The protests that have been going on for the past week in Ferguson, Missouri, after black teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer, have brought back to light the racial tensions that still exist in the US. A new study by the Pew Research Center confirms that even our consumption of news about the shooting and the demonstrations, and our reactions to it, are divided along racial lines.
According to Pew’s research, while 80% of black Americans believe that the shooting “raises important issues about race,” only 37% whites feel similarly, while 47% of them think race does not deserve as much attention as it’s getting.
And while 54% of black Americans said they have been following the news from Ferguson closely, only 25% whites reported doing so. As a result, the issue has not stood out for general share of public attention overall—it’s been followed just as closely as Robin Williams’s death (27%) and only slightly more than the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
Meanwhile, there’s a detail that may speak further to the racial dividing lines in America: only 18% of Hispanics said they had been following the Ferguson issue.