What Black Lives Matter really is about

The other day I wrote: “Black Lives Matter is not about black lives; it’s about the fact that ‘Occupy Wall Street’ fizzled, requiring the radical left to find another hobbyhorse, this time one with a racial hook.” Now I learn, via Jack Fowler at NRO, that this the finding of a detailed report by Anne Sorock of The Frontier Lab.

Based on lengthy interviews with activists and organizers, Sorock writes:

Black Lives Matter as a movement represents the hopes and dreams of leftist organizers who shared with us that, until now, they had never felt such a sense of hope and excitement that their goal – as one operative put it, “total social upheaval,” and “systemic change” — could be realized in their lifetime. From veteran agitators like the Weather Underground’s Bill Ayers to a new crop of social-media-wielding female and LGBTQ leaders, Black Lives Matter is encapsulating the hopes and dreams of multiple generations of progressives in a way, they say, no movement has before.

The three female founders of the movement have made it clear, and the message has seeded itself as far down the chain as the operatives we spoke with, that Black Lives Matter is the vessel through which all progressive causes can flow. LGBTQ, illegal immigration, abortion, and countless other causes are simmering just beneath the public face of the focus on police violence. Even police violence flows neatly, according to Black Lives Matter, into economic violence — wage issues, workers’ rights . . . The panoply of leftist groups come together under this banner.

The validity of Sorock’s conclusion is evident from the demands recently presented by the BLM movement, which I discussed here and here.

It would seem like a long-shot to convert protests over a few highly publicized police shootings, some of which have already been found justified, into a mass movement in favor of “total social upheaval.” We in the radical antiwar movement of the late 1960s tried to use the Vietnam War, an enormously traumatic and prolonged historical watershed, this way. We failed.

But we didn’t have years of leftist indoctrination by high schools and colleges to build upon. Black Lives Matter does. Indeed, Black History months begin the race-based indoctrination as early as kindergarten.

Sorock explains the problem this way:

Young Americans across the country are. . .caught up in the Black Lives Matter fervor, if for different reasons than the organizers and operatives who are keen to bring them in. A representative survey conducted in June 2016 with 1,965 young adults ages 19-30 revealed that 51 percent of young adults support the Black Lives Matter movement, compared to 32 percent who said they oppose it.

This freshman class is more likely to participate in mass movement protest action than any of the classes of the past fifty years. . .while also susceptible to the threat of exclusion from the left’s cultural community.

Many of the Black Lives Matter agenda items are popular with students independently of any relation to racial issues. LBGTQ, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and (sadly) perhaps screwing Israel come to mind. Socialism is far from a dirty word for today’s students, as Bernie Sanders demonstrated.

What could go wrong for the revolutionaries behind BLM? Plenty. Rising crime rates for one thing. In this context, to be mugged is the quintessential example of being mugged by reality.

We hear stories of white crime victims refusing to report crimes committed by blacks on the theory that this would be an exercise in white privilege (or something). But this type of lunacy seems unlikely to survive a sustained crime wave.

Nor will ordinary blacks be pleased by a spike in crime in their neighborhoods. If ordinary blacks call for more aggressive law enforcement, as they did in the early 1980s, the BLM narrative will be undercut and its utility as a vehicle for “total social upheaval” undermined.

And what about reparations? As today’s students assume financial responsibilities, will they support the transfer of their income to blacks for wrongs they had no role in perpetrating? Maybe, I don’t want to underestimate the extent to which they have been brainwashed. But maybe not.

And what if the LGBTQs get everything they want, student loans are forgiven, fossil fuels are made economically unviable, and so forth, but there are no reparations? Then, the joke will be on the black activists, and they won’t be amused by this ultimate manifestation of “white privilege.”

I’ll end my speculation here, but with this warning: Fasten your seat belts.

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