Posted on October 9, 2020

BLM Divides White Americans More Than Anyone Else

Eric Kaufmann, Unherd, October 5, 2020

Our exclusive US polling of over 4,000 respondents, in partnership with Focaldata, contains a striking finding about how different groups are responding to current events in America. One of a series of statements under the heading ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about rioting’ was the statement, ‘The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is dangerous.’

Respondents were asked whether they agreed strongly, mildly, or disagreed strongly or mildly. The inclusion of the preamble ‘about rioting’ in this survey experiment primes respondents to think about rioting, thus elevating agreement, so this shouldn’t be read as an assessment of BLM.

But its design helps us probe cultural fault lines in the American electorate. A majority — 56% — of respondents agreed with the statement. A third of African-Americans agreed, rising to 51% of Hispanics and Asians and 61% of whites, suggesting as you might expect that there is some racial variation in attitudes to BLM.

However, racial differences are dwarfed by the partisan divide: 86% of Republicans compared to just 30% of Democrats felt BLM to be dangerous, a gap of 56 points compared to the 29-point racial gap between whites and blacks.


{snip}White Trump voters are more likely to agree (87%) that BLM is dangerous than Hispanic and Asian Trump voters (82%) and black Trump voters (58%). {snip}

{snip} White Democrats (28%) are less likely than Hispanic and Asian Democrats (41%) and very close to black Democrats (26%) in their likelihood of agreeing that BLM is dangerous while. White Democrats are about 20 points less likely to criticise BLM than we would expect from a race-based interpretation. {snip}


Political religion, which brooks largest among whites, especially white liberals, overrides ethnoracial attachment to a much greater extent than is true of other groups.