The bullet points immediately below provide links to 3 particularly important sections of this profile that are situated on their own separate pages:
Introduction to Black Lives Matter
Founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement that depicts the United States as a nation awash in racism, sexism, and homophobia. Demonstrators at BLM events have been known to: smear white police as trigger-happy bigots who are intent upon killing innocent, unarmed black males; taunt, and direct obscenities at, uniformed police officers who are on duty; throw rocks at police and threaten to kill them; and celebrate in the streets when a police officer is killed. Some examples of BLM’s racist and incendiary rhetoric:
- At a December 2014 BLM rally in New York City, marchers chanted in unison: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.”
- At a BLM march in August 2015, protesters chanted : “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” (“Pigs” was a reference to police officers, and “blanket” was a reference to body bags.)
- On a radio program the following month, the BLM-affiliated host laughed at the recent assassination of a white Texas deputy; boasted that blacks were like lions who could prevail in a “race war” against whites; happily predicted that “we will witness more executions and killing of white people and cops than we ever have before”; and declared that “It’s open season on killing white people and crackas.”
- In November 2015, a group of approximately 150 BLM protesters shouting “Black Lives Matter,” stormed Dartmouth University’s library, screaming, “Fu** you, you filthy white fu**s!,” “Fu** you and your comfort!,” and “Fu** you, you racist sh**!”
- In July 2016, a BLM activist speaking to a CNN reporter shouted: “The less white babies on this planet, the less of you [white adults] we got! I hope they kill all the white babies! Kill ’em all right now! Kill ’em! Kill your grandkids! Kill yourself! Coffin, bitch! Go lay in a coffin! Kill yourself!”
At all BLM events, demonstrators invoke the words that the Marxist revolutionary, former Black Panther, convicted cop-killer, and longtime fugitive Assata Shakur once wrote in a letter titled “To My People”: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” (This refrain clearly alluded to the closing sentences of the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”) In Shakur’s original letter, she described herself as a “Black revolutionary” who had “declared war on the rich who prosper on our poverty, the politicians who lie to us with smiling faces, and all the mindless, heart-less robots [police] who protect them and their property.”
Another figure greatly admired by BLM is Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who in the 1960s was renowned for threatening that blacks would “burn America down,” and for urging blacks to murder “honkies.” In the spring of 2000, Al-Amin shot two black law-enforcement officers in downtown Atlanta, killing one of them.
The Roots of BLM
BLM was established as an online platform in 2013 by three black Marxist women in their early thirties: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi.
Cullors in particular has been candid about BLM’s Marxist objectives. In 2015 she stated on video: “We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.” In the same video, Cullors revealed that for more than a decade she had been the protégé of mentor Eric Mann, a former domestic terrorist who in the 1960s and ’70s was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground, whose shared objective was to launch a race war against the “white” United States on behalf of the nonwhite Third World. Mann trained Cullors in Marxist-Leninist ideology and the tactics of political organizing.
For additional information about Cullors’ Communist ties, click here.
For information about Tometi’s Communist ties, click here.
When founding BLM, the principal aim of Cullors, Garza, and Tometi was to stoke black rage and galvanize a protest movement in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the “white Hispanic” who was tried for murder and manslaughter after he had shot and killed a black Florida teenager named Trayvon Martin in a highly publicized February 2012 altercation. Before long, “Black Lives Matter” became a rallying cry for writers, public speakers, celebrities, demonstrators, and even rioters who took up the cause of demanding an end to what BLM terms the “virulent anti-Black racism” that “permeates our society.” In 2014, BLM also adopted the slogan “Hands Up–Don’t Shoot!,” which was first popularized by Dream Defenders and grew out of that year’s death of Michael Brown, a young black man in Ferguson, Missouri who was killed by a white police officer after he had tried to take the officer’s handgun during a confrontation. (In the immediate aftermath of that incident, numerous racial agitators circulated the false narrative that Brown had been shot after raising his hands in submission and pleading, “Don’t shoot.”)
