I’ve been sitting and stewing (no pun intended) for weeks, researching and organizing material and thoughts about Black Lives Matter, which many of my friends on the Right call “Marxist.”
I think they just don’t like BLM, so they reach for a familiar club, one that has a handle with grooves that fits their fingers. Like the Left does with “racist.”
BLM is two things, maybe more. It is a widespread, amorphous movement for social change, and also an organization, that in its own words is “a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission was to build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
Vigilantes such as George Zimmerman, who was acquitted after he killed Trayvon Martin. That sparked the creation of Black Lives Matter and I am not going to relitigate Zimmerman here.
The BLM organization has no authority over its 40 local chapters or individuals who march under the BLM banner.
So, yes, you have heard BLM protestors chanting “death to cops,” and “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon.”
If the national BLM condemned that — as opposed to explaining that — I haven’t heard it.
That is on them.
Many of you know that my operating principle is “reality determines my political positions, not vice versa.”
The reality is I find nothing Marxist on the BLM website, although there is some other objectionable stuff. Leftist, for sure, but so are Democrats.
BLM was founded by three women of color — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and Opal Tometi — who describe themselves as radical, two are Marxists, Garza identifies as queer and Tometi is a “transnational feminist.” Their principles lie heavily on Blackness, women, and queerness (not surprising when you remember where they came from).
I know what some of you are thinking: BLM wouldn’t admit to being Marxist.
That is 20th Century thinking. Today’s Marxists aren’t ashamed of what they are — they brag about it. When presidential candidate Bernie Sanders toots about being a (democratic) socialist, you know Marxists have little to fear.
What you might be fearful of is this idea (like everything else here, taken from the BLM website): “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families….”
Also, “In order to win and bring as many people with us along the way, we must move beyond the narrow nationalism that is all too prevalent in the Black community.”
BLM still believes that Michael Brown is some kind of martyr, despite several official inquiries — one by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice — that could find no charges to bring against the officer who killed him. “Hands up, don’t shoot” is a lie.
“We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege, and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.”
Also: “We know police don’t keep us safe — and as long as we continue to pump money into our corrupt criminal justice system at the expense of housing, health, and educational investments — we will never be truly safe.”
And: “We build space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.”
The website is filled with la-de-da feel-good sentiments, actually ignoring men, but, that’s their movement — queer, feminist, Black.
But not Marxist, not to me, anyway.
As I told you at the beginning, I’ve thought about this subject for many weeks, and just a few days ago a Facebook friend shared a piece by another writer, headlined, “Is Black Lives Matter Marxist? No and Yes.”
It’s an extensive piece of reporting by Brad Palumbo.
And I hope you will follow the link and read it.