Black Appraisals of Black Lives Matter – Part I
by Soeren Kern
- “While it might not be popular to say in the wake of the recent social disorder, the true plight of black people has little or nothing to do with the police or what has been called ‘systemic racism.’ Instead, we need to look at the responsibilities of those running our big cities.” — Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University.
- “Democratic-controlled cities have the poorest-quality public education despite their large, and growing, school budgets. Consider Baltimore…. It’s the same story of academic disaster in other cities run by Democrats. — Walter E. Williams.
- “Our families have fallen to pieces: 75% of all black children are born out of wedlock, without a father. I don’t care how many social programs you have. You’re not going to overcome that. That’s where we, as black Americans, have to begin to take our fate back into our own hands and move it — stop crying racism.” — Shelby Steele, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution.
- “But there also comes a time when he must stop thinking of himself as a victim by acknowledging that… his fate is always in his own hands. One of the more pernicious corruptions of post-1960s liberalism is that it undermined the spirit of self-help and individual responsibility in precisely the people it sought to uplift.” — Shelby Steele.
- “Please don’t allow yourself to be manipulated to believe that you’re a victim and that somebody else is causing all of your problems. The person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. It doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems in life, but your success or failure in life depends on how you react to those problems.” — Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, currently the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
- “The policies you [the Democratic Party] have implemented have been the figurative knees on the necks of my people for centuries. And it is because of you and your failed leadership that many of us still can’t breathe today.” — Damani Bryant Felder, political commentator.
|“‘Black lives matter’ was a noble phrase when it signified a demand for justice for blacks. Tragically, it since has been perverted and what once had been a movement of peaceful protest has descended into wanton violence and lawlessness that have taken their greatest toll among the most vulnerable low-income communities.” — Robert L. Woodson, veteran civil rights activist. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)|
A previous series revealed the anti-American agenda of Black Lives Matter, which, under the guise of fighting racism, seeks to transform the United States into a communist dystopia. BLM’s leaders openly admit that they want to abolish the nuclear family, police, prisons and capitalism. BLM leaders have threatened to “burn down the system” if their demands are not met.
The series also documented, in Part II, BLM’s ideological influences and sources of funding. BLM has lifted much of its agenda from radical leftist groups active in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. BLM is an ideological descendant of the Black Power Movement, the Black Panthers, the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground, all of which sought to overthrow the U.S. political system. BLM’s focus on racial issues appears to be a smokescreen for a much larger effort to dismantle the American economic, political and social systems and rebuild them from scratch — according to Marxist principles.
This new multi-part series focuses on the perspectives of blacks — conservative, liberal or libertarian — who appraise BLM and its agenda. The following selection of commentary by blacks from all walks of life — actors, athletes, businesspeople, civil rights activists, clergy, commentators, physicians and politicians — demonstrates that black public opinion is not monolithic and that BLM does not speak for all African Americans.
Thomas Sowell, economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, noted:
“If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the United States for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by one percent. When the mobs of protesters declare ‘black lives matter,’ does that mean ALL black lives matter — or only the less than one percent of black lives lost in conflicts with police?
“We keep hearing that ‘black lives matter,’ but they seem to matter only when that helps politicians to get votes, or when that slogan helps demagogues demonize the police. The other 99% of black lives destroyed by people who are not police do not seem to attract nearly as much attention in the media.”
Sowell also wrote:
“Today, the media keep repeating the mantra that there was a ‘peaceful demonstration,’ even when it ends in violence. How many people have to die in ‘peaceful demonstrations’ before the media admit that those who promote mob disruptions have to know what is likely to happen when you put mobs in the streets at night?
“Mob rule is not democracy. It threatens democracy, as it threatens lives — black or white — and all lives should matter.”
Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, wrote:
“While it might not be popular to say in the wake of the recent social disorder, the true plight of black people has little or nothing to do with the police or what has been called ‘systemic racism.’ Instead, we need to look at the responsibilities of those running our big cities.
“Some of the most dangerous big cities are: St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Newark, Buffalo and Philadelphia. The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by liberal Democrats. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia — haven’t elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. On top of this, in many of these cities, blacks are mayors, often they dominate city councils, and they are chiefs of police and superintendents of schools….
