According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 12% less Americans now support the Black Lives Matter movement than in June.
Although the support among the African Americans have remained constant, less white and Hispanic Americans support BLM.
Another notable change is the drop in those who say that strongly support the movement. Compared to 38% from June to 29% this month. The previous survey was taken during the heights of the anti-racist movement following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
On the other hand, the newest survey was conducted in the days following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. While the number of African Americans who support BLM have remained constant at around 86%, 9% less responded they are strong supporters of the movement.
For all other demographic groups, support has fallen. Another line of division has been political beliefs. Whereas only 19% of Republicans said they supported the movement, 88% of the Democrats said they either strongly or somewhat supported the anti-racist movement.
Although Pew did not state the possible reasons behind the cratering support, different arguments and explanations have been suggested. One is the sheer duration of the movement – it is difficult for any movement to sustain its momentum for an extended amount of time.
Another possible explanation for the decline is the violent turns that some of the protests have taken. An independent research suggested that around 7% of the protests have turned violent in the forms of looting and/or violence. Needless to say, those images were put on repeat by the media.
Finally, there is the possibility that the realities of some of the cases have been since disclosed. For instance, Blake and his refusal for arrest became known. Now it has been known that Blake violently refused the arrest and even carried a knife in his vehicle.
Regardless, BLM has caused some real changes in the world. For example, as more called for the justice of Breonna Taylor’s death, the police said they will no longer execute no-knock raids.
At the same time, the movement still leaves a lot to be desired. Translating the anger and fear in the streets to non-violent changes in the real world that incorporates all would be a grand task.
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