According to new poll results, support for the Black Lives Matter movement is declining among black voters a year and a half later after George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.
According to a national poll conducted by Civiqs, an online survey associated with the progressive media group Daily Kos, 44 percent of respondents no longer support the Black Lives Matter movement. However, another 43 percent of respondents support it, and 11 percent said they neither support nor oppose it. The survey’s sole purpose was to track respondents’ viewpoints when social injustice incidents increased across the country.
According to NBC News, The poll also stated that support peaked at 52 percent in June 2020 when many high-profile deaths of Black Americans occurred, including Floyd’s death, which sparked an outcry of Black Lives Matter support in America. Protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis, Wisconsin, New York, and California to protest social injustice and police brutality as millions of Americans witnessed a white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 10 minutes, resulting in his death.
Americans across the country continued their support with the movement when high-profile incidents happened. The shooting of Jacob Blake, 30, a black man who police officers shot on August 23, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death on April 20, 2021.
Though 82 percent of respondents who support Black Lives Matter are black, the poll also stated that many respondents who were in opposition of the movement were white, which created divided opinions regarding racial incidents in this country.
Vida Robertson, the Center for Critical Race Studies director at the University of Houston-Downtown, said the polls reflect the historical moments many Black Americans in history were a part of, “including the civil rights movements, from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Power movement.”
“These polls are quite representative of America’s approach,” Robertson said. “There’s no historical evidence whatsoever that America has ever been interested in Black liberation and building an equitable society. We are simply coming to grips with our romantic ideals that are running up against our political realities. And the fact stands that America has constantly and will constantly struggle with the liberation of Black bodies because we are endemically a racist society.”
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in killing Black teenager Trayvon Martin. Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, captured the attention of many on social media by creating hashtags to promote the movement further.
The black communities have become educated on issues plaguing the Black community, including police brutality, social injustice, and the ongoing debate with COVID-19 vaccinations. Robertson believes the pandemic may be one of the reasons why the movement is declining in support.
“Our country is simply going back to default,” Robertson said. “Our job is to reconstruct the game so that we can actually move beyond winning them over to becoming the American Dream that we longed for.”