My comments about Black Lives Matter today are basically in the form of a “Reporter’s Notebook”. I spend a lot of time in the foxholes of Face Book these days. Instead of a speech about Black Lives Matter I want to give you a flavor of how people who are unconscious white supremacists respond to the movement, largely through the propagandized lens of Fox News and other far-right outlets.
Earlier in the week, a very well known and respected Lake County right-wing conservative I spar with posted a graphic meme showing a picture of a white man and black man shaking hands. The caption read “I support my Black Friends, but not BLM, I support my white friends, but not the KKK. I don’t support Hate Groups. Skin Color doesn’t mean shit. You’re either a good person or a piece of shit.” My response to him was “Please explain to me how BLM is a hate group, or how it is, in any way, comparable to the KKK.”
There was no response from the original poster, but one of his friends kicked in to comment “I won't honor or acknowledge BLM in any way, until they stop destroying other people's property and stop killing other Blacks. Sorry, you're on your own.”
My response was the following:
“Is the BLM lynching white people? Have they been doing so for generations? Can you provide any evidence they advocate black supremacy over other races? Please show me evidence in any BLM literature or official communications (website, press releases, etc.) where they advocate for violence.
Making a claim that the BLM organization is equivalent or comparable to the KKK is nothing more than an expression of white fragility. This fragility, this inability to acknowledge white supremacy and systemic racism, is so profound for you that it causes you to post such a blatantly ridiculous meme without consciously thinking about how absurd it is. ''Skin color doesn't mean shit''? Really? Only a white person, steeped in privilege, and desperately attempting to erase 400 years of racism would write such a comical phrase!
Then, to double down on your comparison on BLM with the KKK is actually... well... rather pathetic. Blind fear has caused you to abandon reason in this case. I'd imagine that if we were not living in such a poisonous and polarized moment you would step back from this meme to perceive its seething racism.
So... here's my challenge to you: find a legitimate source for your claim of equivalence between the BLM movement and the KKK as hate groups and I will profoundly, sincerely apologize. Too difficult? Hell, just find a serious non-comedian black person who would say or write, ''Skin color doesn't mean shit''. Otherwise, I will consider this yet another example of how very, very difficult it is for some white people to recognize their own racism.”
Do you think there was a response to my challenge? Of course not! I have found it is impossible to reason with people who believe, against any evidence, that the Black Lives Matter Movement is not a hate group. We “modernists”... we lovers of fact, rationality, justice, and science have not recognized the post-modernist world where fact is irrelevant, science is a joke, there are no absolutes, justice is a myth, and the only thing that matters is whatever narrative you can spin to better yourself. We have not recognized this existential threat against reason because, like liberal progressives in pre-war Italy and Germany we see buffoons where others see saviors from a cruel world.
American Exceptionalism, which proclaims that our values, political system, and history are unique and worthy of universal admiration, is of course, a myth. The effects of this thinking cause us to deny our true racist history of genocide and slavery and it makes us uncomfortable admitting to systemic racism and white supremacy in the present.
Why? How did we get here? How did we baby boomers, we hippies... so smug... so happy with the liberal changes we made to our nation 50 years ago fall asleep at the wheel? Well, first, we have to recognize that whether we like it or not, we’re in a fight for our nation’s soul. In this fight our opponents will not play by any rules. They recognized a long time ago that the institutions of national government and law we have so lazily relied upon to preserve our progressive gains can be assailed and compromised.
We Americans are not exceptional. These days we behave more like third-world totalitarian regimes and we need to wake up to that fact right now. We also need to wake up to the fact that the blood baths we saw between India and Pakistan in 1947, in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, in Rwanda, and other places where violence erupted along racial and ethnic lines absolutely can happen here. As an ardent student of history I am convinced of that. As a black man living in this nation I am sure of it. Every day, like other members of the Black Lives Matter movement, I vocally and visibly fight against racism and bigotry because I know my life depends on it. I am here to warn you in no uncertain terms... we must stop Trump and his cult of power now because all of our lives depend on it
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!