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If you take a look at the various Juneteenth posts on the WNYT NewsChannel 13’s Facebook page, you’ll see the same story.
Division.
Some people in the comments showing blatant racism. One comment said “Is there going to be chicken and watermelon at the finish line?” under our story of a runner who set out to run 159 miles for the 159th Juneteenth.
Others, shamelessly being hateful, “It’s another fake colored holiday where they all shoot and rob each other while the whole world laughs at them,” one commenter said.

If you take a look at the various Juneteenth posts on the WNYT NewsChannel 13’s Facebook page, you’ll see the same story.

Division.

Some people in the comments showing blatant racism. One comment said “Is there going to be chicken and watermelon at the finish line?” under our story of a runner who set out to run 159 miles for the 159th Juneteenth.

Others, shamelessly being hateful, “It’s another fake colored holiday where they all shoot and rob each other while the whole world laughs at them,” one commenter said.

There are also hundreds of people who seem to lack knowledge of the federal holiday, multiple people calling it a “fake holiday.”

Most of our Juneteenth posts collected hundreds of comments and reactions. One post even has more than a thousand comments.

NewsChannel 13’s Digital Content Producer, Ben Gorenstein says a typical WNYT Facebook post averages a few dozen comments.

On the other side of the hate, you’ll see love, disappointment, and confusion.
“The ignorance on this post is outrageous! Happy Juneteenth! Spread love not hate!” Another commenter: “I am pretty disappointed to see these comments, is there this much ignorance in Albany?”

There was also one person who asked “How is commemorating and celebrating the emancipation of slaves controversial?”

That’s a question NewsChannel 13’s Faith King also had, so she hit the streets of Troy and Albany looking for answers.

After asking a handful of people of different races, genders and ethnicities the same questions surrounding race, she realized every person had either experienced or witnessed racism in the Capital Region.   

In January, NewsChannel 13 received the results of a SurveyUSA News Poll on race relations in the Capital District.

SurveyUSA interviewed 600 Capital Region adults on race and racism-related topics, NewsChannel 13 came up with the 25 questions.
The poll results proved the Capital Region sees some racial issues as one, but is divided over others.

Poll results also show Black respondents are three times more likely than white respondents to say racism is a major problem. Latinos are more than twice as likely as whites to say so.

Among those who say racism is a major problem or somewhat of a problem here in the region, 59% say they have witnessed or personally experienced racism in their community: including 56% of white people, 71% of African Americans , 74% of Latinos and 70% of those of Asian or other heritage.

Dr. Deidre Hill Butler, Chair of the Department of Sociology at Union College, said the Capital Region has some work to do. The longtime professor has been at Union for more than two decades. She’s the first Black woman at the college to achieve tenure, earning it in 2009.

But says over the past 20 plus years, she has seen progress.
“I think it’s slow and steady,” Dr. Hill Butler talked about her thoughts on progress in the region. “I think people are accepted as newcomers, there’s often moments of tension … but I think we have a growing mix of people that are working together at major institutions, and at points we don’t get along and at other points, we do. I’ve seen a change for the positive.”

Dr. Butler says change starts with having those uncomfortable conversations in public spaces with people who may look and think differently than you.

View the complete poll in the attachment.