think that it’s probably, in its day-to-day interactions, less racially divided,” he declared.
The full interview will be made available Monday, NPR said.
The president’s assertion, however, appears to contradict what recent polls have found.
Fifty-three percent of Americans think race relations have worsened under Obama, compared with 36 percent who say they have stayed the same and 9 percent who say they have improved, a Bloomberg Politics poll found earlier this month.
A more recent survey, by CNN/ORC, found white Americans more likely to believe the criminal justice system is colorblind than nonwhites, with 57 percent of whites saying there’s little or no prejudice by police against blacks but only 25 percent of nonwhites holding that view.