By BLM’s telling, black Americans are “collectively” subjected to “inhumane conditions” in a “white supremacist system.” Demanding that Americans “abandon the lie that the deep psychological wounds of slavery, racism and structural oppression are figments of the Black imagination,” BLM seeks to force the country to become “uncomfortable about institutional racism.” And emphasizing the permanence and intransigence of American depredations, BLM maintains that: (a) the nation’s “corrupt democracy” was originally “built on Indigenous genocide and chattel slavery” and “continues to thrive on the brutal exploitation of people of color”; (b) “the ugly American traditions of patriarchy, classism, racism, and militarism” endure to this day; (c) “structural oppression” still “prevents so many from realizing their dreams”; and (d) blacks in the U.S. are routinely “de-humaniz[ed],” rendered “powerless at the hands of the state,” “deprived of [their] basic human rights and dignity,” and targeted for “extrajudicial killings … by police and vigilantes.”
The notion that blacks are targeted for “extrajudicial killings … by police and vigilantes” is a lie, as demonstrated by decades of hard empirical evidence.
Though BLM professes to articulate the needs and grievances of black people as a whole, the organization deems it vital to go “beyond the narrow nationalism” that “merely” urges black people to “love Black, live Black, and buy Black.” That is, it focuses an added measure of attention on those blacks who, in the past, “have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.” These include, most notably, black “queer and trans,” who “bear a unique burden from a hetero-patriarchal society that disposes of us like garbage and simultaneously fetishizes us and profits off of us”; black “undocumented immigrants” who are “relegated to the shadows” of American society; black “disabled” people who “bear the burden of state-sponsored Darwinian experiments that attempt to squeeze us into boxes of normality defined by white supremacy”; and blacks who self-identify along non-traditional points of the “gender spectrum.”
To improve the allegedly abysmal condition of blacks in the United States, BLM has issued a series of non-negotiable demands. These include:
- “an end to all forms of discrimination and the full recognition of our [Blacks’] human rights”;
- “an immediate end to police brutality and [to] the murder of Black people and all oppressed people”;
- “full, living-wage employment for our people,” to ensure “our right to a life with dignity”;
- “decent housing” and “an end to gentrification”;
- “an end to the school-to-prison pipeline,” a term for the practice of using black students’ behavioral problems as an excuse for pushing them out of the classroom and into the juvenile- and criminal-justice systems;
- “quality education for all,” including “free or affordable public university” enrollment;
- “freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the prison industrial complex,” whose hallmarks include “the over-policing and surveillance of [black] communities,” the enactment of many “racist laws,” and “the warehousing of black people”;
- “access to affordable healthy food for our neighborhoods”;
- “an aggressive attack against all laws, policies, and entities that disenfranchise any community from expressing themselves at the ballot” (e.g., Voter ID laws);
- “a public education system that teaches the rich history of Black people”;
- “the release of all U.S. political prisoners”;
- “an end to the military industrial complex that incentivizes private corporations to profit off of the death and destruction of Black and Brown communities across the globe”;
- the cessation of racially “discriminatory discipline practices” in the schools;
- a comprehensive Justice Department review of “systematic abuses by police departments” across the United States;
- congressional hearings investigating “the criminalization of communities of color”;
- an end to “the use of profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion by law-enforcement agencies”;
- the implementation of a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice by the Obama Administration, addressing “persistent and ongoing forms of racial discrimination and disparities that exist in nearly every sphere of life”;
- the release, by the office of U.S. attorney general, of “the names of all [police] officers involved in killing black people within the last five years … so they can be brought to justice—if they haven’t already”; and
- “a decrease in law-enforcement spending at the local, state and federal levels and a reinvestment [through the federal government] of that budgeted money into the black communities most devastated by poverty in order to create jobs, housing and schools.”
