Black Lives Matter Is A Problem
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Politics and Activism

Black Lives Matter Is A Problem

After Dallas and Baton Rouge, it has become apparent that the Black Lives Matter movement needs reform

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Black Lives Matter Is A Problem
US News

NOTE: This was a response to the Dallas and, now, the Baton Rouge police shootings. There is foul, disgusting, hateful language found off of Twitter below. If you are "triggered" by those aspects, please consider any further reading. Also, if you can't believe the rhetoric against police prior had anything to do with this, I'm not sure the rest of this article is worth your time.

Black Lives Matter, some may say is still necessary as a slogan, but as a group it is, at best, a nuisance and at worst a dangerous threat to American safety. The movement reaches across to two extremes. At one extreme, you have people who complain about micro-aggressions and privilege checks repeatedly ad nauseum. At the other extreme, you have people with ties to Black Lives Matter making incendiary, hateful and racist remarks such as, "God Damn White People" (from the Reverend Jeff Hood of Dallas protest infamy). Even more irrational and emotionally charged rhetoric permeates throughout the social media sphere.

Despite heralding themselves as a organization without a hierarchical system of leadership, there are people with more influence than others (Deray McKesson, Shawn King, George Soros and Alicia Garza). Although these people speak for the organization, they aren't in charge. The Black Lives Matter movement is spurned by hashtags. The message is dictated by the thousands of individuals who post on social media 24/7. The message is always evolving and can quickly develop mob mentalities and fringe groups. It's very real, and very dangerous. The tweets throughout the article are all examples of what can be seen online constantly. One could read these and gather opinions from or base actions upon ideas far removed from reality, morality or legality.

Black Lives Matter is about politics -- not police brutality, queer acceptance or even black lives. The worst part of it all is: They're really bad at politics. The collective brand of "activism" is not subtle, not nuanced and not thoughtful. Instead, it's hasty -- often exaggerated and poorly executed. They stand in the middle of highways. They hold up an event, grabbing the mic and assaulting the speakers. When they can't win the argument on merit, they poison their political opponents by calling them racist and branding their opinions as hateful. They tackle topics through the social media sphere by pitting two groups against each other, and they harangue the straw man they invented to represent the opposition. This is the innovation in protest provided by Black Lives Matter.

One of the main talking points of Black Lives Matter is police violence. Yes, as a registered Republican I will concede that there are police officers who abuse authority. One case occurred in Brevard County, Florida roughly a month ago, where Clarence Mahogany Howard, a black man, was shot and killed by an off-duty officer named Yousef Hafza, which was followed by a peaceful march in Cocoa with participation by local law enforcement, and the expulsion and subsequent trial of Hafza on murder charges.


On the whole, Black Lives Matter does not make a good enough case to isolate these individual officers, like they do to terrorists amongst the Islamic faith, according to this article by Shawn King. Instead the message is corroded by groupthink, thanks to the growing social media network, to become "cops don't care about black people."


Now, five officers are dead in Dallas and three officers are dead in Baton Rouge. Eight officers who swore to protect their communities, slain by men who thought they were the enemy.

You don't hear Black Lives Matter asking us to say their names, and to be honest, I don't know them. I heard some of them a handful of times during the Dallas memorial service that I watched, but I still don't remember them. They didn't get hashtags. Compared to recent news coverage of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castille, it would seem that the names of black men killed by police get more news coverage than the police who died because they wanted to protect their community.

There needs to be reform in Black Lives Matter, and it needs to happen fast. They are operating as a grassroots movement, but much like other grassroots movements such as Occupy Wall St. and Bernie Sanders, they will fail to do anything progressive or safe if they keep following the path they're on.

There needs to be moderation in the movement, and that requires structural reforms. There needs to be a true leader of the organization who stands up against aggression and violence of every form, and doesn't just tweet about peace while they allow someone else to pick up the throwing stones. Someone who can speak for the organization and disregards the emotionally charged, hate-filled rhetoric that can exist in the Wild West of social media. There is no Dr. King at this rally, which means it's subject to become off message and devolve into petty squabbles, or worse, dangerous confrontation.

The thought that Black Lives Matter is a movement of peace is wishful thinking. It may have been the idealistic goal, but it isn't the reality today.

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