0815 GMT February 22, 2018
“Under the Trump administration, he has in fact fueled racism through his appointees, through his statements, through his executive orders, which have imposed bans on people from [several] majority-Muslim countries, in Africa and the Middle East,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.
“This is going to continue under his administration unless there’s a major movement in the United States; persistent effort to halt this type of bigotry,” Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday.
“This sends a very bad signal to Muslims; to people who are from African American and Latino descent that this country is hostile,” he added.
A new Gallup poll has found that almost half of Americans now say they are worried “a great deal” about race relations in the United States, which is higher than at any time since 2001 when Gallup began tracking the issue.
According to the poll, which was released Wednesday, 42 percent of people in the US are very worried over racial tensions, an increase of seven percentage points from 2016 and a record high in Gallup's 17-year trend.
This is the third straight year Americans' worries about racism have increased by a significant margin. In 2014, 17 percent said they worried a "great deal" about this issue; this climbed to 28 percent in 2015 and 35 percent in 2016.
The sharp rise in worry about racism likely stems from the racial tensions and national debate sparked by high-profile police killings of unarmed African American men and of black men shooting police in retaliation.
Trump’s divisive election campaign and controversial comments on racial matters before and after his election could also be a factor in Americans' heightened concern about race relations.
Critics say that Trump’s election has emboldened far-right groups and white supremacists and increased levels of xenophobia across the country.