Thursday, June 25, 2020

Meaning of 'Black Lives Matter'

Per Wikipedia "Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an organized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality against Afro-American people." 

So a more accurate, more honest, non-racist name would be People Against Police Brutality. I'm for that. If all the phrase BLM meant is that black people also have rights -- to life, liberty, property, the pursuit of happiness, vote, seek political office -- that would be fine with me. I suspect that is the way many people view it and what gives the phrase its broad appeal. However, the organization and movement BLM is far more than that. They are Marxist, racist (anti-white), and pro-violence. Link. Killing people such as David Dorn, destroying property, and looting are neither civil nor non-violent. Two of BLM's founders, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, are self-admitted Marxists and racists. 

In the USA 93% of Afro-American homicide victims are killed by other Afro-Americans (link). However, I don't see BLM protesters protesting those victims, and I see nothing about it on the BLM website. So apparently their lives mattered little or none.


In The New York Times Michael D. Shear -- who previously worked 18 years for the Washington Compost -- wrote: "In the interview, Mr. Pence called Mr. Floyd’s death “a tragedy,” but his insistence that “all lives matter” is likely to be seen as a provocation by activists and others who say that phrase dilutes the issue and fails to acknowledge the specific threats that African-Americans still face at the hands of police officers in the United States" (link). 

Shear claims that a guy named Taff pressed VP Pence to say "black lives matter" more than once, but Pence would say only "all lives matter." 

Pandering to BLM, both Shear and Taff failed to acknowledge the meaning of "all." "All" includes white, black, Asian, Hispanic, and every other possibility. Shear also ignores (1) the African-American homicide victims killed by other African-Americans, and (2) the specific threats that African-Americans still face at the hands of other African-Americans. When Shear believes it's fair to criticize Pence for what Pence doesn't say, he made it fair to criticize Shear for what he doesn't say.

I did a search for 'what does black lives matter mean?' The following are typical.

This page says, "At its most basic level, it calls for a shift in the statistics that Black people are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while unarmed, compared to a white individual."

What about "while armed"? What about "killed by another Black person"? Dead silence.

This page says, "So, if you’re unsure about what ‘Black Lives Matter’ means, how to respond to someone when they say ‘All Lives Matter’ or just curious to know why saying ALM doesn’t benefit anyone, let us explain.  ...  The statement is not political or controversial. It’s an expression that calls out for justice, respect and empathy for every life that has been affected by discrimination, prejudice and misrepresentation for centuries. Point blank: It’s raising awareness for basic human rights."

Okay, but "every life" and "basic human rights" aren't limited to black lives; it includes whites, Asian, Hispanics and all other possibilities. 

The same page also shows a picture of woman with an ALM poster, on which "All" doesn't mean "all." Apparently, like Shear and Taff, she doesn't know the meaning of "all," which means each and every one.

The term Word Nazi come to mind. By that I mean somebody who is fond of declaring what another person means when said person uses a particular word or term, regardless of what that person actually means.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Sullivan asks the same question 5+ months later.