American Opinion of George Floyd CHANGES DRASTICALLY as Support for BLM IMPLODES!
Posted by Steve Turley ● Mar 8, 2021 4:58:46 PM
The city of Minneapolis – along with the entire nation – is bracing for the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which incited massive race riots in urban areas across the country. George Floyd’s death also sparked the ascension of Black Lives Matter as the premiere political movement of the far-left. At the beginning, public sentiment soared for Floyd and BLM; now, it appears that support for both is crashing.
In view of the upcoming trial and the rising tensions associated with it, the results of a new USA Today/Ispos poll came out showing a dramatic shift in opinion over George Floyd and BLM. According to USA Today, 60 percent in a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll described Floyd's death as murder as of last June, shortly after video of the incident with Derek Chauvin was released; that percentage has now dropped by double digits to 36 percent. In addition, uncertainty has grown about how to characterize the incident caught on video, when Chauvin held his knee on Floyd's neck and ignored his protests that he couldn't breathe. Last year, 4 percent said they didn't know how to describe it; that number has climbed to 17 percent.
Why such a drastic change of opinion in what happened? And why the discrepant opinions among whites and blacks?
Perhaps the most obvious answer is the leaked body-cam footage of the incident, where Floyd could be seen acting highly erratically and resisting arrest. The toxicology report from his autopsy showed fatal levels of fentanyl along with high levels of other drugs in his system, which may have caused his death. We also now know that Floyd had a shocking history of violence, which included at least one instance of pointing a gun to a pregnant woman’s stomach while demanding drugs and money!
But this explanation does not account for the significant racial discrepancy with regard to George Floyd’s death. According to USA Today: “Nearly two-thirds of Black Americans, 64%, view Floyd's death as murder; [but] fewer than one-third of white people, 28%, feel that way. White Americans are more likely to describe it instead as the police officer's ‘negligence,’ 33% compared with [just] 16% of Black respondents.”
Perhaps the answer is found in another telling indicator: the imploding support for BLM, particularly among whites. While BLM continues to be touted by the mainstream media as well as professional sporting events as a social justice movement beyond reproach, it seems more and more of the American population no longer shares that assessment of this movement.
The same USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll found that while trust for BLM among blacks was still relatively high, it cratered among whites: 75 percent of blacks trusted BLM, only 42 percent of whites expressed comparable trust. Conversely, 77 percent of whites but only 42 percent of blacks expressed trust in the local police.
Support for BLM has been waning for some time. Back in September, The Daily News reported that support for BLM had already begun to drop from its summer high, falling to just 39 percent from a high of 54 percent. In terms of the breakdown around racial demographics, only 35 percent of White Americans approved of BLM, while 50 percent disapproved. By comparison, back in June of last year, 53 percent of whites approved of the protests, representing a decline in support of nearly 20 points in a matter of weeks. Among Latinos, it was even worse: only 31 percent approved of the BLM protests, as compared to 44 percent support a few months earlier. Even among blacks, support for BLM protests had eroded from 81 percent in the summer to only 63 percent support in September, again, an almost 20-point drop.
And we can see growing opposition against BLM going on today. The website Civiqs tracks opinion trends over the course of months and even years, and what they found with regard to the growing opposition towards BLM is illuminating. Opposition towards BLM has surged from 28 percent in the summer to 40 percent today, even when their measure of support is relatively high at the current 47 percent. In terms of racial breakdown, whites oppose Black Lives Matter by 49 percent, and white men by 57 percent!
So, what’s going on here?
A number of studies have found that an increasing number of whites believe they are the objects of racial discrimination. Specifically, they sense an asymmetrical application of civil rights benefits and racial privileges from which whites feel they’ve been excluded, a sentiment that is creating a massive backlash among whites against non-white civil rights rhetoric and legislation.
The most impressive study by far on this topic comes from the Princeton scholar Carol Swain and her book The New White Nationalism in America. Published in 2002, Swain argued that what she called the new white nationalism is different than the white supremacism of old, which intuited whites as biologically, genetically, and intellectually superior to non-whites. The new white nationalists are instead motivated by something entirely different: they're making the case that the current project of multiculturalism is unfairly and arbitrarily discriminating against white people and white interests on behalf of non-white constituents whose interests are taking a priority in terms of national policy. In other words, if we are society that is increasingly built upon the leftist notion of identity politics, where blacks have their own political interests and Hispanics have their own political interests and Asians have theirs, then it logically follows that white people must have their own unique political interests as well. And yet, when whites assert such logic, they are scolded for exemplifying bigoted and racist sentiments!
Swain argues that concern over this blatant double-standard goes way beyond white nationalists; it resonates deeply with the wider white population and is causing significant resentment and backlash. A recent study found that more than half of white Americans believe that “whites have replaced blacks as the ‘primary victims of discrimination’.” It’s no wonder that Carol Swain, who is herself black, has been one of the leading critics pushing back against BLM, precisely because she believes that the movement is only exacerbating such beliefs and further polarizing racial animosity in our nation.
The national opinion towards George Floyd and BLM has changed drastically. But the racial discrepancy between whites and blacks over both suggests that something far deeper is going on than a mere disagreement over facts. The identity politics advocated by BLM activists has indeed accentuated a double-standard when it comes to civil rights benefits and racial privileges, which is causing a significant backlash among those who believe they’ve been excluded from such benefits and privileges. As the Floyd trial begins and support for BLM continues to fall, racial animosity may certainly rise. But it’s encouraging to see scholars like Carol Swain lead a much-needed backlash against the racial resentment inherent in identity politics, a blowback that seeks the good and dignity of all.