Black lives do matter

We’re hearing a lot about the problems of African-Americans at the moment. There are some very serious issues that need to be addressed. Those issues are, to a large extent, problems that primarily affect black men. A Voice for Men and the broader men’s rights movement has discussed these issues in the past and will again in the future.

A new problem that has appeared in the black community in recent years is Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a social and political movement that is driving many of the riots and disturbances currently being seen across the United States and other countries. As we see with feminism, many followers of BLM apparently know little of the movement itself. BLM is part of a coalition of groups across the United States called the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). BLM has come to dominate M4BL and they are increasingly being seen as indistinguishable. The About-us page on the M4BL website is insightful about their true aims:

We believe that prisons, police and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black people must be abolished and replaced by institutions that value and affirm the flourishing of Black lives.

So they are going beyond merely abolishing the police but prisons too. We’ll be hearing more about that in the mainstream media if they can get the police in Minneapolis abolished.

We believe in centering the experiences and leadership of the most marginalized Black people, including but not limited to those who are trans and queer, women and femmes, currently and formerly incarcerated, immigrants, disabled, working class, and poor.

Here they avoid a direct reference to men. It is worth noting that the vast majority of African-Americans who are currently or were formerly incarcerated are men.

We believe in transformation and a radical realignment of power:
The current systems we live inside of need to be radically transformed, which includes a realignment of global power. We are creating a proactive, movement-based vision instead of a reactionary one.

We build kinship with one another:
We draw from political lessons, grow in our leadership, and expanding our base to build a stronger movement.

We are anti-capitalist:
We believe and understand that Black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.

Here we see that M4BL seeks radical political change at a global level and that M4BL is anti-capitalist.

M4BL also has an extensive policy platform. Selected items are presented below:

Political Power:

We demand independent Black political power and Black self-determination in all areas of society. We envision a remaking of the current U.S. political system in order to create a real democracy where Black people and all marginalized people can effectively exercise full political power.

Here we see that M4BL seeks radical political change at a national level.

Community Control:

We demand a world where those most impacted in our communities control the laws, institutions, and policies that are meant to serve us – from our schools to our local budgets, economies, police departments, and our land – while recognizing that the rights and histories of our Indigenous family must also be respected. This includes:

(1) Direct democratic community control of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, ensuring that communities most harmed by destructive policing have the power to hire and fire officers, determine disciplinary action, control budgets and policies, and subpoena relevant agency information.

(2) An end to the privatization of education and real community control by parents, students and community members of schools including democratic school boards and community control of curriculum, hiring, firing and discipline policies.

Here we see that M4BL seeks radical political change at a local level.

This section makes it clear that control of the machinery of government would fall to a minority of the community – exactly what BLM has supposedly been rioting against. They don’t say who gets to decide if a community is most impacted or most harmed by destructive policing but we can safely say the plan is that they do.

Quotes from the BLM & M4BL organisations above demonstrate that they seek to make political change on local, national and global scales, are openly anti-capitalist and seek redress for the working class in the manner of Marxism. The Marxist influence is particularly obvious when comparing this to the explanation of Marxism offered by an openly Marxist organisation, Red Flag:

What’s in a name? Being a Marxist means being a revolutionary anticapitalist, a fighter against all forms of oppression, an internationalist who wants to end capitalism around the whole world, and a believer in the power of the working class.

In addition two of the three founders of BLM, Patrisse Cullors & Alicia Garza are openly Marxist.

During one interview Cullors commented on the wide range of philosophies she had read while attending a year-long course at the National School for Strategic Organising (NSSO):

We spent the year reading, anything from Marx, to Lenin, to Mao, learning all types of global critical theory and about different campaigns across the world,…

BLM is quiet about its Marxist connections but other Marxists are not.

BLM also enjoys widespread support from Marxists outside the United States such as the UK based Marxist Student Federation.

It is not surprising that Cullors has studied Mao. The tearing down of statues that we are currently witnessing is reminiscent of the four olds of the Cultural Revolution in China – Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas.

More can be seen on the BLM website:

We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

Here we have explicit references to “patriarchal” practices. In the 19th century children and then women left the workforce as societal wealth grew. In the 20th century feminists demanded that women return to the workforce as not working was apparently oppressive. And now BLM is claiming women working is patriarchal.

They go on to talk about disrupting the nuclear family and talk about replacing it with ill-defined extended families or villages.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”

Here we see references to intersectionality in all but name. The black community (and black men in particular) have so many serious issues to address that they would be better off staying focussed. They can’t though, because BLM is tied to intersectional feminism as we have seen in the last two quotes.

This paragraph is written in a very unusual manner, especially considering how well the rest of the document is written. The words before and after rather in the quote above do not have the same meaning. If they really preferred the words after rather they could have simply rewritten it.

BLM and M4BL are also critical of Israel and have connections to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions(BDS) movement just as feminism does.

What we are looking at today is a Marxist-Feminist-BDS-BLM Continuum. Not everyone on this continuum agrees with everyone else but they are in touch and they do work together to achieve common objectives.

Black lives do matter but we’ll all be worse off if BLM and the rest of the continuum continues to grow and gain control of state institutions.