More than three-fourths of American adults, 77%, think that nonviolent protests could help Black people improve their situation in the United States, while just 6% think those efforts will hurt, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.
Sixty-six percent said that legal action will help, while 50% think economic actions such as boycotts could improve the situation of Blacks. Only 12% said violent protests would aid the cause of African Americans. Even among those who are sympathetic to violent protests, only 8% overall think they are justified.
Other results from the survey show:
- There was not much difference along racial lines regarding the question of whether nonviolent protests will help, with 78% of whites thinking they would, compared to 72% of Blacks.
- But Blacks were more convinced than whites of the effectiveness of legal actions (74% to 65%) and especially that economic actions would help (69% to 48%).
- There was also a significantly higher percentage of African Americans (21% to 9%) that thought violent protests would be helpful to the Black cause.
- The percentage of white adults who believe nonviolent protests will help has risen 11 percentage points since 1988.
- However, the backing among whites of the idea that violent protests would help has risen by only five points in that time period, while among Blacks, the increase was more than double that at 11 points.
The Gallup poll surveyed 1,226 adults between June 8 and July 24, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
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