The letters: “BLM” are omnipresent these day on NBA basketball courts, MLB pitching mounds, team uniforms, T-shirts, billboards, painted on city streets and as graffiti on the walls of buildings. While progressives have branded Standard English, good grammar and syntax as racist, I’m still a holdout for those things. Which is why I believe it’s both appropriate and vital to make a grammatical distinction between the black lives matter movement, in general, and a particular radical political outfit that calls itself Black Lives Matter and uses the initials BLM.
Notice my distinction between upper- and lower-case letters. I’m not splitting hairs. BLM is a proper noun —a specific entity — which is why its name and initials should be capitalized. That way we don’t confuse BLM with the general movement. The ubiquitous slogan “black lives matter” is a cause. It’s goal is to ensure that blacks aren’t denied the basic rights, protections and respect that all deserve, regardless of race. Polls show a majority of Americans support this movement. Many whites have joined blacks taking to the streets — most, but not all, peacefully— to participate in public demonstrations advancing this cause, which also calls for police reforms and the elimination of racists within their ranks. I support these goals, too, although I condemn the excesses of some who attach themselves to the demonstrations and engage in rioting, looting and violence, and those making absurd demands like “abolish the police.”
The BLM organization is another story entirely. Its agenda goes way beyond police reform and black issues. Its founders, Alicia Garza, 39, Patrice Cullors, 36 and Opal Tometi, 36, describe themselves as “three radical black organizers.” Their common credo is a devotion to Marxist-Leninist revolution. Cullors proudly identifies herself and Garza as “trained Marxists.” At the annual Netroots Nation convention in 2015, she urged fellow blacks to “rise the f**k up” and “burn everything down.”
Cullors and Garza aren’t just feminists, they’re self-professed extremist “queers.” That’s a personal matter, but what does it have to do with black lives mattering? Just as puzzling is BLM’s stated commitment to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” That’s a crazy notion when the breakdown of black families has led to 70% of black kids growing up in single-parent homes, which is large factor in poverty, drug abuse, crime and school-dropout rates. Tometi, whose parents sought safety in the US from war-torn Nigeria, is nonetheless an ungrateful America hater and a proponent of “liberation theology,” a social-justice variation of Marxism advocated by radical Latin American clerics.
After laughing about the assassination of a white, Texas deputy, hosts on a radio program affiliated with BLM bragged that blacks will prevail in a race war against whites. They predicted “we will witness more executions and killing of white people and cops than we ever have before,” declaring, “it’s open season on killing white people and crackas.”
One can support the reasonable goals of the greater black lives matters movement while flatly opposing the subversive BLM organization. It’s the very nature of radicals to accelerate their extremism, especially when appeased by sympathetic or cowardly politicians and public officials. We’ve seen how that facilitates lawlessness and violence by criminal opportunists who latch on to a movement.
BLM is virulently anti-capitalist. Nonetheless, its coffers have been overflowing with millions of dollars in contributions from big American corporations and major professional sports. I can see why the NBA, NFL and MLB have gone along with the tide. They all have a large black workforce and want to maintain player harmony. That consideration apparently overrides concern about a fan backlash like we saw in the NFL when some players took a knee during the national anthem. Other businesses may fear boycotts or violent protests outside their plants, offices, stores or at the homes of CEO’s. But this is shortsighted appeasement. Why would capitalists finance an anti-capitalist fringe group like BLM, dedicated to destroying them? Maybe Lenin was right when he purportedly said, “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”
Maybe all is not lost. A group of militant workers sent a letter to Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett urging him to stop making police vehicles like the F-150 SUV Interceptors and Responders, claiming they’ve “been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression.” Ford is the foremost American manufacturer in this market segment. Hackett, politely declined, saving the jobs of many Ford assembly-line workers.
A lot more pushback from businesses to ridiculous demands like this is long overdue.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.