Black Lives Matter is a violent hate group, but that's not my biggest problem with it.
It was born from a lie in Ferguson, Missouri, based on the false testimony of a lying crook who fabricated a story out of thin air. Its first martyr, Michael Brown, was a thug who stole from a local store, assaulted the clerk, then tried to kill a cop for no reason. Its "protests" have turned into riots in at least two cities, sending dozens of people to the hospital and causing millions of dollars of damage to the very communities it pretends to represent. But, again, this is not the fundamental issue.
Its incendiary propaganda has fueled violence and threats of violence against officers all around the country. Its surrogates publicly justify the murder of law enforcement and its proponents applaud and celebrate as white people are attacked and harassed. Here's a Black Lives Matter protester specifically instructing a cheering crowd to shoot cops.
Here are some Blacks Lives Matter protesters laughing and dancing while police officers were massacred in Dallas. Here's a Black Lives Matter protester dropping a cement block on an officer's head. Here's a Black Lives Matter protester pleading guilty to cutting a fire hose while firefighters tried to save a CVS that other protesters had just torched for fun. Here's a Black Lives Matter member shooting 17 rounds into a police officer's home. These are all bad things, but they might not even be the worst things about BLM.
Neal Blair, of Augusta, Ga., wears a hoodie which reads, "Black Lives Matter" as stands on the lawn of the Capitol building during a rally to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Capitol Hill, on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Washington. Black men from around the nation returned to the capital calling for changes in policing and in black communities. (AP/Evan Vucci)
Its proponents routinely accuse cops of hunting and murdering black people in the street. A BLM supporter decided to use CNN's coverage of the Dallas massacre as an opportunity to frantically claim that cops are "shooting black people for sport." These aren't fringe ramblings, by the way. This is the insane, militant narrative upon which the entire movement is founded. Yet, as the statistics show, there is no actual epidemic of innocent black folks being gunned down by police. It's a fable. It's not real. And a movement founded on an untruth is a movement that has virtually no chance of contributing anything positive to society. But that isn't the point.
The point about Black Lives Matter -- the most important point, anyway -- is that it misses its own point. It doesn't appear to believe in its own creed. It fights the wrong villains and ignores the real ones. It obsesses over the pimples and pays no attention to the cancer. It chants a slogan that it only applies in the narrowest way, and often when it's least relevant, but goes suddenly mute at the precise moment when the slogan could actually be useful. It's often provoked to action when the situation doesn't warrant it (when a dangerous criminal is killed while violently resisting arrest, for instance) but is nowhere to be found when it's most needed.
Black lives indeed matter. That's true. But there is no law enforcement conspiracy dedicated to eradicating the black population. The statistics don't show it. The facts don't bear it out. There may be a few racist cops, but if the majority of them really thought black lives didn't matter they wouldn't be protecting and serving black neighborhoods. Cops are not the source of dehumanization in the black community. And if your movement wants to proclaim and defend the humanity of black Americans -- a worthy goal, to be sure -- then it ought to be looking for the true source.
Allow me to offer some assistance in that regard. In America, there is indeed a movement that devalues black life. It's a mainstream movement. It is the mainstream, in fact. We call this movement progressivism. It devalues black life in the same way that it devalues all life of every shape, size, and color.
This is why many people respond to "black lives matter" by answering with "All lives matter." They recognize that our progressive culture roundly rejects the sanctity and dignity of life itself. Life itself has been degraded. Life itself has been commodified and rendered expendable.
I've heard it said that "all lives matter" is too broad to be helpful, but the people who say this obviously haven't turned on the news or walked outside in the last 50 years. Our culture is fundamentally hostile to human life, across the board. In light of that fact, it's extraordinarily necessary and relevant to declare without specification or qualification, "LIFE MATTERS. PERIOD."
[sharequote align="center"]It's extraordinarily necessary and relevant to declare "LIFE MATTERS. PERIOD."[/sharequote]
But I can still see how a more targeted movement within the black community to reassert the dignity of black life, specifically, could be quite powerful and valuable in its own right. The movement only has value, though, if it has the courage of its convictions. If it's going to profess the sacredness and worthiness of black life, it ought to profess it in every situation, in every context, regardless of politics. It ought to keep its banner hoisted high no matter the topic or the controversy. It ought to stand unequivocally for the dignity of black life, and it ought to fight the hardest precisely where the dignity of black life is most compromised. If it does not, then I must come to the tragic conclusion that the members of this movement don't actually believe in the dignity of black life. Or else they have other things they prioritize above it.
