Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter, abbreviated BLM, is an identitarian movement that was founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi on 13 July 2013. The BLM website says the Movement for Black Lives is another name for the BLM movement. Patrisse has said the idea behind the group is to "push for black people's right to live with dignity and respect". The BLM movement feels there is a lot of focus on Martin Luther King and the heterosexual black male in general, and that this way of thinking is an outdated model. Together with fifty affiliated groups, it has written a forty thousand word manifesto (summary shown below) which it believes would rectify injustices of the past and present if implemented, and whose claim of Israeli "genocide" against Palestinians has drawn widespread condemnation from Jewish groups both on the right and on the left, including the Anti-Defamation League.
- 1 Origin, philosophy and symbols used
- 2 Manifesto
- 3 Reactions
- 4 Bernie Sanders campaign shutdown in Seattle
- 5 Position on Israel
- 6 BLM-Organiser orders apartheid in Philadelphia
- 7 The movement's response to criticism
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Origin, philosophy and symbols used
On 13 July 2013, when George Zimmerman was acquitted of charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza wrote a post on Facebook that she has described as "a love letter to black people". She said there was "a section of America" that was "cheering and celebrating" over the Zimmerman verdict, and that they needed to "get it together". It ended with the words "our lives matter". Patrisse Cullors then turned this into the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter, and suddenly the idea began to take root.
The three began planning how these three words could be turned into a movement. Opal Tometi offered her social media expertise to connect with people. The idea really began gaining momentum during the events in Ferguson, when people from New York, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Boston went on 'freedom rides' and took to the streets of Ferguson.
BLM does not always see eye to eye with the establishment. One BLM organiser, Chicagoan Aislinn Pulley, has even turned down an invitation to the White House, although DeRay Mckesson, another influential BLM activist and aspirant for the Baltimore mayoralty, did accept. It is nonhierarchical, relying on local chapters, 27 of them by November 2015, including their Canadian chapter, to do spontaneous organising.
Probably one of the most often seen symbols at BLM marches is the words "Black Lives Matter" in black with a gold background, or some variant of this, such as black letters and a white background or vice versa. The red-black-green Pan-African flag was flown by BLM members during their march in Philadelphia. The American flag hung upside down has also been displayed.
The BLM manifesto has the following six demands, along with the assertions contained therein:
- End the war on black people.
- Reparations for past and continuing harms.
- Divestment from the institutions that criminalize, cage and harm black people; and investment in the education, health and safety of black people.
- Economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure our communities have collective ownership, not merely access.
- Community control of the laws, institutions and policies that most impact us.
- Independent black political power and black self-determination in all areas of society.
Milo Yiannopoulos is a 'Breitbart News' editor and public speaker. Milo is a Republican and an opponent of the left with a strong dislike for feminism, which he believes is a cancer in society. He feels that BLM is a proponent of racial segregation and is very vocal about what he believes. He was assaulted and threatened by BLM supporters, who, while he was making a speech at DePaul University, walked onstage and took his microphone. When he was speaking at Rutgers University, a coalition of feminists and BLM supporters stormed in, vandalising walls, seats, and doors with red paint, chanting, 'Black Lives Matter'. They also assaulted one of Milo's supporters, covering him with red paint. Milo's supporters chanted, 'Trump, Trump, Trump'.
Speaking about the BLM movement on Fox News, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, 'It's inherently racist because, number one, it divides us. ... All lives matter: White lives, black lives, all lives. Number two: Black Lives Matter never protests when every fourteen hours somebody is killed in Chicago, probably seventy to eighty percent of the time [by] a black person. Where are they then? Where are they when a young black child is killed?'
Black Lives Matter movement's response to Rudy Giuliani
The BLM movement's co-founder Alicia Garza called Rudy's comments 'a relic of the past'. Alicia went further and said, 'What those comments show me is that the former mayor doesn't understand racism', claiming that Rudy's comments were 'not rooted in fact'.
Conservative professor and author Carol Swain has denounced BLM, saying, 'It's a Marxist organization all about black liberation. It's not really addressing the real problems affecting African-Americans and so it's problematic, it's misleading black people, it needs to go.' Carol feels the black community is being exploited by the left. Carol also feels it's important to recognize when whites have legitimate complaints. She is against reparations for slavery.
Bernie Sanders campaign shutdown in Seattle
When Bernie Sanders took his presidential campaign to Seattle, two BLM activists got onstage with him and took his microphone, threatening to shut down the event if they didn't listen. The audience expressed its disapproval with boos, with some even calling for their arrest. One of the BLM activists called Seattle a racist city and the audience white supremacist liberals. Then she tried to talk them into 41/2 minutes of silence for the 41/2 hours that Michael Brown's body was on the ground in Ferguson. Again the audience expressed its disapproval. Finally Sanders gave up and left because the protesters wouldn't let him have the microphone.
Position on Israel
BLM has asserted that Israel is carrying out genocide against the Palestinian people. It has said that Israel is linked to 'systems of white supremacy, imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy', and that Israel practices apartheid. BLM ordered apartheid in a BLM march in Philadelphia. BLM is for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which aims to break Israel economically. The Movement for Black Lives platform, a manifesto which BLM drafted together with fifty other groups, asserts that the US 'is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people'. The Anti-Defamation League's CEO Jonathan Greenblatt says: 'We categorically reject the document's criticism of the United States and Israel as being "complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people".'
