15A057 Why BLM Matters by Jim Davies, 11/28/2015    


Of course black lives matter; all human lives matter. The question here is whether, and how, the organization of that name, which has sprouted like a weed in the last couple of years, is significant. I think it is, but not for the reasons its supporters would probably claim.

Black Lives Matter was founded by three black female "activists" after the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and gained traction after Michael Brown was shot dead by the policeman Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO in 2014. "Activist" is a code word these days for anyone who stirs the pot from the far Left; it's not normally used of Libertarians for example, ever so active though we may be. The prime mover is one Patrisse Cullors, who says she is "queer" and graduated from UCLA with a degree in religion and philosophy. Wow. The movement's history, on its web page, is described as its "herstory." Such is its bias.

BLM organizers are clever, at getting supporters to march behind their banner as soon as news breaks about another police shooting of a black victim - which is to say, about six per week. Naturally the clip shows the demo, which brings ample free publicity to BLM. It's also a well chosen name, for nobody can deny its obvious truth. What has quite annoyed me from the first time I noticed it is the implication, not hard to draw, that only black lives matter. Police are just as casual in taking the lives of white people, so in protesting their murderous arrogance the chromatic adjective is surplus. The possibility of making good use of rising popular indignation about police violence against everyone is thereby dissipated, and that's the main reason BLM matters; it's way off target. It suggests cop violence is just racist. It's not. Police killers are color blind, or nearly so.

But are not blacks disproportionately targeted? - possibly, but I'm not sure. Blacks commit more crime than other Americans (and more Krime, even, which actually matters) so on the assumption that police have a valid role in patrolling high-crime areas, it's no surprise that they encounter more blacks than others. Michael Brown, for example, was an arrogant young thug who had just robbed a convenience store and deliberately attacked Officer Wilson, who clearly shot him in self-defense; and Trayvon Martin was acting suspiciously like a burglar when challenged by vigilante George Zimmerman. The two fought, the latter prevailed. It's very surprising therefore that BLM should pick those two incidents as its prime examples of cop thuggery; Zimmerman was acquitted and so did not commit a "crime", as BLM alleges, at all.

BLM's own web site adds to the evidence that it is off-target. It begins very well: "When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state." Amen to that, and it's nice at first to see the colors black and gold, often used by anarcho-capitalists (black to deny affiliation with any state, gold to indicate belief in the value of real money) - but there the similarity ends. Seven ways are then named, about how the state targets blacks.

1. "Black poverty and genocide are state violence." Poverty, yes; government has indeed systematically coralled blacks into a poverty trap, as I showed in America's Underclass; by a "government-induced culture of dependency and welfare." But I'll wager that Ms Cullors didn't have that kind of poverty trap in mind; I'll bet she's all in favor of welfare, and the more the merrier. As for "genocide", no. That seriously overstates what the state does.

2. Half a million blacks are "undocumented immigrants... relegated to the shadows." No. Government's arrogant denial of the universal right to offer one's labor anywhere is applied regardless of skin color. This is not racism, it's just one ugly aspect of statism. Or if it is tainted by racism, the targets are hispanic, not black.

3. "2.8 million Black people are locked in cages..." Wrong. The total incarcerated in the US is 2.3 million, and while a disproportionate 40% (0.92 million) are black, the majority is white or "other." Ms Cullors' math isn't as good as her religion and philosophy. In any case, on the (deplorable) assumption that crime deserves imprisonment, a higher rate of black imprisonment may simply reflect a higher rate of black crime.

4. "Black girls are used as negotiating chips during times of conflict and war." Really? We are referring to the US of A, not to Nigeria (ruled by blacks)? I've no idea what this claim is about.

5. "Black women bear the burden of a relentless assault on our children..." The state forces children (of all races) to attend its indoctrination camps, so there is truth here; but I'll be very surprised if that's what Ms Cullors means, and in any case it's a color-blind assault.

6. There is some nonsense here about disabled blacks being categorized by white supremacists, which I don't begin to understand.

7. "Black queer and trans folks bear a unique burden from a hetero-patriarchal society that disposes of us like garbage..." More irrelevant nonsense. To the extent that society treats queer people (Ms Cullors' word) as queer, the bias is color-blind; and of course society is heterosexual; were it not so, society would not exist. Is is "patriarchal"? - maybe. But not more so here than elsewhere in the world; I notice that except for Tonga, which was for many years ruled by a Queen, all black societies are also patriarchal. The Amazons were matriarchal (and white) - but mythical.

These seven platform points, published presumably as "selling" features of BLM, reveal it to be a hotbed of confused, extreme racist feminism, with an agenda far removed from protest against police violence. BLM matters, therefore, expressly because it's bogus. It pretends to be one thing, but in reality is something very different - with little or nothing in common with those wishing to end the state.

The sad part is that when all government evaporates because nobody will work for it, there will be no state mis-treatment of blacks, for there will be no state, to mis-treat anyone; every problem BLM attributes to the state (rightly or wrongly) will vanish with it. Black Americans reading this who are outraged by police indifference to the value of their lives are strongly encouraged, therefore, to get on board the process of bringing about that happy result.

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