Echoes of the Black Panthers
Several of the foregoing demands are clearly modeled on the “Ten-Point Program” put forth by the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. These parallels are consistent with BLM’s high regard for the previously cited quote from Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Examples of the parallels between the BLM demands and those of the Panthers include the following:
- Whereas BLM demanded “an immediate end to police brutality and [to] the murder of Black people and all oppressed people,” the Panthers had used language that was essentially identical: “an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.”
- Whereas BLM demanded “freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the prison industrial complex,” the Panthers had similarly called for “Black people [to] be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.”
But BLM’s demands were not limited merely to matters involving police and the criminal-justice system. They also included such overtly socialist and racialist agenda items as the guarantee of:
- “full, living-wage employment for our [black] people”
- “decent housing” for black people and “an end to gentrification”
- “quality education for all,” including “free or affordable public university” enrollment, with an emphasis on teaching “the rich history of Black people and celebrat[ing] the contributions we have made to this country and the world”
- “access to affordable healthy food for our neighborhoods”
Three of those four demands are clearly modeled on elements of the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program,” which called for assurances of:
- “full employment” or “a guaranteed income” for all of “our people”
- “decent housing [for] our Black community”
- “education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society [and] teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.”
BLM’s Major Principles
In a document titled “What We Believe,” BLM lays out a number of major principles for which it stands. Among the most noteworthy:
- “We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.”
- “We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position….”
- “We see ourselves as part of the global Black family …”
- “We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.”
- “We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.”
- “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.”
- “We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.”
- “We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work ‘double shifts’ so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.”
- “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” (Note: BLM quietly, and without explanation, removed this item from its website around September 21, 2020, in an effort to defuse the widespread criticism which the item had sparked.)
- “We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking …”
Racist Co-Founder of BLM Toronto
A co-founder of BLM’s Toronto branch is a young woman named Yusra Khogali, who in late 2015 posted the following message on Facebook: “Whiteness is not humxness. infact, white skin is sub-humxn…. White ppl are recessive genetic defects. this is factual. white ppl need white supremacy as a mechanism to protect their survival as a people because all they can do is produce themselves. black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to.”
In the spring of 2016, Khogali issued a Facebook threat against a Toronto police officer: “The police officer who killed Andrew Loku. We. Are coming for you. U better believe it. You are going to spend the rest of your life without your family like how Andrew Loku’s 5 children will have to go on without their father. Justice will be served.” Around that same time, she tweeted: “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz.”
In February 2017, Khogali participated in a protest in front of the U.S. consulate where she shouted into a microphone that Canadian Prime Minister “Justin Trudeau is a white supremacist terrorist,” and she exhorted the crowd to “rise up and fight back.” “Look at us, we have the numbers,” she added.
In another tweet, Khogali wrote that white people have a “higher concentration of enzyme inhibitors” which suppress the production of melanin, which in turn is vital to the development of “strong bones, intelligence, vision and hearing.”
Ties to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization
BLM is closely allied with numerous groups that are fronts for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), a Marxist-Leninist entity that calls for the overthrow of capitalism. In an article for Accuracy In Media, economist and investigative journalist James Simpson has identified some of these FRSO fronts that are tied to BLM:
- National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA): seeks to develop “women-of-color leaders” to help domestic workers—who are disproportionately female and nonwhite—gain political power and promote “concrete change”; gave money to CASA de Maryland and the Institute for Policy Studies in 2013; and has received funding from the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Oak Foundation, George Soros‘s Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation.
- People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER): promotes “social change” by empowering “those people who are most affected by the problems of society”—specifically, “low-income and working class people, people of color, women, queer and transgender people”—to “lead a movement of millions to eradicate those problems”; evolved from the now-defunct revolutionary communist group STORM; and has received funding from the Akonadi Foundation, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, the Hill-Snowden Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.
