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BLM Has Left Black Americans Worse Off Since the Movement Began, Experts Say

The Black Lives Matter movement started a massive wave of Americans uniting to call for defunding the police and eradicating white supremacy to make positive changes for Black Americans. But experts reflecting on the movement’s scorecard in 2022 say Black America hasn’t benefited.

“I would argue that, on balance, these communities are worse off because by [BLM] overemphasizing the role of police, they’ve changed police behavior for the worse,” the Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. “In other words, police do become more cautious. They’re less likely to get out of their cars and engage with people in the community. And to the extent that police are less proactive, the criminals have the run of the place.”


Dr. Carol Swain, a retired professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, told Fox News Digital that “an intelligent observer would be hard-pressed to identify any area in American society where BLM’s activism has benefited the Black community.”

“What BLM has done is pervert the criminal justice system by engaging in activities that have resulted in a growing trend of trials by media,” Swain said. “BLM has intimidated juries and judges. Its leaders have no interest in due process or the presumption of innocence.”


But as the calls to defund rang out, violent crimes in the Black community skyrocketed. Murders in the 2010s first broke the 7,000 mark in 2015 after the highly-publicized deaths of Gray that same year and Brown in 2014, jumping by nearly a thousand in one year.

In 2020, the year George Floyd was killed during an interaction with Minneapolis police, Black murders jumped by a staggering 32% compared to 2019, according to FBI data. Overall, Black murders increased by 43% that year compared to the prior 10-year average. CDC data published Tuesday additionally showed that in 2020, Black Americans were disproportionally affected by gun-related homicides, increasing by 39.5% that year compared to 2019. Gun-related homicides rose by 35% overall that year, according to the CDC.

“Certainly, the protests and riots mid-2020 after the death of George Floyd followed a pattern of spiking violence that we’ve seen following past viral police incidents, such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. This pattern has been termed the ‘Ferguson Effect’ — police pull back while violent crime spikes precipitously,” Hannah Meyers, director of the policing and public safety initiative at the Manhattan Institute, previously told Fox News Digital.

The Ferguson Effect unfolded again in 2020, according to experts, but polling showed the Black community wasn’t on board with the calls to defund.

A Gallup poll from August 2020 found 81% of Black Americans wanted “police to spend [the] same amount of or more time in their area,” compared to 19% reporting police should spend less time in their neighborhood.

Riley said that the polling shows “that these activists are not in step with the people who actually live in these violent communities.”


Black Lives Matter activists, however, say they built a movement that positively changed how America talks about race at a national level down to the community level.

“The conversation around race didn’t exist in a vast capacity until we saw the BLM movement, this surge,” T. Sheri Amour Dickerson, executive director and core organizer of BLM Oklahoma City, told NBC in 2020. “Now difficult conversations, honest conversations, and even some discourse, have become part of the daily discussion here in Oklahoma, and I think that goes nationwide in many different factions. It’s also become more intergenerational.”