It has become the litmus test of our time. Are you willing to say the words, “Black lives matter”?
Well, of course I am. It is one of the founding tenets of our society, that all men and women are created equal, period.
For those who stubbornly insist on replying, “All lives matter,” well of course they do. Blue lives matter. Brown lives matter. Yellow, red, and white lives matter. Setting aside the obvious application to the abortion issue, all lives matter.
But you do not go to a funeral, get to the front of the receiving line, and say, “All lives matter.” You say, “I am so sorry for your loss.” And for African Americans who watched the atrocity of an unarmed black man killed in public by a white man sworn to protect and serve, they are grieving, and understandably so. The appropriate response is to empathize, to feel their pain. “Black lives matter.” Come on, you can do it.
Given my life experience, I do not feel I can speak for those who are grieving. So I reached out to African American friends, including a pastor, a community leader, and a CEO, and asked how they are feeling. The CEO said it best, “I am hurt, angry, exhausted, and provoked. The anger you see in the streets is the result of years of conversations with no actions to follow.”
The problem is that BLM is being turned into three completely different things, all being roped together under the umbrella of “Black Lives Matter.” It is critically important that we deal with them separately…
The first is the assertion, the validation that black lives should be valued equally to white lives. There is no argument against this point. Of course they should. There is much in our history that demonstrates this has not always been the case, such as slavery, lynchings, or separate schools, water fountains, or seats on a bus or in a restaurant.
But there is much in our current day that suggests we have not yet overcome this unfortunate history. I could list a hundred statistics here — education, dropout rates, unemployment, income, even at the same level of education and grades, rates of prosecution and sentence length for the same crimes, health, mortality rates, poverty, and food insecurity. Just Google them. To deny racial inequality in this country is to stick your head in the proverbial sand.
There are some systemic issues that bake this into society. Those born into poverty gravitate toward high-concentration, low-cost, high-crime, urban environments, perpetuating these statistics. And those whose political power is founded on people feeling discriminated against talk a good game, but risk losing that power should we ever enact substantive solutions.
Regardless of whether it was racially motivated, the murder of George Floyd lit a fire that has an abundance of fuel, and we should all be about fixing that. Black lives matter.
The second manifestation of these words is the violent demonstrations we see in our streets. This gets complicated, because the demonstrators themselves represent different groups:
There are peaceful protesters, whose constitutional right to voice objection to the inequities outlined above are being drowned out by others who take it too far.
There are violent protesters. Some are enraged by the injustice and years of inaction, like my CEO friend, and get carried away in response. This is understandable. Others see the broken Target doors as an opportunity to get free sneakers or TVs. This is criminal.
But there are also sinister protagonists, sects of society who benefit or are simply entertained by social unrest. These people literally deliver bricks or baseball bats to demonstration sites, infiltrating themselves among those with sincere motives for protesting, like the Whisperers among the Walking Dead. Ironically, these include both Antifa, which promotes violence against conservatism, and white supremacists, who want you to think badly about black protesters. When you do, they win.
This brings us to the third manifestation, the Black Lives Matter political organization. There are people who do not necessarily care one bit about racial equality, but see current events as an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon of an unstoppable political force. Heard much about climate change lately? Nope. Because those operatives have hitched their cars to a new train with the potential to take them to political nirvana.
What is the agenda of Black Lives Matter as a political organization? You have to dig deeper than their banner slogans. The central organization is the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. One of its leaders is the executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and that entity is associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, an avowed Marxist-Leninist group that has received funding from the Tides Foundation run by George Soros.
This is a secret hiding in plain sight. In a recent interview, a Foundation leader shared that she and her chief strategy advisor “in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on ideological theories.”
Here is a sampling of their political agenda:
- Disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear-family structure
- Abolishing all police and all prisons
- Restructuring tax codes to ensure a radical redistribution of wealth
- Retroactive decriminalization of all drug-related offenses and prostitution, with reparations
- Reconstructing the economy to ensure communities have collective ownership
These are not my interpretations. These are quotes from the Movement for Black Lives website.
The problem before us is that Black Lives Matter as a principle, as a protest, and as a political organization have been lumped into one, when they are far different things. And the radicals are counting on this, that you are not allowed to criticize the political agenda, because it is socially unacceptable and flat out wrong to oppose the principle. These must be dissected.
Black lives matter as a principle must be affirmed. As a protest, the right answer is not to disallow them because of the violence, but to take meaningful action to right the wrongs that motivate them. But the political organization must be exposed for what it is, an opportunistic Trojan horse that seeks to prey on the injustice to advance a radical agenda.
Black lives matter as a principle? Absolutely. Black Lives Matter as a political organization? No, thank you.