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The American Independent

Majority of Americans support anti-racism protests despite Trump's smears

Only 22% of Republicans support the demonstrations, however.

By Dan Desai Martin - July 28, 2020
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Black Lives Matter protest
In this June 5, 2020, file photo, people hold signs as they listen to a speaker in front of city hall in downtown Kansas City, Mo., during a rally to protest the death of George Floyd who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Thousands of Black activists from across the U.S. will hold the 2020 Black National Convention on Aug. 28, 2020, via livestream to produce a new political agenda that builds on the protests that followed George Floyd’s death. Organizers of the gathering shared their plans with The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 1, ahead of an official announcement.

Americans overwhelmingly approve of nationwide racial justice protests taking place across the country, a new poll shows.

According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, broad support persists even as Donald Trump repeatedly maligns the protesters as violent anarchists.

Protest support is highest among Black adults (92%), followed closely by Asian adults (89%), Hispanic adults (70%), and a majority of white adults (59%). Younger Americans are more supportive of the protests than older generations, yet a majority of all age groups approved of them.

Approximately 65% of all adults responded positively about the protests.

The only outlier group in the survey was Republicans. Only 22% of those polled said they supported the demonstrations, compared to 95% of Democrats and 69% of independents.

The protests first began following the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis earlier this year. Though most of the demonstrations have been peaceful, some have become violent, with a number of incidents linked to white supremacists or outside extremist groups.

Since activists began taking to the streets, Trump has routinely smeared the majority peaceful protesters as violent, lawless anarchists.

“You have to dominate or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people,” Trump told governors on June 1 conference call about the protests, seeming to encourage violence by calling for “retribution” and telling governors, “You don’t have to be too careful.”

Later that day, federal law enforcement fired tear gas at peaceful protesters outside the White House in order to clear a path so Trump could hold a photo-op in front of a nearby church.

On June 26, Trump canceled a trip to his New Jersey resort for the weekend to stay at the White House “to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced,” he tweeted.

“The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” he wrote, claiming he was “doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe — and these people will be brought to Justice!”

Trump has attacked protesters as recently as this week, even as tensions between police and demonstrators ramp up.

“The ‘protesters’ are actually anarchists who hate our Country,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “The line of innocent ‘mothers’ were a scam that Lamestream refuses to acknowledge, just like they don’t report the violence of these demonstrations!”

Trump was referring to the “wall of moms” in Portland, a group of largely white mothers who used their bodies to protect Black protesters from police violence.

“I think it’s amazing standing next to our sisters because they’re fighting the fight with us,” Shawn Roberts, who is Black, told OregonLive. “They’re our allies.”

As protests continue in many cities, Gallup noted that “Americans are more likely to say they will be helpful than harmful to racial equality.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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