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With the U.S. Presidential campaign in full swing, the issue of race relations in America is front and center.

Add to that all the protests happening around the country involving the treatment of people of color by law enforcement.

With all of that in mind, CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group that researches health care and other issues, have partnered to conduct a Survey of Americans on Race.

The intent of this survey is to produce a nationally representative poll on race and ethnicity to analyze how different groups feel about important issues facing their daily lives.

The results of the survey provide a look at how Americans of different races and ethnic groups feel about race relations, discrimination, unfair treatment by police and social and economic inequality.

Here’s the important number to digest:  49.

49 percent is the number of people who think Racism is a big problem in America today.

49 percent is the number of people who think racism is not a big problem in America today.

Why is a number that looks like an even split between Americans such a big deal?

It is because in 1995, 41% of people polled said racism was a big problem in America.

And just a few years ago in 2011, 28% thought it was a big problem.

That’s a huge jump in percentages.

Not surprising is that blacks, whites and Hispanics see the race issue differently.

43% of whites say racism is a big problem in America today.

65% of Hispanics say the same.

And 66% of blacks say racism is a big problem.

Why the difference in perception?

When the poll fully revealed tonight on my show CNN Tonight, it will show surprising information about where people believe the current racism stems from; institutional discrimination or individual prejudice.

The survey was conducted between August 25th and October 3rd.

It is eye opening to say the least.

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Don Lemon: Why So Many Americans Believe Racism Is On The Rise  was originally published on