The areas where black life is most under attack are not unique to black people -- as I said, our culture rejects human dignity completely -- but they do impact the black community more than others. If you're looking for the worst culprit in the war on black life and all human life, law enforcement is not the place to start. They shouldn't even be your second stop or your third. In the vast majority of cases, law enforcement is not an enemy of black life, but a protector of it.
The abortion industry is a different story, however. The legalization of fetal homicide undermines the sacredness of life at its very foundation. It devalues life universally. It says that life at its core, in its essence, is not worthy or important. It says that life is valuable only in so far as it is useful to those around it. It proclaims human life disposable, particularly the lives of the poor and the disadvantaged. The abortion industry preaches quite explicitly that life does not matter. That's its whole sales pitch. When Black Lives Matter shouts "black lives matter," the abortion industry is the loudest voice shouting back, "No they don't." Yet many of the people who think police departments should be abolished also think the abortion industry should be funded. It makes no sense.
[sharequote align="center"]When BLM shouts "black lives matter," the abortion industry shouts back, "No they don't."[/sharequote]
Abortion is not a uniquely black issue, but it is a uniquely cataclysmic issue for the black community. Black people only account for 12 percent of the citizenry but they make up almost a third of the abortions. There have been over 16 million black abortions since Roe v Wade, resulting in a 36 percent reduction of the black population. In some cities, black babies are more likely to be aborted than born.
There have been about 1,100 black people killed by cops in the last 10 years. Abortionists wipe out three times as many in less than a week. Police killed about 300 black people in 2015, according to some estimates. Abortionists kill well over twice that amount on an average Tuesday. Still, incredibly, Black Lives Matters supporters are much more likely to accuse police of exterminating black children.
You can care about more than one thing, of course, but the fact remains that BLM and its proponents are almost entirely silent about the actual mass slaughter of black kids. There have been enough black babies executed in abortion clinics to fill 200 football stadiums, but we are still more likely to see a high profile Black Lives Matter supporter passionately defending the abortion industry than criticizing it, before pivoting quickly back to the systematic evils of law enforcement.
It's OK to focus especially on one sort of issue or another, but if your movement stands for life in one case and then is utterly and completely silent in the other -- or worse, it is all of a sudden in favor of devaluing life in these other situations -- then your movement is, at best, impotent. At worst it's fraudulent. When it comes to BLM, I suspect the latter.
There may be a few people who've marched in both Black Lives Matter protests and the March For Life, but I have never seen cities across the country swarmed by mostly black citizens angrily denouncing the murder of black babies the way they denounce the much less common killing of black criminal suspects. Indeed, it really appears that, in the eyes of Black Lives Matter, the only black lives that matter are criminal suspects. At least those are the only ones they seem interested in acknowledging.
And it's not just abortion that's so conspicuously ignored. As has been pointed out many times, Black Lives Matter has almost nothing to say about the thousands of black people gunned down by other black people in the inner city every year. They have even less to say about the millions of black children abandoned by their black fathers. If your kid's life matters, Black Lives Matter should say, then go home and be a father to him. Perhaps that will minimize the chances that his face ends up emblazoned on t-shirts at the next Black Lives Matter rally. But no such message is relayed. In fact, that message is uniformly denounced and shouted down.
It doesn't end there. Prostitution, drug abuse, pornography -- all of these evils desecrate the sanctity of black life just as they desecrate the sanctity of all human life. That's to say nothing of the black musicians and black pop culture icons who glorify black criminality and objectify black women, helping to promote among black youth a total rejection of human dignity. Maybe it's true that some bad apple cops don't respect human life, but it's even more true that the culture itself -- the whole culture, but especially black culture -- disrespects human life. Where is Black Lives Matter on that issue? Why are cops the only villains in the story they tell?
To whatever extent the problem of dehumanization can be found in law enforcement, it must be understood as a symptom, not the cause. It should be no surprise that a culture that hates life would produce cops who don't respect life. I think the truly remarkable thing is that it produces so few cops in that category. If law enforcement culture truly reflected the greater culture, there really would be police officers prowling the streets and randomly mowing down civilians for sport.
It's OK for a movement to be about something specific. Not every movement has to be about everything. Not every protest against a bad thing needs to be a protest against every bad thing. But the movement and the protest should be grounded in principles that can be applied -- and are applied -- beyond it, especially if the movement marches under a banner like "Black lives matter." That is a motto that appears, at first blush, to be saying more than, "Cops shouldn't kill innocent black folks." If it isn't trying to say more than that, it should stop using the motto. If it is trying to say more, then it should come out and finally say it.
Black lives matter? Yes, they do. But, sadly, it appears that black lives don't really matter to Black Lives Matter. And that's the problem.
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