You wouldn’t know it by reading the headlines or looking over polling data, but race relations are improving in the United States. That’s what George Martin and Darryl Howard, two young black men living in the Detroit area, told Daniel and Jordan Allott recently.
“I genuinely think that race relations in this country have been getting better because of social media and the fact that we’re connected to people more than we’ve ever been connected before,” said Martin.
The key to continuing to improve race relations, Martin said, was for people “to get out and talk to each other….and listen to one another and ask questions.”
This would seem to contradict the prevailing narrative that race relations are at a generational low. Black Lives Matter, the “alt-right” and the ongoing debates over public monuments and the national anthem all seem to suggest that race relations are worsening. One recent poll found that 70 percent of people in America think race relations are bad.
But Howard doesn’t see it that way. Race relations are much better than when his mother and grandmother grew up, he said. He said that he is realizing the victories in racial equality that his parents’ generation fought for.
Howard also felt that communication is key to improving race relations. “Reach out to your neighbor, find out why they hate you. It might not be that they are a racist. Maybe you ran over their lawn in pulling out of your driveway,” he said, chuckling. “Just have the conversation. That’s what’s most important.”
Howard works in real estate and said he’s been pulled over by police and had the police called on him when he’s inspected homes during site visits. He doesn’t automatically get offended and understands that someone walking around a house that isn’t his own can look suspicious to people. Again, he said, communication is key. “Hopefully we grow from that by having more conversations.”
This video was originally featured as a part of the Washington Examiner’s series The Race To 2020: The people and places that will define a presidency. You can watch more videos here.