I support the Black Lives Matter Movement. Our current de-professionalized standing army police forces oppress everyone. Professional police aren't supposed to do that, but militarized police do. And while they oppress everyone, they oppress minority populations the most. They oppress black folks in large numbers way out of proportion to their population. And they oppress Indigenous persons statistically at the greatest percentage rate. This has to end. And every progressive needs to embrace this cause, because economic equity requires justice and fairness in distribution of public good as well as equality in opportunity. If a person can't safely drive to or home from work, then they don't have liberty they are being oppressed.
And I understand radicalism. It is very tempting to become more radical as more and more evidence is available of the plots and sociopathic programs of powerful people with very little sense, compassion or even empathy for others. It is easy to divide the world into white and black and hate those who don't clearly understand how hurt one is. But that is not how you make progress.
Making War on Progressives
Nevertheless the radical left is so alienated that their avatars often start sounding like the radical right and sharing the same victimization narratives. Combattants would divide the world into their combattants against their enemies. Anyone in the middle is the enemy of both extremes. That is why most truly violent ethnic conflicts always begin with folks killing and persecuting mixed marriages, "non-violent" activists, or other symbols of collaboration. From the point of view of radials "you are either with me or you are against me." Anger brings out the ego and suppresses the brain. Just as fear does.
In an "Open letter to Progressives" Monique Teal writes;
"This election isn’t as important as Black Lives Matter. You either agree that black people are in a state of emergency and you pitch in or you don’t and you are part of the problem. But, if progressives continue to throw a tantrum over Black Lives Matter disrupting a white supremacist system, then you will be the reason black Democrats stay home on election day. Not Black Lives Matter activists."
Personally my own reaction to the showboating way those young people interrupted Bernie and treated him like dirt was to find it somewhat amusing. They weren't interrupting some abstract "system" but a rally by a civil rights reformer who happens to be on the side of the "Black Lives Matter" movement. I chalk it up to the impetuousness of youth. There is no tantrum for most of us. In fact they did Bernie a favor. The "Black Lives Matter" concerns about civil rights and police impunity need to be officially part of the Democratic plank this fall. By bringing it to his attention, they also brought to the attention of the world that this is a man whose been a civil rights champion since the 60's. It needs to be in the plank. As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject back in July: In order for "all lives to matter black lives have to matter"[http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/07/in-order-for-all-lives-to-matter-black.html]
This Election is Critical to the Black Lives Matter Movement
But this election is as important as any of the movements that need to coalesce if we are to stop the oppression and repression that have built up in our society; and roll back the oppressors. Flaming progressives who are on your side is not going to win friends and influence people. And Monica Teal in her youth and anger doesn't realize that Bernie Sanders cut his teeth fighting for "black lives to matter" long before it was a slogan of angry young folks. He's been working at it since before she was born.
It is because Civil Rights laws have been rolled back on the dishonest premise that there is no more issue with racism that we are having trouble dealing with these perverse community governments, oppressive police and "James T. Crow" regulations and laws. The GOP is not supporting "black lives matter." They only care about the unborn til they are born and the rights and perquisites of the wealthy and powerful who fund them and direct them. They have so many people brainwashed that some Democrats cast themselves as "GOP lite" to curry favor with scared white voters who've been brainwashed to fear and hate the latest scapegoats that fear-mongering demagogues like Donald Trump roll out. Do the "Outside Agitators" really believe that they can go it on their own without outside help? Or are they trolling on behalf of the Tea Party and other Right Wing groups. I wouldn't put it past the GOP to be funding them.
My observation is that most Black Lives Matter folks I've met, actually love it when the rest of us love them and understand that yes, "black lives matter." But there are always egotistical or radical folks who plague (troll) such groups. When we are running a movement we want a variety of voices. And so such people are usually welcomed in. Then one finds that they aren't welcoming to others. And are often combative and egotistical. Like little children they want it their way and are a bit destructive if they can't get it right away. That's not a comment on their youth. That's a comment on their behavior. The results can be disastrous. I remember when some S&M folks trolled my Science Fiction Club's Conventions. Sometimes you can't afford such "friends."
Outside Agitators 206
One such group is called Outside Agitators 206. As Politicus USA puts it:
"Simply put, OA 206 wants to take the state apart and put it back together again as they want it." [Politicus article]
These groups are not working together nor are they the same group even if individuals within them might support both groups. They are radicalized. The Outside Agitator's group openly states that;
"To succeed, the Black Lives Matter Movement must transform the politics of Black America. By definition, that means declaring war on the Democratic Party, and forcing Black politicians and activists to choose between the Party and the people’s struggle." reverbpress
And they share a cynical and conspiratorial view of the Democratic party that lumps progressives with blue dogs and Corporate types:
"As usual, the Democrats will try to make Black people more angry at the terminally racist Republican Party than at the police and local administration of their (typically) Democrat-run city. Hillary Clinton is already making noises of empathy with Blacks suffering under the urban police state. However, the Black Lives Matter movement has no institutional stake in the victory of either party, but is, in fact, locked in mortal political struggle with other Black people in the Democratic Party. These Black Democrats will insist on a truce, a cessation of agitation against national or local Democrats, until after the election." reverbpress
And at the core of this conspiratorial and inflammatory rhetoric is a Rush Limbaugh wannabe named Glen Ford.
Glen Ford and his followers in the Outside Agitator movement 206 seem to see the fact that Blue Dog Democrats are as racist and devious as any GOP racists and demagogues, as evidence that progressives in general are the "enemy." And need to be fought instead of being worked with. Indeed he's the source of the narrative quoted above.
Glen Ford published this:
"“The Democrats have mounted a systematic co-option/repression response that will intensify as the election season – and Black cities – heat up.” The Democrats understand that, for the movement to succeed, their party’s power over Black America must be broken." [https://outsideagitators206.org/blog/democrats-hope-to-bury-blacklivesmatter-under-election-blitz/]
Counterfeiting Concern for Black Lives
I understand the anger and frustration. Sadly this isn't an emergency. But a continuation of oppression and suppression that dates to the founding of this country and to some pretty terrible failures of moral leadership; in the South in the 1790's with Southern States failing to end slavery then. In 1877 when the North decided that railroads and monopolies were more important than Justice in the South. And more recently with the election of Ronald Reagan. It's a long war. And all that flaming folks like Bernie does is to sabotage friends and support enemies. Adalia Woodbury writes:
"They led organizers and the media to believe they are part of Black Lives Matter. It’s not hard to understand why. BLM is succeeding in its efforts to raise awareness and get action on the multitude of issues that are a direct consequence of structural racism. The Black Lives Matter movement is very loosely structured without a central organization. That provides freedom to activists and supporters, but it means that BLM is also vulnerable to groups who may wish to co-opt their national reputation, as occurred on Saturday. Adding to the confusion is the fact that there are many groups who use black lives matter as a rallying call." [Jason Easely]
Is it a question of Tea or Coolaid?
So even if Marissa Johnson was never a tea party member and Sarah Palin fan:
"According to her own Facebook profile she was a huge Tea Party supporter and had supported Sarah Palin in her 2008 Vice Presidential candidacy." [reverbpress]
- Politicus Article: http://www.politicususa.com/2015/08/10/real-black-lives-matter-wsnts-activists-publicly-apologize-bernie-sanders.html
- Actually the issue is not with Black lives Matter but these "outside agitators:"
- They have facebook pages: