Michael Brown Sr, yells out as the casket is lowered into the ground at St. Peter's Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri on August 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Richard Perry/POOL
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When Barack Obama became America's first black president, optimistic pundits pondered the prospect of a "post-racial" society, color-blind and free of racial prejudice.That notion was laid to rest by two weeks of racial unrest over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman in a small town in Missouri.In a national survey, 80 percent of black respondents said the shooting raised important questions about race relations, just 44 percent of whites thought so. Similarly, only 18 percent of blacks thought there would be a proper investigation of the shooting. African-Americans, who account for 70 percent of Ferguson's population, saw the shooting as another example of brutality against blacks from a police department made up of 50 white officers and three blacks.A gap in black-white perceptions is not unique to Ferguson. While African-Americans make up roughly 12 percent of the population, they accounted for 30 percent of arrests for property crimes in 2011 and 38 percent of arrests for violent crimes.America has a black president, a black attorney general, black mayors running big cities including Washington and Denver, black police chiefs and black CEOs of several Fortune 500 companies.
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