The Black Lives Matter movement has won supporters and detractors in equal measure, according to a new poll, but many on both sides agree: it changed Oregon, and the world.
The Oregon Values and Beliefs Center found that 19% of Oregonians believe the social push, often abbreviated as BLM, had a positive impact — while a roughly equivalent portion (22%) say the effect was negative.
A larger share, 29%, said the movement contains both good and bad elements. Another fifth (22%) said it had “no impact” and 9% were unsure.
“There was more equality, but at the same time it turned into unwanted riots,” said one survey respondent, identified as a female Democrat living in Clackamas County.
Oregon Values and Beliefs, a nonprofit polling organization, conducted from June 8-14 the online survey of 1,400 Oregon adults, who were selected to mirror the state’s broader demographics. The margin of error ranges from 1.6% to 2.6% depending on the question.
Let’s dive into the data:
• Nearly half of Republicans (46%) believe the Black Lives Matter cause hurt their community, while one-third of Democrats (32%) said it was for the best. A significant share of Democrats had mixed feelings (38%) on the movement. A plurality (38%) of rural residents said BLM had no impact on their lives.
• Almost half (47%) of those polled think the Black Lives Matter movement’s impact, be it for good or ill, will be long lasting. Twenty percent believe it will only have a fleeting effect, and a third (33%) are unsure. Those identifying as Black, Indigenous or people of color were more likely (27%) than whites (19%) to see the changes as temporary.
• The elderly, defined as those 75 or older, were most likely to say Black Lives Matter had no impact, with 29% holding that opinion. Those who identified as Black, Indigenous or people of color (36%) were significantly more likely than whites (28%) to see the protests as both good and bad.
Voices from across Oregon:
The Oregon Values and Beliefs Center also asked survey respondents open-ended questions regarding their thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s what they had to say:
• “BLM has caused significant decline in racial harmony and harmed the very people it claims to be supporting. Unfortunately, the media is hiding the fact that the BLM organization is an avowed Marxist organization,” said one Washington County man.
• “BLM brings awareness, education and visibility to the communities it touches,” said a Washington County woman.
• “White supremacists have been emboldened, have become more threatening as they wield deadly weapons to intimidate,” said a Clatsop County woman. “Potential mayhem is more likely to ensue.”
• “It has been wonderful to see all races and creeds walk with the BLM demonstrations, actually, heartwarming,” said one Multnomah County man. “Police and other city policies have changed to assist in the underserved communities, including the homeless.”