Public’s Big New Focus on Race Relations
The protests over Ferguson and the death of Eric Garner have worked. The public’s awareness and concerns about police practices, racial relations and the racial disparity in arrests has increased dramatically over the past month. It is now seen as one of the top problems facing the country. From Gallup:
Increased public concern about an issue doesn’t inherently mean significant positive policy change will happen, but public awareness is almost always a necessary precondition for real reform. Protests can draw the nation’s attention as they have recently on this issue.
Already the increased national focus has caused some positive movement. More police departments are experimenting with body cameras, Congress has again required police to keep records of deaths of people under arrest, and more places are looking to scale back the drug war.