Is America suffering BLM fatigue? New report shows 44% disapprove of movement; only 39% approve, down from 54%
After months of intense protests that continued in the wake of deaths of Black individuals like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks at the hands of policemen – support for Black Lives Matter demonstrations have started showing a dip. The unrest over the killings saw loss of lives, damaging of properties and frequent clashes between demonstrators and cops that even snowballed into a political slugfest. However, a new poll has shown that while 54 percent of Americans approved of the protests in June, it has come down to 39 percent now. Forty-four percent now disapprove of them.
According to the survey by Associated Press and University of Chicago's NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which was conducted between September 11 and 14 and covered 1,108 adults nationwide, the degree of support for the protests among Black Americans too have come down in three months. While it was 81 percent in June, it is 63 percent in September. Among the Whites, the support level has subsided from 53 percent to 34 percent.
'Compassion fatigue', says expert
Chrisian Davenport, a political scientist at the University of Michigan cited “compassion fatigue” as the reason for this dip as the impact of videos of the agonizing death of Floyd in Minneapolis has faded and people eager to return to their daily routine.
It was also found in the poll that more Americans now feel that the protests are now mostly or always violent. From 22 percent in June, it has now gone up to 30 percent. Among the Whites, it has gone up from 20 percent to 33 percent and even among Blacks, the perception has become higher by three percent (seven to 10).
On the other hand, people who felt the protests were ‘always peaceful’ came down from 27 to 23 percent while those who felt they were ‘sometimes violent’ fell from 51 to 47 percent.
Views on the police have changed
Another important finding of the poll is the change in the American people’s perception on the violence against the police. While the uniformed personnel were at the receiving ends of flak following the deaths of the Black individuals and some cities even went to the extent of defunding their police departments and disbanding police units, the latest poll shows that the situation has undergone a change now. Now, more Americans are concerned over the violence against the police (48 percent) than it was in June (39 percent).
The latest findings coincide with the shooting of two police officers in downtown Louisville earlier this week amid protests over the death of Taylor who was fatally shot by cops in March this year. The shooting happened hours after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that no police officer was indicted for a role in the shooting of Taylor, an emergency medical worker at her home. Two Los Angeles police officers were also shot at earlier this month in what the police sources called an ambush.
Sympathy for the police also went up, as the poll showed, with 50 percent of Americans believing that the police are likely to use deadly force against the Black people, down from 61 percent in June. Among the Black Americans, it came down from 92 to 84 percent.