The far-right groups triggering violence at peaceful Black Lives Matter protests helped associate BLM with mayhem and spin the media image of the movement into a narrative of chaos and violence in the minds of many independent voters. Donald Trump attempted a similar trick in Portland with a bastardized version of the Nixonian law and order strategy marinated with a bit of Willie Horton. And when many voters view images of the disorder on the news and social media, they are unaware of findings from say, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, or the University of Chicago’s Project on Security that document the patterns of the far right instigating violence at BLM protests, even before the death of George Floyd. Consider Paul Anderson of Jasper County, Iowa. The BLM protests are one thing that leads him to differ with his political hero, Black Lives Matter ally Bernie Sanders. When the white, 40-year-old owner of a printing company watched the local and national coverage of protests last month, he arrived at one conclusion about BLM: “It’s just a bunch of hoodlums,” he says. But don’t start cheering yet if you’re a Trump supporter:… Read full this story
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