“Democratic-controlled cities have the poorest-quality public education despite their large, and growing, school budgets. Consider Baltimore. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state’s math exam. In six other high schools, only 1% tested proficient in math. Only 15% of Baltimore students passed the state’s English test. That same year in Philadelphia, only 19% of eighth-graders scored proficient in math, and 16% were proficient in reading. In Detroit, only 4% of its eighth-graders scored proficient in math, and 7% were proficient in reading. It’s the same story of academic disaster in other cities run by Democrats.
“Violent crime and poor education is not the only problem for Democratic-controlled cities. Because of high crime, poor schools and a less pleasant environment, cities are losing their economic base and their most productive people in droves….
“Academic liberals, civil rights advocates and others blamed the exodus on racism — ‘white flight’ to the suburbs to avoid blacks. But blacks have been fleeing some cities at higher rates than whites. The five cities whose suburbs have the fastest-growing black populations are Miami, Dallas, Washington, Houston and Atlanta. It turns out that blacks, like whites, want better and safer schools for their kids and don’t like to be mugged or have their property vandalized. And like white people, if they have the means, black people cannot wait to leave troubled cities.
“White liberals and black politicians focus most of their attention on what the police do, but how relevant is that to the overall tragedy? According to Statista, this year, 172 whites and 88 blacks [nationwide] have died at the hands of police. To put police shootings in a bit of perspective, in Chicago alone in 2020 there have been 1,260 shootings and 256 homicides with blacks being the primary victims. That comes to one shooting victim every three hours and one homicide victim every 15 hours. Three people in Chicago have been killed by police. If one is truly concerned about black deaths, shootings by police should figure way down on one’s list — which is not to excuse bad behavior by some police officers.”
Shelby Steele, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, in a television interview, said:
“Our families have fallen to pieces: 75% of all black children are born out of wedlock, without a father. I don’t care how many social programs you have. You’re not going to overcome that. That’s where we, as black Americans, have to begin to take our fate back into our own hands and move it — stop crying racism.
“There’s a little racism out here, always was, and always will be. Why is that an argument to stop, to not move forward, to not be responsible for your own fate?”
In his book, Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country, Steele wrote:
“Today’s racial disparities are due more to dysfunctions within the black community, and — I would argue — to liberal social policies that have encouraged us to trade more on our past victimization than to overcome the damage done by that victimization through dint of our own pride and will. One can say this stance ‘blames the victim’ by making him responsible for the injury done him by bigotry and oppression. But there also comes a time when he must stop thinking of himself as a victim by acknowledging that — existentially — his fate is always in his own hands. One of the more pernicious corruptions of post-1960s liberalism is that it undermined the spirit of self-help and individual responsibility in precisely the people it sought to uplift.”
Ben Carson, neurosurgeon, currently the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, remarked:
“Please don’t allow yourself to be manipulated to believe that you’re a victim and that somebody else is causing all of your problems. The person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. It doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems in life, but your success or failure in life depends on how you react to those problems.”
Robert L. Woodson, veteran civil rights activist, in a television interview, said:
“The pretext of all of this, of course, was pursuing social justice and challenging institutional racism, and they used George Floyd as the symbol of that. They’re always trolling for other ‘George Floyds.’ The head of Black Lives Matter went to Houston when a 7-year-old girl was killed and raised $100,000 in reward money while anticipating that the person who killed her was white — only to discover that the murderer was black and so then it was not a story after that….
“This is not about social justice. Low-income black Americans are being used by the group to promote insurrection in the country, and anarchy…. These people are really out to destroy civil society. If a police precinct can be taken over by a mob, then why not your home?”
Woodson, in a separate television interview, also said:
“Black Lives Matter, that advertised itself as the champion of social justice for blacks, has really become a parasite. It has migrated from social justice to an attack on the nuclear family. The burning of Bibles, desecration of the cross … It was the nuclear family and our Christian faith that enabled us to survive slavery and discrimination.
“Where are the voices of dissent of the civil rights movement? Where’s the Urban League? Where’s the NAACP? Where’s the Congressional Black Caucus to speak out against these race grievance vigilantes that are destroying this nation? Where are they?
