Poll finds New Yorkers have negative view on race relations in the state

On a national holiday honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a new poll suggests that two-thirds of New Yorkers believe the civil rights icon's dream for racial harmony is not the current reality.

The Siena College poll released Monday finds that 64% of New Yorkers have a negative view on the current state of race relations in the state, compared to just 33% who expressed a positive view.

The poll also finds that 73% say racial ethnic minorities experience discrimination, and 78% believe religious minorities suffer the same fate.

Pastor Arthur Mackey Jr. of the Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral in Roosevelt says the poll's findings are backed up by events that have taken place over the past year. He points to the display of nooses in a Roosevelt middle school classroom last winter, the controversy surrounding a perceived racist image and caption in the Longwood district earlier this month and the Hanukkah stabbings at a rabbi's home in Rockland County.

But despite the poll numbers, Pastor Mackey and others say they are hopeful that race relations will improve in the future.

Siena College says a majority of New Yorkers have not expressed a positive outlook on race relations in the state since 2010.