The murder of George Perry Floyd Jr. by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin could have been a unifying moment for a country badly in need of one. After all, nearly everyone across the political spectrum, from Ilhan Omar to Rush Limbaugh strongly condemned the actions of Derek Chauvin and his partners and agreed that reforms must be made to ensure that horrific tragedies like this aren’t repeated. But rather than unite around our common revulsion for racism, liberals have launched an incredibly divisive cultural revolution that’s claiming scalps but also repelling ordinary Americans who still love their country and don’t want to scapegoat out-of-favor groups and revered historical figures.
If you have the stomach, peruse National Review’s cancel counter, a fantastically depressing list of (at the moment) 82 people, monuments and artistic works that have been purged in the last few weeks. Here are just three examples of notable purges. Grant Napear was fired from his job as the Sacramento Kings play by play announcer after tweeting “All lives matter…every single one.” The President of the Poetry Foundation and another official at the organization was forced to resign after penning a statement condemning racism that failed to praise Black Lives Matter. And a school principal in Vermont was placed on leave for tweeting, “I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, but I DO NOT agree with the coercive measures taken to get to this point.”
I could go on but what I find almost as objectionable as the vilification of revered historical figures and the shredding of our Bill of Rights is how seemingly every entity in our country from corporations to sports teams to big media to educational institutions have dutifully participated in the purges or cheered them on at the very least.
The left has used the killing of Mr. Floyd to effectively intimidate the rest of us into supporting Black Lives Matter, a group whose founders have described themselves as “trained Marxists.” The group’s signature policy proposal is a “national defunding of police,” perhaps the most dangerous idea that’s been taken seriously in decades. As a nation, we’ve retreated into a dark place where those who profess anything short of undying, blind fealty to Black Lives Matter, risk losing their jobs and being ostracized from polite society.
A recent Rasmussen poll indicates that BLM now has a 62% approval rating among likely voters. But how many Americans who are now expressing support for BLM have bothered to check the group’s website or Twitter feed? Not many, I suspect. The group’s Twitter feed offers a web link not to a page expressing its viewpoints, but to a shop selling BLM merchandise, including $40 t-shirts and $60 hoodies. Perhaps this reflects the reality that BLM merch is now a fashion trend.
The top of the BLM homepage currently features a banner #defundthepolice headline. This link leads to a petition that states very clearly in bold type, “we call for a national defunding of police.” Liberals will tell us, “Oh, no they don’t really mean that,” but this is wishful thinking—they’re projecting their desire for BLM to be more moderate even though it clearly is anything but. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently confirmed as much, insisting that New York City’s $1 billion cut to the police budget isn’t enough. “Defunding police means defunding police,” she said.
A recent Yahoo News/You Gov poll indicated that only 16% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans support defunding police. At the same time, there was strong bipartisan support for ideas like outfitting police officers with body cameras and creating early warning systems to identify bad cops. But those ideas aren’t crazy enough for BLM and they don’t appear anywhere on their website.
There is no mention of the scourge of black on black violence anywhere on the BLM website, and, in fact, there’s a consistent effort to deny this reality by claiming that violence is “inflicted” on the black community by “the state.” BLM’s “What we believe” page reads like it was written by the folks who distribute Marxist literature outside fair trade coffee shops in college towns like Burlington or Madison. One section proclaims, “we are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.”
BLM’s meandering statement of beliefs, full of references to “comrades,” also includes promises to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement,” and “foster a queer affirming network.” The corporate titans now embracing BLM might also be pleased to know that when the group meets, it does so with “the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual.”
Their bankrupt manifesto is absent of any tangible proposals that would actually enhance black lives. Reducing unskilled immigration from developing countries would benefit black workers but the group has consistently advocated for the repeal of immigration laws. BLM claims to be working toward increasing “access to quality education” but a former leader of the group in Minnesota quit in 2016 over the group’s opposition to school choice, which has broad support in the African-American community. Black women also have the highest abortion rate at 27.1 per 1,000 women compared with 10 per 1,000 for white women, but no BLM leader would dream of promoting adoption as a viable alternative to abortion because apparently unborn black lives do not matter.
BLM’s signature issue—police brutality—is best addressed by rooting out bad cops. This can’t be accomplished without taking on the powerful police unions which fight tooth and nail to keep everyone, even the worst cops, employed, no matter how many misconduct complaints they accrue. But because BLM is made up of doctrinaire liberals, and liberals love unions of all kinds, you won’t hear them address this problem. Just like they’ve studiously ignored commenting on the carnage in Chicago, which has taken the lives of 38 (mostly black) people in just two weekends last month. Several children were among those killed, but their (black) lives didn’t even merit a single tweet from BLM because their deaths, which came at the hands of black civilians, not white police officers, don’t fit the narrative BLM is promoting.
Democratic politicians, like Senator Tim Kaine, who recently said on the floor of the Senate that America “created slavery,” continue to bogusly push the notion that America is a uniquely racist country. This is an article of faith on the left. The truth is that minority groups, whether they are members of a minority religion, tribe, or ethnic group suffer from discrimination in every country on the planet. I make this point not to minimize racial discrimination in this country but to illustrate that the problems we face aren’t unique to America, they’re universal.
We can’t have an honest debate about BLM and their policy objectives in the present climate because people are terrified to criticize this now untouchable group of radicals posing as civil rights activists for fear of being branded a racist. The tragedy is that bullying Americans into supporting this fundamentally extreme group could inspire more racial animosity and resentments. Those of us who detest racism but also want to live in a country where the rule of law is respected must have a voice because no amount of rebranding can change the fact that BLM ideologues and their new allies don’t represent mainstream Americans of any color.