NYT-Published Analysis Finds Support for BLM Tumbled Over Last Year - Can You Guess Why?


National polling outlet Civiqs has been tracking the level of support from registered voters for Black Lives Matter since April 2017.

Two academics looked at the results from Civiqs most recent survey, taken May 21, and presented their analysis in The New York Times.

I feel compelled to share their bios, particularly Ms. Chudy’s. [Emphasis mine]: “Jennifer Chudy is an assistant professor of social sciences and political science at Wellesley College. She studies white racial guilt, sympathy and prejudice. Hakeem Jefferson is an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University, where he studies race and identity.”

In The Times piece, they note that support for BLM overall has seen a net increase since 2018, but has still fallen from its high point.

On Jan. 1, 2018, 38 percent of registered voters supported the group, 41 percent were opposed, 18 percent neither supported nor opposed and 3 percent were not sure. According to the May 21 survey, 47 percent support BLM, 40 percent oppose, 12 percent neither supported nor oppose and 1 percent are unsure.

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Support for the group increased over the past three and a half years from 38 to 47 percent while the percentage of those opposed decreased by 1 percent. What stands out is that the percentage of those opposed was almost unchanged, while the increase in support apparently came from groups that were previously neutral or unsure.

The Times presents Civiqs’ data on a graph that resembles a typical bell curve. It shows a breakout in support starting on March 13, 2020, the date that Breonna Taylor was killed in a police raid in Louisville, Kentucky. On May 25, 2020, the date of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, support started to spike and the line showing new support is nearly vertical. It continues to rise until June 3.

On that date, according to Civiqs, support reached 53 percent, just 29 percent of respondents were opposed, 17 percent were neutral and 2 percent were unsure.

This is the high water mark for Black Lives Matter. From that point on, support for the movement dropped.

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The graphic pointed out that, by this time, “protests have spread to more than 140 cities nationwide.”

That’s putting it mildly.

Americans had been shocked after seeing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin press his knee into George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, but that wasn’t an excuse for burning down cities, toppling monuments and looting stores.

Chuddy and Jefferson, of course, see other reasons for the drop. They lament that “the more general picture contradicts the idea that the country underwent a racial reckoning. Last summer, as Black Americans turned their sorrow into action, attitudes — especially white attitudes — shifted from tacit support to outright opposition, a pattern familiar in American history. Whereas support for Black Lives Matter remains relatively high among racial and ethnic minorities, support among white Americans has proved both fickle and volatile.”

“Support among white Americans has proved both fickle and volatile?” Is it unreasonable to oppose an organization that burns down buildings and businesses, smashes store windows so they can be looted, wounds our police officers and disregards the law? I don’t see anything fickle or volatile about that.

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Then, the two take aim at Republicans specifically.

“After Mr. Floyd’s death, Republicans reported much stronger support for Black Lives Matter than they had earlier in 2020. For a party often characterized by its racial insensitivity and antagonism toward racial minorities, this increase in support was striking. But perhaps even more striking is its rapid decline.”

Finally, they write this: “Some have wondered whether support for B.L.M., especially among white people, is genuine or merely virtue-signaling. As the volatility of the polling suggests, there is reason to be skeptical. This conversation, however, misrepresents racism as a social problem rooted in individual values rather than as a system forcefully sustained by our institutions.”

I suppose this kind of stupidity is to be expected from a white guilt and sympathy major.

Not only do I not support Black Lives Matter, I consider it to be a terrorist group. I also believe the group does a huge disservice to the black community.

But it is precisely the left’s insistence that systemic racism is responsible for failure among blacks that perpetuates failure among blacks.

By constantly telling black Americans that they’re oppressed, people like Chuddy and Jefferson are reinforcing the belief that, more than a half-century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, decades of affirmative action, and a revolutionary change in attitudes toward race in the country, nothing has changed for blacks in the U.S.

