New Poll Reveals Whites’ Complicated, Divided Stance On Black Lives Matter

Published September 6, 2016
Updated September 16, 2016
Published September 6, 2016
Updated September 16, 2016
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EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty ImagesBlack Lives Matter supporters take part in a rally on April 29, 2015 at New York City’s Union Square.

A recent poll reveals that support for Black Lives Matter among young white adults has reached a new high. However, that’s hardly the whole story.

According to new results from the University of Chicago, 51 percent of whites between 18 and 30 say that they “strongly” or “somewhat” support Black Lives Matter, reports The New York Times.

This figure marks a ten-point spike in approval over the last two months, during which time the deaths of both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police, among other incidents, prompted a strong response from the Black Lives Matter movement.

The new poll — conducted in August as part of the GenForward survey organized by the University of Chicago’s Black Youth Project and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research — found that support for Black Lives Matter has remained high among 18-to-30-year-old African-Americans (85 percent in favor), Asian-Americans (67 percent), and Hispanics (62 percent).

However, the new poll reveals that not only is white support for the movement lower than that of those other groups, but also that the meaning of “support” is far more complicated than any single figure can suggest.

Indeed, between the 51 percent in support and the 42 percent who said that they were not in support, there lies a sea of gray.

For example, the poll found that just 40 percent of whites (compared with 73 percent of African-Americans) consider the killings of unarmed black men by police to be part of a larger pattern, as opposed to isolated incidents. Additionally, only 43 percent of whites (compared with 91 percent of African-Americans) believe that the killings of unarmed black men by police are a “very…” or “extremely serious problem.”

Furthermore, 66 percent of whites believe that Black Lives Matter encourages violence against police, while just 43 percent of African-Americans feel the same way. And 63 percent of whites think that violence against police is a “serious problem,” an opinion shared by 60 percent of African-Americans.

Moreover, all of these numbers may gain more significance come November.

The poll found that whites believe that Donald Trump is more capable than Hillary Clinton of handling attacks against police (45 percent vs. 28 percent). On the other hand, whites believe that Clinton will do a better job of dealing with attacks against African-Americans (44 percent to 20 percent). And African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics are more likely to trust Clinton on both matters.

Perhaps, then, it’s a bad sign for Trump that the Pew Research Center found earlier this year that the 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in U.S. history.

Next, see why White Lives Matter was just officially made a hate group while Black Lives Matter wasn’t. Then, have a look at the infamous instructions from a Minnesota cop on how to run over Black Lives Matter protestors and get away with it.

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the Managing Editor of All That Is Interesting.