“The reality is that 80% of low income blacks in the country support the police. They want more police. But they are not the ones given a voice. We have the gatekeepers that are rewarded by the press and corporate America keeps paying these parasites and our country continues to decline.”
Woodson, in an essay, wrote:
“‘Black lives matter’ was a noble phrase when it signified a demand for justice for blacks. Tragically, it since has been perverted and what once had been a movement of peaceful protest has descended into wanton violence and lawlessness that have taken their greatest toll among the most vulnerable low-income communities.
“In the name of social justice for blacks, Black Lives Matter turned to condemning capitalism and declaring that the nuclear family is Eurocentric and, therefore, racist. The senseless violence has reached an abyss in which Bibles are burned and the Christian cross has been condemned as a symbol of white supremacy. Violence and looting of a downtown business district in Chicago was proclaimed by one BLM organizer to be a form of reparations. The police have been demonized as an extension of an all-powerful ‘institutional racism’ that supposedly determines the destiny of Black America. Because police are targets of attacks, and even local political leaders fail to support them, many are leaving the profession. Crime has surged this summer, and for decades, Black-on-Black homicides have been the norm in many communities….
“Martin Luther King brought a very different message: ‘Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred, rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue, rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.'”
Clarence Henderson, civil rights pioneer, in a television interview, said:
“Black Lives Matter is not a civil rights movement. They are Marxists. They have told us who they are. Their intention is to tear down the fabric of America.”
Brandon Tatum, former police officer and commentator, said:
“I am not a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. I don’t think that the intentions or spirit behind Black Lives Matter are effective, nor do I think that they are genuine about their approach. I have not seen one legitimate result that has come from Black Lives Matter. If you ask me, they’ve been more destructive, more counterproductive, than doing anything positive in America.
“To me it seems like a racist or prejudiced overtone to even suggest that black lives matter. The reason why is that everyone matters. You shouldn’t isolate one group and say let’s emphasize that these individuals matter more than anyone else. I get some of the ideas behind it, that some black people are being held behind, but I think it does more harm by isolating one racial group, therefore leaving out others.
“In America, if a white group were to say white lives matter, people would have a problem with that, racially biased. I don’t think they should have gone down that path.
“We should look at facts. If we’re going to have a conversation we need to start from a point of being equal. It should not be one side bashing the other side thing that we’re going to accomplish anything.
“Black Lives Matter, as an organization or an approach, it comes across as disingenuous when you look at their arguments because when they are basing their arguments on black lives, it appears to be only when a black person dies at the hands of police.
“When you look at the overwhelming majority of black lives being lost through abortion, through bad health, heart disease and other things, including black-on-black violence, then they are missing in action, they are not present. Their argument appears disingenuous because they are not worried about all black lives. Just as an example, this past weekend, in one city, in one state, we had 25 African American people killed in Chicago, Illinois. That’s more people killed in one weekend than unarmed black people who have been killed by police in 2019 and 2020 combined. So, when you see things like that and you never see Black Lives Matter mention the names of these victims, you become suspicious of their motives.
“People are using George Floyd’s death as an excuse to accomplish other agendas. Their outrage is not consistent with the problem of police brutality and actually trying to fix it. You see people tearing down statues. What does a statue have to do with George Floyd? What does looting and burning down buildings in the United States of America have to do with George Floyd? What does looting and stealing and murdering other people in protest have to do with George Floyd?”
Damani Bryant Felder, political commentator, in a video that went viral, said:
“To the rioting thugs of America: This was all supposed to be about calling for justice for George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a few bad cops. But your actions have made it clear that you don’t really care about George Floyd. You have made this about you. So now I will address you directly:
“You have a right to be furious at the Minnesota cops who killed George Floyd. You have the right to demand severe punishment for all four officers on the scene. And you have the right to peacefully protest injustice wherever it may be. But you do not have the right to ravage the cities we all live in without consequence.
“You do not have the right to put your own fellow citizens of all colors out of work as you raze their places of employment to the ground. You do not have the right to assault the police officers trying to keep you safe as you protest them. You do not have the right to beat small business owners to the brink of death for doing nothing more than trying to protect their own establishments.
