BEREA, Ohio — According to a new Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll, the majority of Ohioans support the Black Live Matter movement, with a majority now agreeing racial issues in the U.S. are not the result of isolated incidents.
Tom Sutton, Baldwin Wallace University Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Community Research Institute, said the poll also revealed a majority of Ohioans who responded, either strongly agree or somewhat agree white people in the U.S. have certain advantages because of the color of their skin.
“Over 53% to 54% of our respondents said yes, that is remarkable, really remarkable, that’s a new level of consciousness that I don’t that anyone has really seen,” Sutton said.
“I think there is a growing awareness that this is not something that’s isolated.”
Sutton said more Ohioans are recognizing the need for greater police funding and better police training in addressing core issues being brought to light by the Black Lives Matter movement.
“They range from departments that require masters degrees to departments that require a high school degree," Sutton said.
"Six months of training and you’re out on the street and we ask them to solve everybody’s problems. This is about a lot more than just African Americans, this about how we treat law enforcement in general.”
The poll conducted by the Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute included researchers with Ohio Northern University and Oakland University in Michigan.
The 31 poll questions were answered from Sept. 8 through Sept. 22, by 1,011 Ohioans who are registered voters who indicated they will likely vote in the upcoming Presidential Election in November.
The poll questions were also given to potential voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Lauren Copeland, Baldwin Wallace University associate director with the Community Research Institute, said the poll also revealed more must be done to address the issue in white rural America.
“About half of the people in the Midwest, including Ohio, believe that society doesn’t understand the problems facing rural America, such as poverty, the opioid crisis," Copeland said.
The entire Baldwin Wallace poll can be found here.