Slim majority support Black Lives Matter, survey finds

A NARROW majority of Channel Islanders surveyed said they support the Black Lives Matter movement, with around one in six residents believing there is still a ‘great deal of racism’ in Jersey and Guernsey today, according to a poll.

A rally held in the People's Pak following the death of George Floyd
A rally held in the People's Pak following the death of George Floyd

A survey undertaken by Island Global Research found that 80% of respondents in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man had heard a lot about the political movement, which has become increasingly active since the death of African-American George Floyd in June.

Mr Floyd died after Minnesota policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, sparking protests across the world.

In Jersey a rally was held in the People’s Park shortly after the death of Mr Floyd, while the Sir George Carteret statue was splashed with paint over the summer, due to the Jerseyman’s connections with the slave trade.

A total of 51% of Jersey and Guernsey residents surveyed said that they supported BLM, while 31% opposed it. The remainder of respondents were neutral in how they felt about the movement, or felt they did not know enough about it.

Meanwhile, 16% of respondents felt there was a ‘great deal of racism’ in Jersey and Guernsey, with a further 49% believing there was an issue to ‘some extent’ in the islands.

When questioned on their perception of the racism issue, 57% said that ‘not seeing racism’ was a bigger issue in the Channel Islands than ‘seeing racism where it does not exist’, with 43% feeling the reverse was true.

A statement by IGR says: ‘The survey was undertaken to gain high-level insights into perceptions of the extent to which racial and ethnic equality is an issue in the three islands.

‘This is currently a topic of global interest and concern. Feedback enables the islands to be more informed about the views of their residents, and the results may be a starting point for those who are looking to develop a deeper understanding.

‘The results indicate that a notable proportion of island residents believe “casual” racism and unconscious bias by individuals (rather than organisations) needs addressing in the islands to some extent.

‘Education and increased awareness of the issues to encourage attitude change was suggested by some respondents.’

The survey was completed by 609 residents in Jersey, 728 in Guernsey and 1,047 in the Isle of Man.

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