• Ben Truman

#BlackLivesMatter - how a hashtag gripped the world and has it been stolen by the left?

Updated: Jun 15

In July 2013 Alicia Garza wrote an impassioned Facebook message, “essentially a love note to black people”, and posted it on her page. It ended with: “Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.”

Garza's message was brought about by the trial of George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida. He had shot dead a 17-year-old African-American by the name of Trayvon Martin in February of the preceding year. Martin had been unarmed, on his way back from a shop.

Garza’s close friend, Patrisse Cullors, read the post in a motel room 300 miles away from Oakland that same night. Cullors, also a community organiser working in prison reform, started sharing Garza’s words with her friends online. She used a hashtag each time she reposted: #blacklivesmatter. The following day, Garza and Cullors spoke about how they could organise a campaign around these sentiments.

Little did they know that their hash tag and actions would be used to engulf the world in race protests, and inspire the removal of prominent statues as far as London 6 years later.

Three people are responsible for founding the Black Lives Matter movement, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. Alicia Garza is a professional activist and writer. Patrisse Cullors is an American artist and activist. Opal Tometi is a Nigerian-American human rights activist, writer, strategist, and community organiser. In an interview, Cullors has described herself and Alicia Garza as "trained marxists."

The three women started by setting up Tumblr and Twitter accounts and encouraging users to share stories of why #blacklivesmatter. Garza made protest signs with block capital letters and put them in the window of a local shoe shop. Cullors led a march down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills with a banner emblazoned with the same hashtag. The slogan started gaining traction.

Then, on 9 August 2014, a little over a year after Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, was allowed to walk free from court, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Officer Darren Wilson had fired 12 rounds. Brown had been unarmed.

When a grand jury announced Officer Darren Wilson would face no indictment in the matter of Brown’s death, a group of protesters chanting “Black lives matter” shut down a local shopping mall. Later, after a spate of further deaths of unarmed black men, the phrase started appearing on T-shirts and mugs and badges. In December, Hillary Clinton used the phrase in a speech delivered at a human rights gala. It was referred to in television programmes – an episode of Law & Order; the finale of Empire. By January 2015, the American Dialect Society had declared #blacklivesmatter as their “word” of the year.

In almost every area of society, black Americans remain disadvantaged. Forty-two per cent of black children are educated in high-poverty schools. The unemployment rate for black high-school dropouts is 47% (for white high-school dropouts it is 26%). However black Americans make up just 13.2% of the US population, they account for 37% of the homeless. One in every 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised because of a felony conviction – a rate more than four times greater than the rest of the US population. In fact, African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million jail population and are incarcerated nearly six times as often as white people.

And according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, black offenders committed 52 per cent of homicides recorded in the data between 1980 and 2008. All while being on average just 13% of the population.

In 2013, the FBI had black criminals carrying out 38 per cent of murders, compared to 31.1 per cent for whites. The offender’s race was “unknown” in 29.1 per cent of cases.

What about violent crime more generally? FBI arrest rates are one way into this. Over the last three years of data – 2011 to 2013 – 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black.

In light of the statistics and data showing black Americans are disproportionately over-represented in high poverty, unemployment and homeless, why wouldn't these same people feel victimised when a person in authority kills a member one of their community?

The three people that created Black Lives Matter come from a background of fighting for victims and helping them through activist means. They will inevitability highlight and holdup injustices because they will always be looking for them.

There is a significant amount of money being given Black Lives matter. In 2016 the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy recently announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund [BLMF], a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition.

That funding comes in addition to more than $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement from top Democratic Party donor George Soros through his Open Society Foundations, as well as grant-making from the Center for American Progress.

Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organisations, said corporations and others might want to think twice about partnering with the Ford Foundation, the fifth-largest U.S. philanthropy with $12.4 billion in assets.

“The Ford Foundation has traditionally been leftist, at least since the 1970s, on law-enforcement matters. So it’s not a huge surprise, but it’s certainly disappointing,” said Mr. Johnson. “I guess potential donors may want to look at the [Black Lives Matter] movement and see the damage, destruction and murders that they’ve left in their wake.”

Today, major cities, governments, and people around the world are donating millions to Black Lives Matter - the group had a representative do an AMA on Reddit and refused to answer any questions of where their money was going. BLM has been accused of being a money-laundering scheme.

If you go to the Black Lives Matter website and click 'donate', you get taken to Act Blue. Act Blue is a nonprofit technology organisation established in June 2004 that enables Democrats, progressive groups, and nonprofits to raise money on the Internet by providing them with online fundraising software.

The Act Blue terms and conditions clearly state

"In the event that a campaign or committee (a) fails for 60 days to cash a check from ActBlue which includes your contribution (after ActBlue makes repeated attempts to work with the campaign to ensure all checks are cashed), or (b) affirmatively refuses a contribution earmarked through ActBlue, your contribution will be re-designated as a contribution to ActBlue. Contributions to social welfare organisations which are similarly not cashed or are affirmatively refused will be kept by ActBlue and used generally to support its social welfare activities.

Contributions to a charitable organisation which are not cashed or affirmatively refused will go to ActBlue Charities.".

This means that the money people are donating to Black Lives Matter is not necessary going to their chosen cause. It can be routed and used for left wing activism where ever is seen fit.

In conclusion, we have seen three people profoundly hit by traumatising shootings. Their shared activism, and Marxist ideology bind them together to build a following of many people together. They have been successful in building their cause. Their self confessed Marxist ideology had attracted many left-leaning organisations that have donated a significant amount of money to them. People's money isn't always going to the Black Lives Matter cause, it can be used to push various left leaning agendas without their knowledge.

"What is needed to permanently secure their revolutions is for the working class in the imperialist countries to rise and take its proper place in history, consummating the next phase of the struggle through the proletarian revolution." According to the Marxist and Socialist site, Struggle le Lucha.

Is the Black Lives Matter cause being used to bring about such a revolution?

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© 2020 by James Thomas Consulting.