New polls from Pew Research and Fox News show support for the Black Lives Matter movement has dropped more than ten points since mid-summer, and voters now qualify the unrest in places like Kenosha, Wisconsin, as “riots” and not “protests.”
At the height of the summer, when anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests were happening in almost every major American city, support for the Black Lives Matter movement hit an all-time high of 67%, per Pew Research. As the summer wore on, though, and large-scale demonstrations sometimes gave way to isolated violence and destruction, support for the movement as a whole dropped by more than 10%, even though the rioters and looters were largely separate from the anti-racism activists.
“As racial justice protests have intensified following the shooting of Jacob Blake, public support for the Black Lives Matter movement has declined,” the polling authority notes. “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 decline isn’t just among white adults. Pew notes that Hispanics contacted for the poll also expressed waning support for the movement.
“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,” Pew said. “The share of Hispanic adults who support the movement has decreased 11 percentage points, from 77% in June to 66% today.”
Part of the problem, a Fox News poll reveals, is that over the course of the summer, news of peaceful protests has been largely replaced by news of violent and destructive incidents of unrest, and that unrest has moved from major cities’ centers — places like Chicago, Illinois, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington — to more residential areas, like Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Rochester, New York.
“More voters consider the unrest in three US cities stemming from Black Lives Matter demonstrations to be riots rather than protests,” the New York Post reports citing a Fox News poll. “The poll, published Sunday, found that 48 percent of likely voters surveyed described violence in New York, Portland, and Kenosha, Wisconsin to be riots, compared to 40 percent who saw them as protests.”
Perception may not be reality. A recent report covered extensively in the mainstream media claimed just 7% of anti-racism protests were violent; the overwhelming majority of demonstrations — a whopping 93%, the report said — were “peaceful.”
The report, though, seems to include just large-scale demonstrations, separating anti-racism protests from looting and riots that followed, or worse, used peaceful protests as cover. In places like Chicago, as The Daily Wire reported earlier this summer, minority residents taking part in anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests found themselves excoriating more violent elements.