Black Lives Matter II. A Clear and Present Danger

Warning, this blog will not be popular with some people. However, after watching the news for the past few weeks I can no longer be silent about my grave concerns. So, I am exercising my rights under the first amendment to the Constitution, aka Freedom of Speech.

In a previous blog I expressed grave concerns about the growing influence of the group, Black Lives Matter. Wikipedia characterizes BLM as an “organized movement dedicated to nonviolent civil disobedience in protest to police brutality.” In my opinion, that is a misrepresentation. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, are you going to believe what the media tells you or what you can see with your own eyes? As its exposure has grown it has become more and more apparent that BLM is a radical, divisive, violent group that represents the views of a small, but well-organized, segment of the population.

It began as a small group that organized street protests and published opinions on social media following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, a white man, in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a young black man, in 2013. Its activism continued following other deaths of blacks, such as Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in NYC, at the hands of police. In my view, its provocative chants “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it, now,” and “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” belie any claims the group is nonviolent. Moreover, some BLM members have made anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments regarding the treatment of Palestinians, which have been largely ignored by the American media.

Currently, its influence has metastasized out of all proportion to the size of its membership. It is morphing before our very eyes from a fringe protest group into a powerful force. Its organization is decentralized with no discernable hierarchy. Its political influence, both in the US and internationally, is astounding. According to the latest Rasmussen poll it has a 63% approval rating, which is one of the highest of any institution in the poll.

Furthermore, it is being fueled by a largely far-left-leaning media that is mainly interested in generating violence, controversy, and conflict, rather than coming up with peaceful solutions to our current problems. Instead of condemning BLM’s violent actions it has been romanticizing them, and ignoring the violence. “Rioters” are called “protestors.” Looting, mayhem, and other criminal acts are being downplayed or ignored.

At the moment BLM is virtually impervious to any criticism or questioning of its motives and actions. Anyone who does so is immediately branded a racist. It’s not a coincidence that no leaders have exhibited the courage to criticize BLM for its wanton violence and provocative language. I can assure you it’s not because they all agree with the group. They’re afraid of losing an election, having the twitter mob turn on them, losing their jobs, their movies blackballed, or their businesses burned down.

Examples abound. NFL quarterback Drew Brees, who has been an upstanding leader and supporter of the disadvantaged in his community throughout his long career was vilified for expressing his opinion on those who kneel for the anthem. His opinion wasn’t radical. Indeed, it is shared by more than half the country. He said, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag….” Apparently, BLM and the twitter mob no longer believe in the Bill of Rights. The mob vilified Brees and forced him to, in football parlance, “reverse field.” Personally, I think he should have told his critics to “stuff it,” but, instead, he succumbed. Not surprisingly, his critics were not placated. Others reluctant to stand up and step up include Minnesota governor Tim Walz, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Washington governor Jay Inslee, and Seattle mayor Jenny Durkin, to name a few. Incredibly, the latter two have stood by while BLM seized control of part of Seattle.

Why? I view it as a misguided attempt at appeasement. “If we give them what they want now, maybe they will be satisfied and not demand more.” Well, history tells us that appeasement never works. The British and the French tried to appease Hitler in the 1930s. How did that work out? Inslee and Durkin are guilty of gross dereliction of duty. They should resign.

Labeling someone a racist is one of the cheapest and easiest criticisms one can make. It is hard to defend without appearing defensive. Often, those accused have been vilified in the press, terminated from their jobs, and ostracized by their friends, all without the opportunity to defend themselves. I’m sure there are some racists in the US, but I would not characterize racism as “systemic,” not in the least. Personally, I do not know any racists. Do you?

In my experience, when someone uses the “R” word it is a last resort when they have no logical argument to put forth. Furthermore, normally, the “R” word ends all rational discussion of an issue. It tends to harden the resolve of both sides, and nothing of substance gets accomplished.

To be clear:
1. I am as appalled as everyone else of the brutal murder of George Floyd.
2. I agree that we have some racial issues in this country, but I do not agree that there is systemic racism. Maybe, there was historically in some regions, but not now. In fact, for the past 50 or so years the US has been one of the least racist countries in the world.
3. How can the country be systemically racist when we elected a black president twice and have thousands of black leaders in politics, business, entertainment, and sports.
4. Does anyone seriously believe that the typical policeman leaves his home for work intending to kill a black man? That is ludicrous on its face. What we need is not no cops, but better trained cops and to identify and weed out the few bad cops. Instead of arguing among ourselves, how about we do something to improve relations between the cops and those they “serve and protect.”
5. President Trump is trying to do that. The Executive Order he promulgated yesterday is a step in the right direction, but it needs to be fortified by law. Congress must act.
6. According to Fox News the data with respect to cops killing blacks does not support the accepted narrative. As I stated in my previous BLM blog the data shows that blacks are not disproportionally more likely to be shot [or] killed by cops. Fox added that of the 50 million or so encounters between cops and citizens in the most recent year surveyed only 50 or so resulted in a death, and most of those killed were white. So, yes, any murder is unacceptable and reforms are needed, but we are only talking about an infinitesimally small amount. Those few instances are just well publicized.

CONCLUSION

I agree with Dr. Ben Carson that “all lives matter” – black, white, Hispanic, Asian, young, old, men, women, children, yours and mine. The truth of the matter is I believe most people share that opinion. That’s an opinion that needs to be expressed more often, but most people are too cowed to say it, at least in public. I say it now. Every life is precious. All lives matter. We only get one apiece, and as my good friend, Marvin, says, “this ain’t a ‘dress rehearsal.’ ”

The majority, which, I believe, opposes BLM’s ideas, is nonetheless remaining silent, hoping, no doubt that the group will simply go away. Well, I’m not so sure that they will, and therein lies my fear. As I pointed out in my previous log about BLM in my view, this group is extremely dangerous. It reminds me of similar small, aggressive, vicious minorities that started out as insignificant, were ignored by the majority and metastasized until they controlled the country. History gives us many examples, but I will cite just a few: (1) the Bolsheviks of Russia in the 1920s under Lenin, (2) the Chinese communists of post-WWII under Mao, (3) the Nazis in 1930s Germany under Hitler. and (4) the McCarthy movement of the 1950s in the US.

BLM is growing increasingly powerful and influential for the reasons I discussed above. Their radical ideas are frightening. They must be stopped now before a “tipping point” is reached.

Some of you who are students of history may know that as the Nazis rose to power they could have been thwarted on several occasions before they took control of Germany, but they were not. They were appeased and ignored. The following famous quote from Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor in Germany at the time, is instructive, and I paraphrase: “First, they came for the socialists, but I was not a socialist, so I didn’t speak out. Then, they came for the communists, but I was not a communist, so I didn’t speak out. Then, they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist, so I didn’t speak out. Then, they came for the Jews, but I was not Jewish, so I didn’t speak out. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

On the positive side, Joseph McCarthy was thwarted when someone did have the courage to speak out. After having accused several individuals and groups of being communist McCarthy had attacked the US Army. At the subsequent Senate hearings the Army’s special, Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy saying “Have you no sense of decency?” That stopped the movement right in its tracks. We need a Joseph Welch now, before it is too late.

About the Author
Larry was born and raised in New York. He is 73 years old. He has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and a Masters Degree in Marketing Management, and worked in the financial industry for 42 years in accounting and Compliance. Larry is also a veteran, whose hobbies are reading and golf. He has been writing a blog for three years, which is being read by people in 90 countries.
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