Shortly after the “mostly peaceful protests” began last summer, Shelby Steele, the conservative writer and senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution, joined Fox News’ Mark Levin on his Sunday night show, “Life, Liberty and Levin.” Steele, who is black, shared some much-needed insight into the racial riots that were rocking the country at the time.

Steele recalled growing up in the 1950s in Chicago when segregation was “fierce.” No one was taking money from the government. His father, with a third-grade education, bought three ramshackle houses, rebuilt them and then rented them out. He “kept clawing his way up,” Steele said, according to a transcript of the interview. (The video can be viewed here.)

Steele came of age during the civil rights era in the 1960s and said the biggest difference between then and now is that, back then, “everybody knew exactly we wanted, often [it was] a piece of legislation, the Civil Rights Bill or something else that was specific or concrete.”

That’s not the case now, he said.

“It seems to me that in many ways it’s about power,” Steele told Levin. “And in order to have — to pursue power as they do, you have to have victims.”

The death of George Floyd, Steele said, “generates such excitement among this crowd and validates their argument that America is a wretched country. It feeds this old model of operation that we’ve developed, that America is guilty of racism — and has been for four centuries and minorities are victims who are entitled.”

Steele continued, according to the transcript: “And so, when people start to talk about ‘systemic racism’ built into the system, what they’re really doing is expanding their territory of entitlement. ‘We want more. We want more. … Society is responsible for us because racism is so systemic.'”

“Well, that’s a corruption. And I know it’s a corruption. Because the truth of the matter is that blacks have never been less oppressed than they are today.

“Opportunity is around every corner, and in all of this, no one ever stops to say, ‘Well, you’re unhappy about where minorities are at in American life and blacks continue to be at the bottom of most socioeconomic measures. You’re unhappy about that. Why don’t you take some responsibility for it?’

“I would be happy to look at all the usual bad guys, the police and so forth, if we had the nerve, the courage, to look at black people and say, ‘you’re not carrying your own weight…’

“‘Are you teaching your child to read? Are you making sure that the school down the street actually educates your child? Are you becoming educated and following a dream in your life and making things happen for yourself? Or are you saying, “I’m a victim and I’m owed? And the entitlement is inadequate and I need to be given more and after all, you know racism has been here for 400 years … and so, it’s time for you to give to me.”

“That’s an exhausted, fruitless, empty strategy to take and we’ve been on that path since the ’60s and we are farther behind than we’ve ever been and we keep blaming it on racism and blaming it on the police. I’m exhausted with that.”

Steele compared the current protesters to the men and women of his parents’ generation.

“They took a lot of responsibility for their lives because the government didn’t,” he said, according to the transcript. “What civil rights bill is going to replace that? What value system?

The problem, he said, is “that we have allowed ourselves to be enabled in avoiding our real problems by a guilty white society that keeps using us and exploiting us as victims. … If you really care about how minorities do, why don’t you ask them to do it? Why don’t you ask them to … drop the pretense?”

Racism itself, Steele said, is likely “endemic to the human condition. We will always have to watch out for it. As I like to say, ‘stupidity is also endemic to the human condition and we have to watch out for that, too.'”

“That is no excuse for us being where we are right now in American life,” he said, according to the transcript. “We have let this sort of guilty society and our grievance industry put us in this impossible position where we are a permanent underclass.”

It’s the “guilty society” and “grievance movement” that feeds support for the Balck Lives Matter movement.

As the Civiqs polling results show, that support reached its high point in June of last year. Given the events since then — a summer filled with violence around the country that was a disgrace to the original civil rights movement revered by almost all Americans — it’s unlikely to reach that level again.

Chuddy and Jefferson would do well to listen to Steele.

That goes for other Black Lives Matter supporters, too.

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Elizabeth writes commentary for The Western Journal and The Washington Examiner. Her articles have appeared on many websites, including MSN, RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist,, HotAir, MSN and RealClearPolitics.

Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.