Racism against blacks is higher than it was when President Obama was first elected, according to a new Gallup poll which also shows that racism against whites has surged to an seven-year high.

Driven by recent riots and police-involved shootings, Gallup found that 61 percent believe racism against African Americans is widespread. It was 51 percent when Obama came into office and the Gallup chart shows a steady increase year after year.

"Both blacks and whites are more likely to say racism against blacks is widespread today than they were in October 2009, during the first year of Barack Obama's presidency. Now, 82 percent of blacks and 56 percent of whites say racism against blacks is widespread, reflecting increases of 10 and seven percentage points, respectively," said Gallup on Wednesday.

Against whites, racism is also up.

"Currently, 43 percent of whites and 33 percent of blacks believe racism against whites is widespread. For whites, that essentially marks a return to 2008-2009 levels after a sharp drop to 32 percent last year. The percentage of blacks who perceive widespread racism against whites also fell last year, from 39 percent to 32 percent, but has not increased this year. As a result, whites are once again more likely than blacks to believe racism against whites is common," said Gallup.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com