“To dismiss the magnitude of this progress, to suggest, as some sometimes do, that little has changed — that dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years,” Obama said in a speech last year at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
But Ferguson has suggested that the black-white divide in particular endures in some communities.
“Not really surprised by differing perceptions of Ferguson. It is an extension of how both groups see law enforcement. Because many black citizens have witnessed interactions like the one Mike Brown had with police officers, they are simply more suspicious, and rightfully, than their white counterparts,” said Mark Anthony Neal, a Duke university professor of African and African-American Studies.
Obama of course never claimed he would heal America’s racial divide, and it would be impossible to expect one person to do so. He has acknowledged the inspiring speech he gave in 2004 about bringing people of all races into unity has not become a reality during his tenure.