Race relations in the United States have never been great. From the country's inception, it has suffered with its treatment of minorities. It wasn't until the late 1800s that slavery was completely abolished. It would be another long hundred years before blacks in the United States were protected by the Civil Rights Act. Even then, equal treatment wasn't well established. What does this mean? That it has been less than 50 years since it became the norm to treat African American citizens like the true members of society that they were.
However, it would be naive to assume that race relations in the United States are equalizing or normal. While it is certainly clear that racism in today's society is unacceptable, we have a long way to go before people of color are given the respect they deserve. To some, that statement may be absurd. If you're questioning its accuracy, I urge you to look no further than race relations in the U.S. today.
The fact of the matter is that most Americans today believe race relations to be a problem. According to the Pew Research Center, it goes even deeper than that. Most Americans believe that the election of Donald Trump has led to worse race relations. The nature of race relations is ultimately social. And while the general populace typically has little bearing over the reality of issues, they're as credible as one can get on this issue. Granted, they are the assumed participants of poor race relations.
While the aforementioned preferences and opinions are likely referring to Hispanic relations, that is only a fraction of society's thoughts on the issue. Think back to the spark of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013. It was primarily inspired by the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. In the following years, it was BLM that planned protests organized around the concept of police brutality and minorities. According to Gallup, the share of national adults who cited race relations as good was approximately 68 percent. By 2015, that number dropped to only 47 percent.
Those who suggest race relations are not on at least a short-term decline are factually incorrect. Regardless of what drives the decline of these relations, it's certainly a problem. The United States must make an effort to foster connections between races. To suggest that nothing should be done would be both apathetic and inappropriate. Relationships between people and groups alike rarely decline for no reason; finding the root of the problem is key.
Only then can the U.S. take initiative to solving these problems and ultimately increase the utility of happiness across the country.