Support for Black Lives Matter is waning among white Americans

Why, then, do white Americans’ views on racism and the police seem to be returning to their baseline, but Black Americans’ views remain steady? Well, as media attention turns away from the protests, it may simply be easier for white people to forget about the issue, while the stakes were always greater for Black Americans.

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In an analysis of closed captioning data of cable news broadcasts from the TV News Archive,1 we found a huge spike in the number of clips that mentioned “racism” or “Black Lives Matter” as the protests raged during the first two weeks of June. But, as you can see in the chart below, the amount of attention cable news paid to racism and the Black Lives Matter movement has dropped as we’ve moved farther away from peak protest activity. (Coverage of these two issues is still higher than it was prior to Floyd’s death, however.)…

This surge and decline in media attention clearly corresponds to changes in public opinion among white Americans, and it’s possible that some of the historic gains we’ve seen in white views of the Black Lives Matter movement might not last.

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