Ben Salfield
International classical musician, antisemitism campaigner and political commentator

I will never take the knee!

In the wake of the rise of “Black Lives Matter”, Ben Salfield looks behind the headlines and contends that BLM’s aims, ideals and behaviour present a very real threat to modern society.

Let me begin by pointing out one incredibly important fact: I am an egalitarian. In my opinion, it is completely abhorrent to deny any individual an equal opportunity or right because of who or what they are or consider themselves to be. I also believe passionately in free speech, and in everyone’s right to be offensive – or indeed offended. Yet this very article will see me condemned by some, because we have recently begun an age of morality mob-rule, when nothing and no one can escape the judgement of the self-appointed, self-righteous, scapegoat-seekers. The crushing of individual opinions because they do not fit the current prescribed way of thinking; the destroying of careers as the result of an ill-judged sentence spoken decades before; the calling-out of modern civilisation for the history, behaviour or indeed sins of countries hundreds of years ago – this is the level to which society seems suddenly to have stooped. The societal pendulum swings just as high as it did before, but in the opposite direction.

I believe that, with hindsight, 13 July 2013 will one day be considered one of the most dangerous dates of this century so far. For that was the day when Patrisse Cullors, the self-styled “black and queer activist”, first used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter… and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was born, with its oppressive blame culture and fascistic redefining of the world in which we live.

“Black and queer activist” Patrisse Cullors was the first “humxn” to use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter ( – labelled for reuse)

Along with two other black community leaders, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, Cullors wanted to deal with what the trio considered to be the devaluation of black lives following the high-profile acquittal of George Zimmerman (a Hispanic man of part-African heritage) for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. So they set about creating a group whose tactics, aims and ambitions would be in stark contrast to the dignified and peaceful nature of the vast majority of civil rights protestors who preceded them in the United States. The Black Lives Matter Global Network was quickly formed – a series of localised groups in different parts of the world, that run independently of one another but with the same ideology. There are now around thirty chapters of BLM worldwide.

At the same time, the BLM leadership set about making sinister political friends, beginning with the antisemitic Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Via an email that demanded action “from Ferguson to Palestine”, BDS called for sympathisers of pro-Palestinian groups to join radical black activists in demonstrations about the fatal shooting of another black man, Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer whom he had attacked after robbing a liquor store in Ferguson, Missouri.

Next on board was the Revolutionary Communist Party of America (RCP) along with a disparate collection of anarchist groups, who helped foment a campaign of destruction on the streets of the United States. Black members of the RCP, and BDS activists, would later be filmed inciting violence during the Milwaukee riots, where some protesters called for blacks to kill white people – despite the fact that the “murder” being protested was that of an armed criminal who died in a gunfight at the hands of a black police officer.

The Milwaukee riots, where some protesters called for blacks to kill white people ( – labelled for reuse)

In 2016, having grabbed the attention of the world’s media, BLM presented its manifesto, “A Vision for Black Lives”. We waited with bated breath for a message that would unite the world against racism, show empathy towards all those who have suffered, and help produce ideas and plans to change things for the better. Instead, we were given a 40,000 word rambling tome that was little more than a declaration of BLM as a political organisation – and one with dangerous ambitions, too. Now, BLM self-identifies as neo-Marxist, and says it wishes to de-fund the police, dismantle capitalism and the patriarchal system, redistribute wealth, and seek reparations for slavery.

One important thing BLM fails to do, however, is to seek equality for all: Yusra Khogali, a co-founder of the Toronto BLM chapter, wrote on social media in a since-deleted post that “white people are a genetic defect of blackness”, and “in fact, white skin is sub-humxn”. Oxymoronically, while many of their activists believe they are fighting racism, they are in fact blindly doing the dirty work of an anti-white, antisemitic, hate group. There have always been hints to anyone who cared to look: the outstretched arm salute, a clenched fist logo, radical politics, leading members of a group denigrating people because of the colour of their skin – history has shown that these are not usually signs of peace, harmony and goodwill to all “humxns”!

One big supporter of BLM is Nihad Awad, former Public Relations Director of the now defunct Islamic Association for Palestine. A consistent, vocal supporter of Hamas in the past, he is now Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been designated a terrorist organisation by the UAE. He claims that “Black Lives Matter is our campaign”, and has been a guest speaker at BLM events. One of CAIR’s founding board members in Dallas, Ghassan Elashi, was also a founder of the Holy Land Foundation. In 2009, the Foundation’s five founding officers were sentenced to between 15 and 65 years in federal prison for financing terrorism by sending more than $12m to Hamas. Another funding stream for Hamas is the Eritrean slave trade – indeed, two major traders in human misery, Abu Ahmed and Abu Khaled, have both declared themselves to be Hamas members. So, bizarrely, BLM has actually made friends with people who are connected to selling black Africans!