- Right to the City Alliance (RTTC): a nationwide network that opposes inner-city “gentrification” that displaces “low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods”; has received funding from the Akonadi Foundation, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Margerite Casey Foundation, the Soros Funds, the Surdna Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.
- School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL): strives to “lay the groundwork for a strong social justice movement by supporting the development of a new generation of organizers rooted in a systemic change analysis—especially people of color, young women, queer and transgender youth, and low-income people”; claims to have trained 679 organizers in 2013, and has been funded by the Heinz Foundation, the Akonadi Foundation, the Hill-Snowden Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI): “educates and engages African American and black immigrant communities to organize and advocate for racial, social and economic justice”; has been funded by the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and the Soros Funds.
- Advancement Project (AP): describes itself as a “civil rights law, policy, and communications ‘action tank’ that advances universal opportunity and a just democracy for those left behind in America,” meaning nonwhite minorities; has been funded by the California Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Soros Funds, the Tides Foundation, and the Vanguard Public Foundation.
- Movement Strategy Center (MSC): dedicated to “transformative movement building” and “equitable distribution of resources”; has been funded by the Akonadi Foundation, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the California Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Soros Funds, the Surdna Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.
- Dignity and Power Now (DPN): claims to seek “dignity and power of incarcerated people, their families, and communities”
- Labor/Community Strategy Center (LCSC): works to “build consciousness, leadership, and organization among those who face discrimination and societal attack—people of color, women, immigrants, workers, LGBT people, youth”; is headed by Eric Mann, a former Weather Underground leader who exhorts followers to become “anti-racist, anti-imperialist” activists.
- Black Left Unity Network: a Marxist-Leninist organization that supports a variety of communist causes
- Black Workers for Justice: “believes that African American workers need self-organization to help empower ourselves at the workplace, in communities and throughout the whole of U.S. society to organize, educate, mobilize and struggle for power, justice, self-determination and human rights for African Americans, other oppressed nationalities, women and all working class people”
- Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ): “a national alliance of U.S.-based grassroots organizing groups organizing to build an agenda for power for working and poor people and communities of color”
- Causa Justa/Just Cause: a Black/Latino solidarity organization that aims to build a “multi-racial, multi-generational movement … for fundamental change”
- Hands Up United: works for the “liberation of oppressed Black, Brown, and poor people through education, art, civil disobedience, advocacy, and agriculture”
- Intelligent Mischief: an African-American organization that “design[s] projects that critique the current status quo and re-imagines the possibilities”
- Organization for Black Struggle (OBS): seeks to “build a movement that fights for political empowerment, economic justice and the cultural dignity of the African-American community, especially the Black working class”; is affiliated with the Communist Party USA, and is allied with Black Workers for Justice and the Advancement Project.
- Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC): is dedicated to “uniting revolutionary-minded youth and students throughout the [City University of New York] system in NYC”
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): a “national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice”; quotes BLM co-founder Alicia Garza‘s assertion that “we need you defecting from White supremacy and changing the narrative of White supremacy by breaking White silence.”
- Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE): seeks to “reduce and eliminate structural barriers to social and economic opportunities for poor and economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color”; is led by Anthony Thigpenn, a former Black Panther and board member of the Apollo Alliance.
As evidenced by these numerous ties between FRSO and BLM, Black Lives Matter is in essence a project of FRSO. All three of BLM’s co-founders have been employed by, or affiliated with, one or more of FRSO’s aforementioned front groups at various times. Specifically:
- Alicia Garza has served as a special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA); executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER); a board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL); and board chair of the Right to the City Alliance (RTTC).
- Patrisse Cullors, who was trained by former Weather Underground leader Eric Mann, founded Dignity and Power Now (DPN) and has served as its director.
- Opal Tometi is affiliated with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI).