“You do not have the right to say your skin color makes you a target for police violence, break other laws as a response, and expect your own skin color to absolve you of any accountability. You do not have the right to say black lives matter but only be outraged when a black life is taken by a white person.
“You do not have the right to travel in from out of town to be part of a violent throng, destroy everything in your path, and leave thinking you did something productive. You do not have a right to be offended by stereotypes that say black people are inherently violent when that is exactly you act when given the first opportunity. And you do not have the right to dishonor George Floyd’s legacy by using his wrongful death as an excuse to justify your criminal behaviors and then have the gall to turn around and use convoluted circular reasoning to try to blame white people or police for this chaos when it was you who made the conscious decision to destroy your own communities in the first place.
“But I have a right to say I see right through you. And I know this stopped being about George Floyd a long time ago. I have a right to say your conduct is absolute trash. And I have a right to call you out for the warped, hateful, animalistic, shameful, thuggish, self-serving, rabid, exploitative, counterproductive hypocrites that you are. So I will.”
In another video, Felder said:
“To the feckless, hypocritical, virtue-signaling Democrat leaders of America: You took the time to kneel for George Floyd so you could pretend to care about black people, but I know the truth, the truth you continue to ignore. So now allow me to call you on the carpet for your many failures in the black community that you refuse to acknowledge.
“How about kneeling to acknowledge that the worst riots and the worst instances of police brutality in this country are in your cities, and your cities alone. You are the common denominator. How about kneeling to apologize for having some of the lowest minority literacy and graduation rates, but some of the highest single-motherhood, abortion and black-on-black crime rates in your own districts that you yourselves represent?”
“How about kneeling for the millions upon millions of black children who never had a chance to live because your friends over at Planned Parenthood butchered them before they even had a chance to be born? How about kneeling for the untold numbers of my ancestors who were lynched by your former counterparts in the KKK for simply daring to ask to be treated as equals? They didn’t get justice.
“And even today — by kneeling and apologizing for your white privilege — you still don’t treat as us equals. You feel like you have to apologize for your privilege because deep down, you still think you’re better than us by default. If you had held your friend Amy Klobuchar accountable for not prosecuting Derek Chauvin when she had the chance to — after he had ten complaints filed against him in his 19 years with the Minneapolis police force — maybe George Floyd would still be alive.
“The fact of the matter is, if you had to take a knee for every black life lost due to your failed leadership, you would be on your knees forever. The only black lives that matter to you are those that fit your agenda. You know it. I know it. And the world knows it too.
“Your party is the party that filibustered for months to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Your party is the one that only had 23% support for the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, and had zero percent support for the 14th Amendment, which granted free slaves citizenship, and zero percent support for the 15th Amendment, which gave us the right to vote.
“The policies you have implemented have been the figurative knees on the necks of my people for centuries. And it is because of you and your failed leadership that many of us still can’t breathe today. But I’ve got news for every last one of you. If you think all you have to do is shamelessly pander and kneel to get the support of people like me, if you think you can wear the kente cloth of the Ashanti, an African tribe known for selling their own people into slavery, if you think you can tear down statues, and rename buildings and roads to hide your sordid history from everyone, if you think that’s all it takes to win over my people, if you think our skin color will keep us from thinking critically, you’ve got another thing coming.”
Star Parker, columnist, in an article titled, “BLM Suppresses the Truth About Poverty,” wrote:
“I have been working on policy issues dealing with race and poverty through my organization, UrbanCURE, for 25 years.
“We purchased billboard space in hard-hit cities across the nation and posted a short, time-tested message that strikes at the heart of what drives poverty.
“The billboards show a picture of a young black man or young black woman and say: ‘Tired of Poverty? Finish school. Take any job. Get married. Save and invest. Give back to your neighborhood.’
“The billboard then refers to Proverbs 10:4, which says, ‘A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.’
“This is a message delivered with care and love. It’s a message I know is true.
“It is so true that it produced an immediate reaction from Black Lives Matter, which contacted the billboard company, Clear Channel Outdoor, demanding that the billboards be taken down.
