Gee, I wonder why? After the death of George Floyd, both interest in and support for Black Lives Matter jumped upward in all demographics. After watching their protests and demonstrations devolve into riots, anarchy, and demands for a Marxist political agenda, Americans have largely cooled on BLM, Pew finds in its latest survey. However, they still remain strong in very specific demos, while the decline has been a bit more broad:
As racial justice protests have intensified following the shooting of Jacob Blake, public support for the Black Lives Matter movement has declined, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. A majority of U.S. adults (55%) now express at least some support for the movement, down from 67% in June amid nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd. The share who say they strongly support the movement stands at 29%, down from 38% three months ago. …
The recent decline in support for the Black Lives Matter movement is particularly notable among White and Hispanic adults. In June, a majority of White adults (60%) said they supported the movement at least somewhat; now, fewer than half (45%) express at least some support. The share of Hispanic adults who support the movement has decreased 11 percentage points, from 77% in June to 66% today. By comparison, support for the Black Lives Matter movement has remained virtually unchanged among Black and Asian adults.
Support for the Black Lives Matter movement remains particularly widespread among Black adults. Some 87% of Black Americans say they support the movement, similar to the share who said this in June. However, the share of Black adults expressing strong support for the movement has decreased 9 points, from 71% to 62%.
The change in position hasn’t exactly been crippling for BLM. Most politicians would looove to get a 55% favorable rating, and the mainstream political parties haven’t seen that level of approval in years. BLM at least still gets majority approval overall, and high marks among most demos.
However, one difference between BLM and the two major parties are that voters are intimately familiar with the goals and aims of the latter. Until the Floyd demonstrations and riots began, most Americans only knew of BLM as a slogan — one that, on its face, is tough to dispute. Heritage Foundation predicted in July that as the BLM organization became more familiar to voters, and especially its goals, aims, and tactics, its popularity would drop precipitously:
Just ask BLM leaders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal TometiIn a revealing 2015 interview, Cullors said, “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.” That same year, Tometi was hobnobbing with Venezuela’s Marxist dictator Nicolás Maduro, of whose regime she wrote: “In these last 17 years, we have witnessed the Bolivarian Revolution champion participatory democracy and construct a fair, transparent election system recognized as among the best in the world.”
Millions of Venezuelans suffering under Maduro’s murderous misrule presumably couldn’t be reached for comment.
Visit the Black Lives Matter website, and the first frame you get is a large crowd with fists raised and the slogan “Now We Transform.” Read the list of demands, and you get a sense of how deep a transformation they seek.
One proclaims: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear-family-structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another.”
A partner organization, the Movement for Black Lives, or M4BL, calls for abolishing all police and all prisons. It also calls for a “progressive restructuring of tax codes at the local, state and federal levels to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth.”
Another M4BL demand is “the retroactive decriminalization, immediate release and record expungement of all drug-related offenses and prostitution and reparations for the devastating impact of the ‘war on drugs’ and criminalization of prostitution.”
This agenda isn’t what most people signed up for when they bought their Spanx or registered for Airbnb. Nor is it what most people understood when they expressed sympathy with the slogan that Black Lives Matter.
The sudden, sharp trend downward in overall support and in some key demos appears to have validated Heritage’s warning. BLM support among its core African-American demo remains essentially unchanged at 87%, and the same is true among Democrats, declining within the MoE from 92% to 88%. However, support has slipped 15 points among whites to 45%, eleven points among Hispanics to 66%, and 21 points among Republicans to 16%.
Furthermore, enthusiastic support seems pretty thin among all demos except blacks (62% strongly support) and Democrats (51%). It’s only 31% among Hispanics, not all that much more than the 22% among whites and about even with the 30% among Asians. Overall, only 29% of adults express strong support for BLM, which tends to suggest that its support is mainly a cultural statement about the slogan more than the agenda. It’s a mile wide and an inch thick in most of these demos.
As the riots continue, and as people get a closer look at their goals and tactics, that loose-affiliation approval will keep burning off. Those who rushed to embrace BLM may be left on the fringes in the end.