The Black Lives Matters crowd is opening a new front in the war on racism this weekend in St. Paul. The local crew has announced its intent to disrupt the Twin Cities marathon on Sunday. The Star Tribune reports the story on page one in “Black Lives Matters marathon protest stirs fears, spurs backlash.”
I hear that in journalism school they teach reporters to cover the the who, what, when, where, why of a story. The Star Tribune leaves the “why?” of the story a mystery. Why does Black Lives Matter seek to disrupt the Twin Cities Marathon?
The absence of “why?” may not be for lack of trying on the part of the Star Tribune. The story quotes local Black Lives Matter “spokesman” Rashad Turner. Turner declined an interview request but replied in a cryptic text message quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., saying that “the Negro’s great stumbling block to freedom…is the white moderate who is more devoted to order than justice…who constantly says, ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action.’”
Those seeking to draw a connection between the planned disruption of the marathon by the Black Lives Matter crowd and “the goal [they] seek” will have to exercise some power beyond the power of ratiocination. One Black Lives Matter member has publicly dissociated herself from the planned disruption. She told the Star Tribune that she fails to see a connection between the runners or the marathon and the injustices such as police brutality that she’s fighting against. She probably doesn’t see the connection because there isn’t one.
Those participating in the marathon are not too thrilled by the planned disruption, or by the implication that their participation is somehow racist. On the opinion page, the Star Tribune runs a column by Anna Molinaro conveying “A runner’s message to Black Lives Matter.” What’s the runner’s message? It’s a plea that essentially takes us back to the (stupid) ’60s Phil Ochs song, “Love Me, I’m a Liberal.”
Will the Black Lives Matter crowd be dissuaded? Will the authorities protect the marathon from disruption? We will let you know.