The Influence of Saul Alinsky on BLM
At a July 2015 conference in Cleveland, BLM presented There’s A Method To The Movement: Examining Community Organizing Methods and Methodologies, a workshop that taught, among other things, the tactics and philosophy of the late Saul Alinsky. Known as the godfather of “community organizing” – a term that serves as a euphemism for fomenting public anger and in some cases, violence – Alinsky was a communist fellow-traveler who laid out a set of basic tactics designed to help radical activists destroy their enemies while gaining power for themselves.
Such radicals, said Alinsky, “must first rub raw the resentments of the people” by selecting a particular “personification” of evil and “publicly attack[ing]” it as a “dangerous enemy” of the people. The chief “personification” in BLM’s cross hairs is the white police officer.
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” Alinsky taught, asserting that the primary task of radical activists and political figures is to cultivate in people’s hearts a visceral emotional revulsion to the mere sight of the enemy’s face. “The organizer who forgets the significance of personal identification,” said Alinsky, “will attempt to answer all objections on the basis of logic and merit. With few exceptions this is a futile procedure.” This is why BLM and media leftists invariably avoid addressing even the most glaring contradictions in the narratives they seek to advance, and why they turn a deaf ear to anyone who tries to engage them with logic, reason, or empirical data.
Alinsky taught that in order to most effectively cast themselves as defenders of moral principles and human decency, radical activists and political figures should take great pains to react dramatically – with highly exaggerated displays of “shock, horror, and moral outrage” – whenever their targeted enemy errs, or can be depicted as having erred, in any way. Thus, even though police officers nationwide have some 375 million contacts with civilians each year where they act entirely within the bounds of legality and ethics, BLM chooses to magnify the significance of a handful of questionable cases and characterize them as emblems of widespread police brutality.
Alinsky advised left-wing activists and radicals to avoid the temptation to concede that their opponent is not “100 per cent devil,” or that he may possess certain admirable qualities. Such concessions, Alinsky said, “dilut[e] the impact of the attack” and would thus amount to “political idiocy.” Consequently, BLM does not praise police for anything, ever. Rather, it is 100% attack, 100% of the time, against a 100% devil.
Alinsky also emphasized the need for activists and political radicals to convince their followers that the chasm between themselves and the enemy – in this case, police officers – is vast and unbridgeable. “Before men can act,” he wrote, “an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels, and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil.”
Given that the enemy is to be portrayed as the very personification of evil, against whom the use of any and all tactics is fair game, Alinsky taught that an effective activist or political radical should never give the appearance of being satisfied with any compromise proposed by the opposition; that any bargain with the “devil” is, by definition, morally tainted and thus inadequate. The ultimate goal, said Alinsky, is not to arrive at compromise or peaceful coexistence, but rather to “crush the opposition” by remaining vigilantly “dedicated to eternal war.” Alinsky amplified this theme as follows: “A war is not an intellectual debate, and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play.… When you have war, it means that neither side can agree on anything…. In our war against the social menaces of mankind there can be no compromise. It is life or death.”
Alinsky advised the activist and the political radical to be ever on guard against the possibility that the enemy might someday propose “a constructive alternative” aimed at resolving some particular conflict. Said Alinsky: “You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying, ‘You’re right – we don’t know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us.’” Such a turn of events would have the effect of diffusing the righteous indignation of the radical, whose very identity is inextricably woven into the “struggle” for long-denied justice. If the perceived oppressor either surrenders or extends a hand of friendship in an effort to end the conflict, the crusade of the radical is jeopardized. This cannot be permitted, because “eternal war,” by definition, must never end.
Alinsky also exhorted activists and political radicals to be entirely unpredictable and unmistakably willing – for the sake of their cause – to cause the government, or the society at large, to descend into chaos and anarchy. They must be prepared, Alinsky explained, to “go into a state of complete confusion and draw [their] opponent into the vortex of the same confusion.” One way in which radicals and their disciples can broadcast their preparedness for this possibility, Alinsky taught, is by staging loud, defiant, massive protest rallies expressing deep rage against, and contempt for, their political adversary. Such demonstrations – like the BLM protests and riots of recent weeks – can give onlookers the impression that a mass movement is shifting into an even higher gear. A “mass impression,” said Alinsky, can be lasting and intimidating: “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” “The threat,” he added, “is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Putting it yet another way, Alinsky advised: “Wherever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.”
