There was never any doubt that the Black Lives Matter movement was controversial, but a new Harvard-Harris poll has revealed the extent to which the American people do not agree with its disruptive protest tactics.
A whopping 57 percent of respondents indicated that they have a negative view of the Black Lives Matter movement, while 43 percent expressed support. Along racial lines, the numbers were far more polarized; while 83 percent of black respondents had a favorable view, only 35 percent of whites felt the same way.
The figures also diverged dramatically depending on political affiliation, with just 21 percent of Republicans expressing support for the movement, compared to 65 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Hillary Clinton voters. Support sagged to 18 percent among respondents who voted for President Donald Trump.
“The public is sympathetic to the problem of police using too much fore but overall are unsympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Harvard- Harris co-director Mark Penn. “As you might expect, white voters are sharply negative to the group while African-Americans give them positive ratings.”
Pollsters queried a diverse group of Americans that broke down to 37 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 27 percent independent, and 4 percent “other.” The majority of respondents were white (65 percent), but 14 percent of those polled were Hispanic and 12 percent black or African-American.
On the topic of the criminal justice system, 85 percent of black people expressed belief that it is biased, while 60 percent of white voters claimed that the system is fair regardless of one’s race. However, a majority (56 percent) agreed that police are too quick to use force in situations where it is unnecessary.
Black respondents were split as to whether police violence toward blacks (51 percent) or black-on-black violence (49 percent) is the bigger problem facing the community.
“There are deep racial divides in attitudes towards police and whether too much attention has been given to cop shootings versus black-on-black crime,” Penn said.