I wrote this post in response to some friends and family who participated in BLM‘s June 2020 social media campaigns.
Black Lives Matter is a Trojan horse. Your intentions in pasting #BLM stickers on your profile pictures and by participating in Blackout Day are probably good (some of you don’t actually care but are just virtue twerking; you know who you are), but I don’t think that most of you understand what exactly is in the Pandora’s Box that we are opening.
To those of you who support #BlackLivesMatter, I understand that you believe racism is bad.
I do too.
I understand that you believe police brutality is bad.
I do too.
I understand that you believe there is racism in America.
I do too.
I understand that you believe that black people have been mistreated by white people throughout America’s history.
I do too.
I do not believe that the police are hunting down black men.
I do not believe that the leading cause of death of black men is execution by police.
3.4% of young black men die as a result of police’s use of force, trailing far behind the other causes the causes of death for the people in this demographic, the most noticeable being death by assault unrelated to police involvement, which account for 94.2% of the deaths of young black men (source).
I do not believe that black people who aren’t involved with gangs are more in danger of being shot or killed by the police than white people are.
I do not believe that the solution to police brutality is dismantling police departments or cutting their funding; rather, we should give them more funding specifically earmarked not for military-style weapons and vehicles, but for conflict de-escalation training, and we should invest in better screening and mental health check-ups and support for officers.
I do not believe that anyone – including white people – should be silenced when they disagree with the demands made by protestors, especially when many of the “protestors” are actually opportunistic rioters and looters and anarchists who literally just want to watch the world burn.
I do not think that making major structural changes to our society and government should happen based merely on anecdotes and cherry-picked news articles. We need to slow down and look at the facts before dismantling anything.
Supporting racial equality and equal opportunity for people of all ancestries is not the same thing as supporting Black Lives Matter. There’s ostensibly some overlap, but you’re going to get a lot more than you bargained for. Believe it or not, you can believe that black people matter without supporting Black Lives Matter.
I mean unless of course you do agree with the idea of intentionally breaking apart the family unit, forcibly silencing dissenters, forcing people with a certain colour of skin to apologize for the historic actions of other people with the same colour of skin whether or not those people are related to each other so that they don’t lose their jobs, and abolishing the police department. In which case, you do you. Post your black boxes, post your hashtags, go to protests and yell about defunding the police who protect you (even though two weeks ago you were so scared about rules being broken that you literally screamed at anyone who went the wrong way down the aisle at Walmart), kneel on the ground and apologize for the actions of people whose actions you condemn, who you never met, who aren’t even related to you.
But I’m not going to.
Update: September 2020
“Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism…It started out as a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission was to build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes…In the years since, we’ve committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness.”
“We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.”
“We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.”
“We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.”
“We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.”
“We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.”
“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
“We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”
“We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.”