Nihad Awad, Executive Director of CAIR – designated a terrorist organisation by the UAE ( – labelled for reuse)

It was the appalling death of George Floyd that lit the touch paper and transformed BLM into a household name. Suddenly, The Establishment was rattled, and scrambled to show how “woke” it was. In the UK, we began to see incredible scenes of political correctness as Premier League footballers were obliged to wear “Black Lives Matter” on the backs of their shirts, and other sports personalities and various celebrities and politicians began to “take the knee” in an oblivious display of support for a movement that wishes to dismantle the very institutions and society that made them. Lewis Hamilton, the F1 motor racing World Champion, now routinely “takes the knee” and gave a black power salute at a recent Grand Prix victory – instead of digging into his incredibly deep pockets to support young black racing drivers as they strive to enter the upper echelons of motorsport. Perhaps the most ludicrous and and dangerous sight, though, was a group of policemen in London showing their solidarity with a lawless group that openly wants to abolish their jobs.

The far left and anti racism lobbies have often fostered antisemitism, as they tend to view Jews as part of an elite, imperialist, Zionist conspiracy represented by Israel – and leftist alliances with Islamists only serve to broaden their appeal with other disaffected groups. In the case of BLM, this alliance began overtly in their 2016 manifesto when they described Israel as an “apartheid state” that perpetrates “genocide” against Palestinians. This Jew-hatred has continued, across the world, and certainly has not received widespread condemnation from black celebrities – or indeed from BLM itself: rapper Ice Cube posted a Nazi-era style cartoon of Jews captioned “All we have to do is stand up and their little game is over”; while other rappers including Professor Griff and Wiley are now perhaps better-known generally for their antisemitic outpourings than for their “music”. In Paris, anti-Israel placards were waved at one BLM protest, while protestors chanted “Dirty Jews”. In Oxford, the Rhodes Must Fall mob promoted antisemitic slurs, and conspiracy theories about Israel abounded to the point where some students actually left the rally in disgust. Perhaps the worst incident of all, though, was observed by Bruce S. Ticker in San Diego Jewish World, who wrote that “The Jews of the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles were exposed to a modern, American-style pogrom on May 30 that should enrage us all. Not only were Jewish businesses sacked but five synagogues and three Jewish schools were reportedly vandalized in George Floyd’s name by thugs.” It later transpired they had been daubed with such graffiti as “Free Palestine” and “Kill the Jews”.

Wiley: the rapper was recently reported to UK police for inciting racial hatred against Jews ( – labelled for reuse)

In the United States and United Kingdom, police do not go out hunting down black people to arrest or kill, and to suggest that they do is facile: such claims are simply not backed up by the statistics. The awkward truth is, 93% of black Americans who die violent deaths do so at the hands of other black people.

An EU investigation into anti-black racism in Europe showed that the UK has the lowest rate of any of the nations considered. Dramatically over-represented in the crime statistics, black Britons are nonetheless less likely to die in police custody than white ones, and less likely to be convicted by a jury. So-called institutional racism in the system is accepted as a fact across UK society, yet government figures show that children of black African ethnicity perform consistently better in state schools than both white children… and black children of Caribbean descent. Racism must be very cleverly nuanced within the state system if one black ethnicity can be “preferred” to another!

Another fascinating aspect of the rise of BLM has been the recent demands for so-called trappings of British and other imperialism to be dismantled. Yet, as protesters try to airbrush history into something of their own creation, they conveniently ignore the actions and words of those whom it does not suit them to criticise. Charles Dickens may be branded a racist, but no statues of Louis Farrakhan, the notoriously antisemitic leader of the Nation of Islam, have been felled; the feminist and women’s rights icon Marie Stopes, a notorious eugenicist and supporter of Nazism, has been ignored, too – and there has been no criticism or mention of the Africans who first sold their own people into slavery, or of the freed former slaves who, in the United States, widely embraced slave ownership as what author Larry Koger called “a viable economic system”. If reparations are due for slavery, it becomes difficult to judge who should pay them, and to whom.

If we look back through history and judge everything through modern eyes, most of our heroes may be re-cast as villains. After all, Alexander the Great and Leonardo da Vinci would be considered paedophiles if they were alive today. If we tear down anything and everything with an historic connection to people or events which we now consider bad, Germany’s autobahns would have to go – as would most of Lewis Hamilton’s sponsors, the soda drink Fanta, the music of Handel, most of South America, and my girlfriend’s BMW!

It is natural and normal for the younger generations to tend towards left wing idealism and protest, and for them to despise “The Establishment” until or unless they themselves become a part of it. The problem is, anti-black racism is not stopped by airbrushing history; it is not stopped by fomenting societal division, riots and violence; and it is certainly not stopped by refocusing hatred on others, whether the new victims of persecution are white people or Jews. BLM is not a civil rights movement, but a revolutionary political organisation built on blame and hatred – and no one who values civilisation should ever take the knee to that.

About the Author
Leading international lutenist, teacher, music editor, festival director and broadcaster Ben Salfield was born in 1971. A former election candidate and a current member of the UK Conservative Party, he is also known as a political commentator and a campaigner against antisemitism, whose speeches have been lauded for their insightful commentary. Ben Salfield lives in Cornwall, UK, with his six cats.
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