Attitudes Toward the Black & Blue Lives Matter Movements
MetadataShow full item record
The Black Lives Matter movement, created in 2013 after the death of Trayvon Martin in order to bring awareness to police brutality and racial injustice, and the Blue Lives Matter movement, a countermovement created in 2014 with a mission to support police and their families, have been heavily politicized in the eyes of the public with little to no literature exploring the attitudes associated with either movement. We replicated a study conducted by Holt and Sweitzer (2018) but extended our measures to include the Blue Lives Matter movement. We also conducted an experiment to test reactions to bumper stickers supporting either of the two movements or the sentiment behind each movement. Our results included data from 568 participants across the United States and were consistent with previous findings. We found that Blacks and non-Whites, Democrats, and women tend to favor the Black Lives Matter movement, and those 55 and older, Republicans, and men tend to favor the Blue Lives Matter movement. Social Dominance Orientation was found to be positively correlated with support for Blue Lives Matter and negatively related to Black Lives Matter. Not surprisingly, reactions to the bumper stickers showed that people reacted more negatively toward drivers displaying the motto for either movement as compared to drivers supporting the messages of each (e.g., racial equality). However, strong support for one movement was not found to be a predictor of weak support for the opposing movement. We concluded that weak support for the Black Lives Matter movement is not so much fueled by opposition to racial justice, but instead by the belief that marginalized groups should remain lower amongst the social hierarchy, and support for these movements may not be as polarized as we think.