BLM-Organiser orders apartheid in Philadelphia
On 26 July 2016, just before a BLM march, a BLM organiser in Philadelphia was filmed as she stood in the back of a truck speaking into a microphone saying that if white people were there to support, to go to the back of the march and asked black people to go to the front. When people started objecting, she used four-letter words, addressed people as 'you', screamed and said, 'We're not afraid to put people out.' She pointed her finger at people and identified them as being, in her mind, white, telling them to go to the back. One objector brought up the Rosa Parks incident, but the BLM organiser was oblivious to the parallel and continued making her demand for apartheid. A mob mentality quickly began to take over and people started screaming at the objectors, who eventually moved to the back. This happened near the intersection of Broad and Diamond streets.
The movement's response to criticism
The BLM movement denies that it is anti-white and says on its website: 'Contained within the statement [BLM] is an unspoken but implied "too", as in "black lives matter too", which suggests that the statement is one of inclusion rather than exclusion.' BLM believes that there is a problem with 'the system', which, BLM claims 'treats white lives as if they have more value, as if they are more worthy of protection, safety, education, and a good quality of life than black lives are'.
- #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Twitter
- Alex Altman. "Black Lives Matter". time.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- Ethan Corey (27 October 2015). "Connecting the Dots Between the 'Identity Politics' of Black Lives Matter and Class Politics". inthesetimes.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
- Darren Boyle (27 July 2016). "'White people to the back of the march': Black Lives Matter protest leader calls for racial segregation of her supporters during demonstration outside the DNC". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Daniella Diaz (9 July 2016). 'African-American professor Carol Swain slams Black Lives Matter'. cnn.com. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- P. David Hornik (12 August 2016). "Movement for Black Lives Accuses Israel of Genocide". pjmedia.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Joel B. Pollak (4 August 2016). 'Black Lives Matter Platform Accuses Israel of "Genocide"'. breitbart.com. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Marcia Chatelain, Kaavya Asoka (Summer 2014). "Women and Black Lives Matter: An Interview with Marcia Chatelain". dissentmagazine.org. Retreived 5 August 2016.
- Charlie Nash (18 February 2016). "Milo: Feminists 'Waging War on Working Class Men'". breitbart.com. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- Casey Harper (31 March 2016). "'WE RISE:' Black Lives Matter Burns American Flag In Minneapolis Protest". dailycaller.com. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "11 Major Misconceptions About the Black Lives Matter Movement". blacklivesmatter.com. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Ryan W. Miller (12 July 2016)."Black Lives Matter: A primer on what it is and what it stands for". usatoday.com. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Walter Hudson (2 August 2016). 'Black Lives Matter Platform Is a Marxist Horror Show'. pjmedia.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Yair Rosenberg (5 August 2016). "From Left to Right, Jewish Groups Condemn 'Repellent' Black Lives Matter Claim of Israeli 'Genocide'". tabletmag.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- Jonathan Greenblatt (5 August 2016). 'Eyes on The Prize: In Pursuit of Racial Justice, Stick to the Facts and Avoid the Fiction'. adl.org. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Khalil Gibran Muhammad (1 December 2014). "The revolution will be live-tweeted: why #BlackLivesMatter is the new model for civil rights". theguardian.com. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- Jelani Cobb (14 March 2016). "THE MATTER OF BLACK LIVES". newyorker.com. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- John Eligon (18 November 2015). "One Slogan, Many Methods: Black Lives Matter Enters Politics". nytimes.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- BLM protester with upside-down American flag. scoopnest.com. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Trymaine Lee (1 August 2016). 'Black Lives Matter Releases Policy Agenda'. nbcnews.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- Aric Mitchell (4 June 2016). 'Milo Yiannopoulos: Black Lives Matter And KKK Are The Same'. inquisitr.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- Josh Feldman (26 April 2016). '"F*ck You!" Protester Flips Out After Milo Yiannopoulos Says Feminism Is Cancer'. mediaite.com. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- Allum Bokhari (10 February 2016). 'Fake Blood and War Chants: Milo Yiannopoulos Event at Rutgers Disrupted by Feminists, Black Lives Matter Activists'. breitbart.com. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- Naomi Lim (11 July 2016). 'Rudy Giuliani: Black Lives Matter "inherently racist"'. cnn.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- Jack E. White (18 February 2003). 'Whites and the Next Racial Clash in America'. time.com. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Jim Brunner (11 August 2014). 'Black Lives Matter protesters shut down Bernie Sanders; later rally draws 15,000'. seattletimes.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- Darren Boyle (27 July 2016). '"White people to the back of the march": Black Lives Matter protest leader calls for racial segregation of her supporters during demonstration outside the DNC'. dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Michael Tanenbaum (28 July 2016). 'Video: Black Lives Matter organizer tells white people to "get to the back"'. phillyvoice.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- Darren Boyle (27 July 2016). '"White people to the back of the march": Black Lives Matter protest leader calls for racial segregation of her supporters during demonstration outside the DNC'. 'Daily Mail'. Retrieved 4 August 2016.