With the coronavirus crisis still going strong, and Donald Trump still acting as badly as ever, it's great to have some good news to celebrate. Behold...
This graphic comes from a story in today's New York Times. Net support is the difference between the percent of people supporting a policy minus the percent of people opposing the policy. Here's how the story starts out.
American public opinion can sometimes seem stubborn. Voters haven’t really changed their views on abortion in 50 years. Donald J. Trump’s approval rating among registered voters has fallen within a five-point range for just about every day of his presidency.
But the Black Lives Matter movement has been an exception from the start.
Public opinion on race and criminal justice issues has been steadily moving left since the first protests ignited over the fatal shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. And since the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25, public opinion on race, criminal justice and the Black Lives Matter movement has leaped leftward.
Over the last two weeks, support for Black Lives Matter increased by nearly as much as it had over the previous two years, according to data from Civiqs, an online survey research firm. By a 28-point margin, Civiqs finds that a majority of American voters support the movement, up from a 17-point margin before the most recent wave of protests began.
And this trend is evident from more than the Civiqs surveys.
The survey is not the only one to suggest that recent protests enjoy broad public support. Weekly polling for the Democracy Fund’s U.C.L.A./Nationscape survey shows a significant increase in unfavorable views of the police, and an increase in the belief that African-Americans face a lot of discrimination.
Perhaps most significant, the Civiqs data is not alone in suggesting that an outright majority of Americans agree with the central arguments of Black Lives Matter.
A Monmouth University poll found that 76 percent of Americans consider racism and discrimination a “big problem,” up 26 points from 2015. The poll found that 57 percent of voters thought the anger behind the demonstrations was fully justified, while a further 21 percent called it somewhat justified.
Polls show that a majority of Americans believe that the police are more likely to use deadly force against African-Americans, and that there’s a lot of discrimination against black Americans in society. Back in 2013, when Black Lives Matter began, a majority of voters disagreed with all of these statements.
What this shows is that public opinion on a moral issue can be slow to change, but when it does, the change can be rapid.
Being 71, I remember when homosexuality was considered abhorrent, and same-sex marriage being legal didn't enter peoples' minds. But now Americans are generally accepting of LGBTQ people, with same-sex marriage being taken for granted. The New York Times story notes that inequality pushes a moral button in most people.
And whether on gay marriage or civil rights, American public opinion tends to drift toward the side advocating equal treatment. Public opinion doesn’t have nearly as clear a record of drifting toward the left on issues that don’t hinge on equal treatment under the law, like gun control and abortion.
Obviously, then, morality is a social construct, not a God-given commandment. And there's plenty of evidence that animals other than us have similar reactions to inequality.
But sadly, all too often us humans, who like to believe we possess an elevated sense of justice, don't act as morally as monkeys. To give a current example, President Trump is refusing to rename military bases that carry the names of Confederate generals, even though the Army Secretary and Defense Secretary were open to this.
So the president of the United States is fine with honoring generals who fought against the United States in an effort to keep slavery alive and well in the southern states.
It's understandable that Trump wasn't aware that these bases were named after Confederate generals. I sure wasn't. However, now that it is been pointed out to him, it definitely is a moral injustice which needs to be rectified. When Joe Biden becomes president, it will be.
The Army bases in question, all in Southern states, are Fort Bragg, N.C.; Forts Benning and Gordon in Georgia; Forts Pickett, A.P. Hill and Lee in Virginia; Fort Polk and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana; Fort Hood, Texas; and Fort Rucker, Ala.
Let me get this straight. Honor Confederates who soaked the American flag in four years of blood, but take a knee for three minutes during the national anthem, that's when they scream traitor.
Posted by: anami | June 11, 2020 at 10:15 AM
History is history it doesn't have a moral conscience
Otherwise Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Sir Francis Drake, Lord Horatio Nelson and Napoleon Bonaparte should be struck off the record. And how many other notorious figures?
So too perhaps soldiers like George Custer and George Patton.
I see there's a new BLM movement afoot in the UK to have Winston Churchill’s status degraded as being racist and likening him to Hitler.
So how far do they want to erase all historical memorabilia in order to make current sense of historical evidence of what transpired in history? They can't rewrite history to suit current political PC sensitivity, they should be able to recognize it for whatever it was and move on.
Norfolk defends Nelson in statue racism campaign | Eastern Daily Press
Posted by: Ahukamakanka | June 11, 2020 at 01:06 PM
I’ve read about that experiment before but that video didn’t show the part where the monkey receiving the grapes helps his primate buddy.
Animals don’t possess the causal/mental/reason faculty but they are fully emotional/astral creatures. I want to choke every scientist who needs to see extensive studies and tests believe animals have emotions. When “intelligent” humans are that stupid it’s no wonder racism runs rampant among our species.
I’m thrilled Black Lives Matters is gaining momentum. I can’t help but wonder if Floyd’s murder had happened before The Great Quarantine would it have attracted the same public response to such a degree?
