Racism is the biggest challenge facing the United States, according to a poll released Thursday by Gallup. Now at 18, the percentage of Americans who name race relations as the country’s biggest problem in several decades. In May 1992, the percentage reached 15 percent, Gallup reported. That percentage was reached after four Los Angeles police officers were found not guilty of using excessive force against Rodney King, a black man who was arrested 1991 for drunk driving after a high-speed chase.

Shootings of black men cause concern.

Between 1970 and 2000, race was rarely mentioned as a top problem, Gallup said.

The new high is up 13 points from last month’s rating of five percent. The huge increase is the result of unexplained shootings of black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. The shootings remain under investigation with findings expected at later dates. The police shootings resulted in lone-wolf ambushes against police officers in Texas and Louisiana, and a large number of peaceful protests throughout the nation.

Faith in government near all-time low.

Dissatisfaction with government is also up over last month, rising from 13 percent last month to 16 percent in July. Lack of confidence in the economy in general is third with 12 percent. Last month, the economy was listed as the United States’ biggest problem with 18 percent naming economic woes at the top of their list.

We’re going the wrong way.

Overall, only 17 percent of Americans believe the United States is heading in the right direction, the polling found. This is the lowest rate of satisfaction on record, which dates to 2001, with the exception of the 16-percent satisfaction rate in October 2013 when Sen. Ted Cruz and others closed down some federal government agencies and programs during a budget dispute with the White House.

Democrats are getting more upset

Democrats’ satisfaction with the state of America dropped a whopping 22 points over the past month, from a 51-percent satisfaction rate in June and a 29-percent satisfaction rate in July. Only six percent of Republicans are satisfied with overall trends in the United States, while only 16 percent of independents say they are satisfied.

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