A Princeton study claiming that 93 per cent of Black Lives Matter protests are “peaceful” has been mocked for not exactly making the point its authors had intended.
The report from the US Crisis Monitor, a collaboration between the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project and Princeton’s Bridging Divides Initiative, examined 7750 demonstrations linked to the Black Lives Matter movement between May 26 and August 22, across 2440 locations in every state.
“In more than 93 per cent of all demonstrations connected to the movement, demonstrators have not engaged in violence or destructive activity,” the authors wrote.
“Peaceful protests are reported in over 2400 distinct locations around the country. Violent demonstrations, meanwhile, have been limited to fewer than 220 locations — under 10 per cent of the areas that experienced peaceful protests.”
The authors went on to blame right-wing “infiltrators” for some occasions where protests did turn violent, while also condemning a “violent government response”.
Conservatives lined up to mock the study.
“Princeton University group studies three months of Black Lives Matter protests. Intent is to show they are ‘overwhelmingly peaceful’. But report reveals nearly 570 violent demonstrations – riots – in nearly 220 locations spread all across country,” Byron York from the Washington Examiner tweeted.
Radio host Mark Levin wrote, “So far, BLM responsible for nearly 570 riots in 220 locations across the country.”
Podcast host Eddie Zipperer compared it to a doctor saying, “The good news is, over 90 per cent of your body is cancer free.”
“Imagine thinking that ‘we’re only violent 10 per cent of the time’ is a persuasive defence,” The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh tweeted.
OANN host Jack Posobiec wrote, “90 per cent of 9/11 was a peaceful Tuesday.”
Tim Pool, who describes himself as a disaffected liberal, noted that the authors of the study did not classify any of the activity in Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” – which was broken up after several people were shot and killed, including a 16-year-old boy – as riots.
“This is the best part,” he wrote.
“There were no riots in CHOP! Just protest! And, of course, several dead people. Factual but not truthful.”
Since the death of George Floyd during an arrest by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, more than 30 people have died in riots that have caused hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage across the United States.
Left-leaning media outlets have consistently attempted to downplay the violence, while right-wing media have focused heavily on the issue, which US President Donald Trump has seized on as a major election theme.
CNN was recently mocked for an on-screen chyron describing riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin as “fiery but mostly peaceful”.
ABC News used similarly language to describe riots in California where a courthouse was set on fire, saying a “peaceful demonstration intensified”.
Conservatives are now sarcastically using the phrase “93 per cent peaceful” to describe more violent scenes, including Black Lives Matter protesters attacking diners at restaurants in Rochester, New York over the weekend.