I guess what I’m saying is there’s something about the psychological state of the nation in the context of a pandemic that most likely contributed to the greater outpouring of empathy and support for George Floyd and the BLM movement than if this had happened pre COVID-19.
Posted by: S | June 11, 2020 at 01:54 PM
If we find out Amerigo Vespucci owned slaves or had slaves in any of his ships, we’re screwed. That would be a monumental renaming task.
Posted by: S | June 11, 2020 at 03:47 PM
I'm guessing that the surveys the NYT refers to all have generic questions such as this one from SurveyMonkey: "From what you have heard or seen about Black Lives Matter, do you mostly agree or mostly disagree with Black Lives Matter, or don't you have an opinion either way?"
How many surveyed knww that BLM wants to abolish ("defund") America's police departments -- in their neighborhoods?
Asking for the 3rd time: what evidence are you looking at that convinces you that American police are wantonly violent and racist? Where is this overwhelming evidence that the left keeps hinting at, but never citing?
As for what Trump must do now if he's a decent human being: why didn't Obama say word one about confed statues during his 8 years in office? For that matter, woke white liberals, why did you?
Posted by: j | June 11, 2020 at 05:49 PM
5 years ago and more relevant than ever.
It was nice being reminded what life was like before the current pandemic.
Are All Cops Racist? Trevor Noah
Posted by: S | June 11, 2020 at 05:58 PM
Donald Trump is immoral for failing to rename military bases which were named after the losers of a war. It's more moral to celebrate those who kill more and win wars.
You're losing it.
Posted by: Jesse | June 11, 2020 at 08:26 PM
Everyone read this entire thread, and afterward admit that you're ignorant and you have no opinions of your own, and you only care when the media tells you to. In other words, be honest for once, and stop being cultists.
Posted by: Jesse | June 11, 2020 at 08:28 PM
That "j" actually is racist enough to demand proof that America' s police are racist. He might as well deny that America stole America from the real Americans. When I say real "Americans" I am fully aware that "America" is itself a racist and imperialist term that came from racist Italians like that Columbus who needs to have all his statutes removed immediately, but anyway until the correct term for this landmass is settled you will have to bear with me. Sorry for that digression. Actually, I'm not sorry because Truth should never be sorry to speak to power, but anyway, about racist "j" and his demand for evidence. Hey "j," turns out things are worse than anyone even dreamed. It has been an established fact for the last 200 years if not longer that the police are all racist and murderers of the innocent in the landmass you call America, and the evidence it simple and clear. All these politicians and celebrities and corporations weren't endorsing Black Lives Matter, which has been saying for years that the police are all racist. So truth bomb time, all these whites knew the police were racist but were ignoring it!!! None of them were saying jack about racism until couple of weeks ago, and now they're kneeling?? Pretty obvious they were caught trying to get away with being racist and letting the police murder people. Good thing the looters brought them to their moral senses, like finally. All you white people should be put on the stand with those police officers, cause you're just as guilty. All you ones with blogs say you believe the police are racist? OK, you say that now, but that means you BELIEVED IT AND KNEW IT for ages, but, didn't say nothing about it. You're all busted. March all you like, we will not forgive you.
Posted by: q | June 12, 2020 at 01:51 PM
I think this and the COVID crisis are going to reshape this year’s presidential race.
Is it possible for Obama to run as Joe’s VP?
Posted by: Sonia | June 12, 2020 at 09:58 PM
@ Is it possible for Obama to run as Joe’s VP?
That'd be kinda dodgy wouldn't it, since, if he had to
take over for Joe, he'd run afoul of term limits?
Michelle O. on the other hand, would be fine.
( Of course they'd have to ensure her birth cert.
was certified authentic)
Posted by: Dungeness | June 13, 2020 at 09:11 AM
The latest conspiracy is that George Floyd isn't dead it's a setup hoax. A media movie by some behind the scenes mainstream media players (apparently the usual suspects Soros/Clinton/Turner/Rockefeller foundations) designed to inject outrage and chaos in the American social structure to destabilize society and chuck Trump under the Libdem bus.
The so called cops involved are apparently also fake cops, stage stooge actors who rock up whenever there's a crisis to enact the fake setup.
Apparently George Floyd did not die, he wasn't even properly diagnosed or assessed by the fake paramedics who simply loaded up his 'lifeless' body on a stretcher and carted it away (notice nobody was wearing masks even though this whole pantomime was played out during height of Covid19 quarantine regulation), he even attended his own funeral under disguise of a different alias.
If you can believe this shit you can believe anything. (Like Armstrong and Aldrin never set foot on the moon or Al-Qaeda wasn't responsible for twin towers 9/11 take down - was an inside job)
But then who would've believed that JFK wasn't taken out by Lee Harvey Oswald but by some other sinister forces with other huge axes to grind?
Posted by: Ahujamagulag | June 13, 2020 at 10:06 AM