“Claims from Black Lives Matter — laced, of course, with profanity — that our message is racist, inaccurate and self-hating are a crude distortion of reality….
“The impact of the ‘success sequence’ on poverty is well documented.
“Brookings Institution scholars Ron Haskins and Isabell Sawhill published their findings in their book, ‘Creating an Opportunity Society,’ in which they report that those who follow three steps — finish high school, get a full-time job and get married before having children — face a 2% chance of being poor.
“Brad Wilcox and Wendy Wang of the American Enterprise Institute followed on this work, showing that among millennials — ages 28-35 — there was a 53% incidence of poverty among those who did not follow these steps and a 3% incidence among those who did.
“But regardless of whether or not you want to believe me or agree with me, what about freedom of expression?
“What about the inherent importance of keeping dialogue open and free in our nation, with a goal of reaching truth? How can shutting down communication serve anyone’s interests?
“Shutting down dialogue, shutting down free and open exchange of ideas, is exactly what Black Lives Matter wants. It said as much in a Facebook post to the billboard vendor that read, ‘At the end of the day, messaging and narrative control is priceless.’
“Unfortunately, Clear Channel Outdoor responded to the intimidation of Black Lives Matter and took down CURE’s billboards, saying, ‘We strive to respect a wide variety of viewpoints on diversity and racial sensitivity.’
“But can shutting down a powerful and truthful message because Black Lives Matter doesn’t like it reflect respect for ‘a wide variety of viewpoints’?
“The nation’s shock after the terrible murder of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman was justifiable. But the pushback unfortunately put wind in the sails of Black Lives Matter.
“The question is: What does America, and what do black Americans, need? What will fix our problems?
“For sure, suppression of free expression will make no one better off.
“These are communities that need truth, that need love, that need empowerment.”
Darrell Scott, pastor of an evangelical megachurch in Ohio, in a YouTube interview, said:
“There is always an insidious, nefarious criminal element that seems to exploit what they consider to be human tragedies, suffering or grief, they seek to exploit that. The George Floyd incident and the Ahmaud Arbery incident, they use those incidents as catalysts to advance their nefarious causes.
“This is not about George Floyd anymore. It’s not about Ahmaud Arbery anymore. It’s about the undermining of the fabric of the American system of government, they’re trying to overthrow what we know is the ‘American Way.’
“There is a political intent behind it as well. They’re trying to make things as disruptive in this country as possible leading into the election in November. I can remember back 2016 we had rioting in the streets and we had a lot of civil unrest to try to influence the elections in a negative way. Once again, there are those with sinister purposes, who are advancing their purposes through gullible people and through people that are not so gullible who are actually in cahoots with them to undermine our American system of government.
“Black Lives Matter is an American domestic terrorist group because they want to advocate the overthrow of the American system of government, to infiltrate our government, to undermine law and order. People have caved to the pressure of the left-wing media. It’s as if the left-wing media has become the propaganda arm for the Black Lives Matter organization.
“They are doing this to further their own sinister and nefarious purposes. They’re not really interested in black lives. They are interested in black lives if the black life expires at the hands of a white person. They don’t care about black-on-black crime. They don’t care about black-on-white crime. They don’t care about black-on-brown crime. The only crime they are interested in is white-on-black crime. If a white person kills a black person they become nothing more than ambulance chasers, they rush to the scene of the crime, and make a great big incident out of it, and overblow and exacerbate the situation. But when you look at Chicago and see people being slaughtered en masse, when you see babies being killed, they are quiet as a church mouse because it does not feed into this narrative they have. It’s ridiculous.”
Morgan Freeman, actor, in an interview with 60 Minutes, when asked what he thought about Black History Month, said: “It’s ridiculous. I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.” When asked, “how are we going to get rid of racism,’ he responded: “Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace, and you know me as Morgan Freeman.”
Freeman, when asked by black anchor Don Lemon if race plays a role in income inequality, replied:
“No. No. I don’t. You and I are proof. Why would race have anything to do with it? Stick your mind on what you want to do and go for that. Making race a bigger issue than it needs to be is the real problem here.”