WXXI AM News

Siena poll: Over the last year, New Yorkers' views on race relations are little changed

Jan 18, 2021

A new survey from Siena College shows that only about a third of New Yorkers think that race relations in the state are either excellent or good. That compares to about two-thirds of them who say that race relations are either fair or poor.

Overall, Siena pollster Steve Greenberg says he’s surprised the survey results have not changed much over the last 12 months: “Given the discussion about race that has gone on in this country over the course of the last year, that there was literally no movement in the last six months and very little movement in the last 12 months on New Yorkers' views on race.” 

Greenberg said the surveys of New Yorkers on racial issues show that, "It’s gone up and down a couple points between 2015 and today over the last six years. But really the turning point was 2014, and that was the year of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson. And that really affected the way Black and white New Yorkers thought about race.”

The Siena survey also shows that while about two-thirds of white New Yorkers believe that minorities experience racial discrimination, more than three-quarters of Latinos and 90% of Black New Yorkers say that people of color experience discrimination in New York state.

Greenberg also said that the latest Siena survey showed New Yorkers have mixed feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement, with Democrats overwhelmingly viewing it favorably, while many Republicans view the movement unfavorably.