Black lives matter. Of course they do. But it is now abundantly clear that the lives, safety and dignity of Black men, women and children are not really what drives organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement. That is a shame.
The world has been fed a bill of goods about BLM’s goals. Now we see they are about creating civil unrest and nothing more. We should have realized this after one of its co-founders proudly declared she is a “trained Marxist.” Marxism, by definition, “argues for a worker revolution to overturn capitalism in favor of communism.”
The BLM website says the group “builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people.” Really? Then why haven’t they mobilized in hotspot neighborhoods where Blacks are most frequently victimized?
In New York, BLM organizers concentrate on painting their name on streets yet do nothing to help stop the ever-increasing civilian slaughter of mostly Black citizens. Shootings during the first six months of this year are up 46%, and homicides increased more than 20%. Yet BLM’s cries for defunding the police continue, and the mayor’s response was to cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget. The department’s anti-crime unit -- focused on disarming criminals and curbing violent crime in mostly minority neighborhoods -- was disbanded.
In what world does that make sense?
The latest shock to New Yorkers came when a 22-month-old baby boy, Davell Gardner, was senselessly shot and killed at a Brooklyn barbecue. The shooting also left three adult men wounded. All the victims were Black, and police suspect the shooters were, too.
“They (are) talking about ‘Black Lives Matter,’” said Davell’s grieving grandmother, “but Black lives don’t matter because Black people (are) trying to kill other Black people.” Samantha Garner added what we are all thinking: “It needs to stop! ... Catch the bastards!”
In Chicago, where more than 100 mostly Black people were shot by civilians over a recent weekend, one local reverend said it’s an “open season” killing field. Nearly 2,000 Chicagoans have been shot so far this year, hundreds fatally, and, yes, the majority of victims and known assailants are Black.
So, where is the Black Lives Matter movement in Chicago to try to curb this trend? Has BLM piled into the Windy City to marshal local ministers, community leaders and concerned citizens to try to combat the carnage against Black Americans? No.
In Minneapolis, authorities report at least 116 people were shot in the four weeks following the death of George Floyd. Recently, there were three gang-related shootings in one day, one in a majority-Black neighborhood in north Minneapolis where 50 children (ages 5 to 14) were at football practice. One eyewitness, a mother, posted a chilling video saying the shooters obviously had “no regard for life.” Luckily, no child was shot.
Did Black Lives Matter come in to help soothe the psychic wounds of those mostly Black children or to mobilize grown-ups to guard against another incident? No.
In Atlanta, at the burned-out Wendy’s restaurant where BLM gathered after police killed a Black man who shot at them with a Taser, another tragedy took place. An 8-year-old Black child was fatally shot as she rode by in a car. It was yet another mindless Black-on-Black shooting. Her father later told the criminals: “You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody. Black Lives Matter? You killing your own.”
The mantra of Black Lives Matter is now part of the American lexicon. All clear-thinking citizens embrace it and the idea that violent police tactics need to be abolished. Embracing those ideals and the BLM organization are two very different things.
The movement -- funded with multiple millions of dollars donated by well-meaning corporations, celebrities and concerned people -- is fatally flawed. BLM lacks true leadership, fiscal transparency and an explicit mission statement.
To be viable, the organization must condemn the violence perpetrated in its name, along with the illegal occupations, the burning and looting, and the vandalism so frequently seen. So far, we haven’t heard a peep from their self-described Marxist leadership.
Remembering the lessons from the righteous civil rights era of the ‘50s and ‘60s, I often wonder what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks would think about today’s movement for racial justice. I believe they would be greatly disappointed.