As a Black college student, I have felt immense pressure from other Black students to choose between joining the insular, single-minded Black community and being seen as a traitor. Being mixed-race has made it even more difficult, as both my Black identity and loyalty to my race are questioned when I express my views. I am quite openly proud to be Black, but I do not fit—and refuse to ever fit—into the mold built by the self-indulgent Black community here at the Claremont Colleges; I would rather be labeled a “shady person of color” or a “coon” by my Black peers than validate their insecurities and inaccurate opinions which have fostered such dysfunction and divisiveness within the Black community.
Black Lives Matter has been nothing short of a hindrance for Black people, especially those who do not subscribe to the fallacious narrative that America is a bastion of hostile White supremacy. In its constant bid for media attention, the group has blocked traffic on major highways, hijacked political rallies, disrupted college speakers, and, since last summer, have on a continuous basis preached anti-cop rhetoric. In the aftermath of the murders of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, members of the group broke into a police officer’s house and praised the Dallas police massacre.
Black Lives Matter’s statistical illiteracy, specious rephrasing of events to fit their melodramatic narrative, and constant screaming when they do not get their way not only depicts Black Lives Matter as a movement of emotion-driven ideologues, but also paints all Black people as less credible.
Black Lives Matter also reinforces White superiority. In fact, it thrives on it. The movement as a whole operates and feeds solely on garnering guilt and pity from White people, which plays directly into the false idea that Blacks are inferior to Whites. As Dr. Michael Hurd has said, “Pity is based on the premise: ‘Your vulnerability allows me an opportunity to be superior.’” Once Black Lives Matter “wins” and the inferiority complex it promotes is satisfied, we as a people will fall decades behind in the fight for cultural equality.
The Black Lives Matter movement vilifies and punishes potential allies who aren’t “doing enough” for their cause, rather than embracing a constructive discourse. They block White students from their events and refuse to listen to any student who disagrees with them on even the smallest details. Black Lives Matter has become a discriminatory organization which only serves to whip the Black community into a frenzy, and it is only a matter of time before students on campuses radicalize and hold violent demonstrations like those which destroyed Baltimore and Ferguson.
What little central organization Black Lives Matter maintains has embraced militancy and the dream of rebuilding the Black liberation movement—a movement which secured its place in history largely through the lengthy rap sheets of FBI most-wanted terrorists, cop killers, and professional rioters who served as its leaders. Prominent Black Lives Matter leaders support mob actors who loot as a form of activism, such as Joanne Chesimard—better known as Assata Shakur—who killed a state trooper and committed multiple robberies, who flaunted opinions entertaining race war, and who believed that violence was an acceptable means to a greater end.
Some have disregarded the actions of these Black Lives Matter supporters as unrepresentative of the movement at large. But with no meaningful effort within the movement to expunge violent actors from its ranks, the organization has become a safe harbor for incitement, murderous rhetoric, and what can only be described as domestic terrorism. In fact, as defined by the federal government, Black Lives Matter fits within the definition of a domestic terrorism group under all terms of Section 802 of the U.S. Patriot Act. Despite this, a petition posted on the White House website to recognize Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organization was recently dismissed.
Advocates of the movement cannot pick and choose who they think represents Black Lives Matter; the organization has to claim responsibility for any and all actions taken under its name. In present day Black activism, Black Lives Matter members are responsible for not only the Dallas police shooting, but also for anti-police chants such as “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon!” and “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” These violent slogans aim to intimidate the public, discourage police officers from doing their jobs, and threaten those who might stand in the way of the Black Lives Matter movement.
If Black Lives Matter really wants to make a positive difference for Black lives, they have to start by addressing the realities they have chosen to ignore. Black men alone have made up 40% percent of all cop killers in the last decade despite comprising only 6% of the population. They are also eighteen-and-a-half times more likely to kill a cop than a cop is to kill them. According to FBI crime statistics, Black people (both juvenile and adult) commit 51% of America’s murders, nearly 30% of rapes, 56% of robberies, and 33% of aggravated assaults. Despite these high violent crime rates, Blacks make up only 26% of police shootings. Black Lives Matter loves to complain about the “disproportionate killing of Blacks,” but a recent study from Harvard University confirmed that police shootings have no racial bias.
Any good work that Black Lives Matter has done for the Black community is overshadowed by the movement’s promulgation of anti-police, anti-White, and sensationalist sentiments. Beyoncé, a number of the parents of those shot (such as those of Michael Brown), and even Barack Obama have been ignored as they called for peaceful protest. Black Lives Matter must begin renouncing their violent members and setting the course for a new era of harmony and trust between minority communities and our nation’s law enforcement.