Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas recently examined public opinions about Black Lives Matter, an activist movement founded in 2013 that has gained national attention in subsequent years.
The study, “Red States and Black Lives,” published in the journal Justice Quarterly, looked at whether factors such as race, age, education, political affiliation and geography predicted support or opposition to the movement.
“Our findings suggest that the Black Lives Matter movement is a politically polarizing issue,” said Dr. Alex R. Piquero, author of the study, Ashbel Smith Professor of criminology and associate dean of graduate programs in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.
The study, one of the first to provide empirical evidence and insight into public opinion about Black Lives Matter, found that those most opposed to the movement were men, conservative or Republican individuals, and supporters of the death penalty.
The researchers, who analyzed a sample of 2,114 people — ranging in age from 18 to 94 — from a 2016 Pew Research Center report, also found high opposition to Black Lives Matter among older respondents. Men were 42 percent more likely to oppose the movement than women, and politically conservative individuals were 257 percent more likely to oppose it than moderate or liberal individuals.
States with the highest levels of opposition included Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama and Minnesota.
Individuals who perceive the police treatment of blacks in their communities as unfair were 70 percent less likely to oppose the movement than those who did not have that perception, according to the research.
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SOURCE: EEW Magazine, University of Texas Dallas