- Local time
- Today, 19:16
- Oct 3, 2020
A Comrade here has suggested that my support for BLM is misguided, so I thought I would set out the reasons for my support and answer some of the criticisms. In the first place, I have a lot of respect for the three ladies who founded BLM. They are highly intelligent, educated, and articulate women. They remind me of Bernadette Devlin and Máire Drumm back in the day. And nobody can deny that something needs to be done about US society. Now, it might be claimed that US society is none of our business. But, the reality is that, because we speak English, Irish minds are totally influenced by whatever fad or trend is going on in the USA. So, we do have a vested interest in the USA becoming a civilized society.
Now, my support for BLM is not without criticism. They support abortion, and we know that abortion is the Number One killer of black people in the USA. Killing your future soldiers is hardly good strategic thinking. However, the need for an organization like BLM is so great, that I'm willing to put that issue to one side for the moment and hope that good sense will eventually prevail.
The following criticisms have been put to me as reasons why we should not support BLM. I will answer each in turn.
BLM uses violence to achieve its ends.
Actually, they don't. But, if they did, they would be just maintaining the long tradition of political violence in the USA. The USA was founded on extreme violence against the Native population and the African slaves - along with plenty of extreme violence against the destitute migrants who flooded in from Europe and other places.
But, BLM does not use violence - and no police force or state body has ever suggested they do. As after the police beating of Rodney King, a huge wave of violent protest was launched by the murder of George Floyd. The violence was launched by this murder - not by BLM. BLM was still quite a small group at the time and had no organizational ability to launch such an outpouring of grief and anger. What made Floyd's death different to the many police killings of unarmed black people that are perpetrated every single year in the USA was the extremely public and ritualistic nature of the murder. As was the case with Rodney King, people could see the sheer bestiality of the police right before their eyes on their phones and computer screens and TVs.
Black Lives Matter was an already made slogan that people used to express their anger and dismay. BLM did not condemn the violent reaction - but they did not create it either.
BLM seeks to overthrow the Nuclear Family
This is utter nonsense that the more dishonest type of right wingers have latched on to. In the BLM manifesto, BLM states that it is against the NECESSITY of the nuclear family. It never says it's against a man and a women setting up home and having children. Just that those many families that have more complex arrangements should not be treated as inferior. And this is only common sense. Even here in Ireland over 50% of all children are being born out of wedlock. Are we to brand these children "bastards?" Of course not.
BLM seeks to overthrow the Judeo-Christian Order
This is another hysterical talking point of the far right. And that's pretty ironic, because historically the far right have not always been very favourable to the Judeo-Christian Order. And why is this Order the only one suitable for North America anyway? It's a very new arrival there. But, besides all of those obvious points, it appears that the main reason our right wingers think BLM want to overthrow the Judeo-Christian Order is that one of their members or supporters suggested that images that present Jesus as a white European should be taken down. Well, whatever about the wisdom of that, it seems to me that this fellow is not at all seeking the end of the Judeo-Christian Order, but to just give Jesus back his naturally dark skin colour. That would seem to me as if Jesus was highly important to him.
By drawing attention to race, BLM are preventing racial integration in the USA
Well, BLM hasn't been around for the last 300 years - and racial integration didn't happen then either. Particularly after WW2, there was a whole generation of educated black young men and women who really believed that if they dressed and spoke and behaved like WASPs, they'd be allowed into the club. But, the WASPs didn't want them in the club. Now the club is pretty much gone. The WASP still has a great deal of power, but he no longer has hegemonic control of America. In short, even if black people wanted to integrate into the WASP Order, it no longer exists. So, something new and better has to be built.
BLM is just a front group for the Democratic Party - Set up to overthrow Trump
Actually, BLM was founded in 2013, when Obama was President. It was founded in response to the murder of teenager Trayvon Mártin. BLM has continued its activism regardless of who is in power - and will continue to do so after this election. It is true that BLM is supporting Biden and Harris - while pointing out the bad record of both of them in relation to police violence. But, in a two horse race you have to pick one of them, and Trump is too beholding to the far right for him ever to be able to do anything to really change anything - even if he wanted to.
If BLM got their way we'd have no police and my hamster wouldn't be safe to cross the road
BLM is not calling for the end of policing, but for an end to the Peeler Model of Policing, which sees police forces as armies of occupation rather than as community services. Defund the Police is a slogan that sounds strange to our ears, but it doesn't mean take all money out of policing - it means don't put all the money into policing - put some of it into the community development that would create a world were less policing would be necessary.
BLM seeks to overthrow Dog Eat Dog Capitalism, i.e. The American Way
Two of the Three Founding Members of BLM are "Trained Marxists."