Could support be waning for the Black Lives Matter movement? Data from a new national poll conducted by Civiqs seems to suggest so.
Findings from the nonpartisan online survey show that 44 percent of Americans, overall, support the Black Lives Matter movement. Another 43 percent said they oppose the campaign. Eleven percent of respondents said they neither support nor oppose the global movement that strives to eradicate White supremacy while building local power to “intervene on violence inflicted on Black communities” by state authorities, the organization’s website reads.
In 2012, The Black Lives Matter movement was formed in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who was on trial for murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The young teen was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida during the time of the incident. As the Black high school student walked back to his father’s home from a nearby convenience store, Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, fatally shot Martin citing self-defense moments before reporting him as “suspicious” to the police.
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Civiqs has been tracking support for the Black Lives Matter Movement since 2017, which has drastically shifted over the last four years. According to the poll, the movement peaked in June 2020, a month after the death of George Floyd. Members from the organization protested across the country to seek justice for the Minnesota native after video footage of former officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s necks for nearly nine minutes surfaced. The startling video shocked millions of people around the world and sparked a global cry for police reform.
The movement saw its lowest support between July and August of 2018, which was around the same time as the Charlottesville rally. Additionally, while 82 percent of Black respondents said they support the Black Lives Matter movement, 53 percent of white respondents said they opposed the campaign.
During an interview with NBC News in December 2020, Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza revealed that the organization was focusing its efforts on policy reform and voting rights to help create change for Black Americans.
“At the Black to the Future Action Fund and the Black Futures Lab, we’ve been gearing up for this moment for probably two years now. All of us inside of this ecosystem have been really clear that the real key to interrupting the greatest threat to humanity was to really dive deep into turning out Black voters,” Garza explained. “We started out in 2018 releasing a project called the Black Census Project. We conducted the largest survey of Black people in America in 155 years, from all 50 states, all different demographics that you can imagine.”
“We then took that information and used it to really do a few things. We developed a legislative agenda, called the Black Agenda 2020, that really lays out in concrete ways how to make Black Lives Matter from City Hall to Congress. We also used the data to better provide information for our communities about where candidates up and down the ballot stood on the issues that we care about. And then we used the agenda to organize Black voters and to register Black voters to vote. We targeted people in our communities that are often left out of voter registration efforts.”
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