The Michael Brown Case Propels BLM to New Heights
Though BLM was founded in 2013, it was not until the following year that it gained a large measure of public influence. That influence came as a result of the shooting death of Michael Brown. Following is an account of that case:
On August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, a 28-year-old white police officer named Darren Wilson shot and killed an 18-year-old black male named Michael Brown in an altercation that made national headlines and set off a massive wave of BLM-led protests and riots in a number of U.S. cities. The angry mobs claimed that Brown had been shot in the back while fleeing from the officer, at which point the teen had stopped and raised his hands in surrender, begging Wilson, to no avail, to refrain from firing any more rounds at him.
The principal source of this narrative was Michael Brown’s 22-year-old friend Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time of the latter’s fatal encounter with Officer Wilson. After Brown’s death, Johnson told reporters that “me and my friend was walking down the street, wasn’t causing any harm to nobody,” at which point a “white cop” allegedly pulled up in his patrol car and “reached his arm out the window and grabbed my friend around his neck [and] was trying to choke my friend.” When Brown then attempted to flee, said Johnson, he was “shot like an animal” by the officer.
On another occasion, Johnson told CBS News that while Brown was running from Darren Wilson, the officer “shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air and started to get down, [but] the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.” Thereafter, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” became a signature slogan of the newly revitalized BLM movement and its adherents.
The mainstream news media, meanwhile, refrained from speculating that Brown himself may have been anything other than an innocent black victim of bad police work. A New York Times editorial, for instance, lamented “the history of racial segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement” that allegedly had set the stage for “the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black student … who was a few days from heading off to college when he was shot by a police officer.” A Times news article, meanwhile, reported that “the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager” was being described by St. Louis County’s NAACP chapter president as an instance of “yet another teenaged boy [who] has been slaughtered by law enforcement.” The Washington Post ran a story whose title emphasized that the “Black Teen Shot in Missouri Was Unarmed.” And an Associated Press report, which likewise took pains to note that Brown “was unarmed,” stated that the notoriety surrounding the young man’s death was helping to “solidify the Black Lives Matter movement.”
BLM, for its part, bluntly charged that “Mike Brown was murdered by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson,” and that the demonstrators who subsequently protested that injustice were being unfairly “brutalized by law enforcement,… tear gassed, and pepper sprayed night after night.”
Also in the wake of Michael Brown’s death, BLM and its media allies repeatedly reminded Americans that Brown had now become the civil-rights movement’s latest martyr, an individual whose most noteworthy trait was his extraordinarily meek and mild temperament. Black activist Al Sharpton, for one, described Brown—who stood 6-foot-4 and weighed approximately 290 pounds—as a “gentle giant.” Stories by CNN, The Daily Mail, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many other news outlets did the same. In a similar vein, a writer at Daily Kos portrayed Brown as a “big guy who[m] his family called their ‘Gentle Giant,’” a young man who was “built to be a high school football player—direct from central casting—but … was too timid for the sport” and, “according to friends and family,… had never been in a fight in his life.” Moreover, photos of Brown donning a cap and gown at his recent graduation from St. Louis County’s Normandy High School began to surface widely in the media.
Political figures from across the country likewise embraced the narrative of a trigger-happy, racist white policeman gunning down an innocent black youth. Soon after Brown’s killing, for instance, the Democrat governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, called for a “vigorous prosecution” against Officer Wilson, even before any pertinent facts were known about the case. And Democrat congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, for her part, described Brown’s death as “a tragedy”; called on the Department of Justice to “examine … whether there were any federal civil rights violations” for which Wilson could be prosecuted; and demanded “a credible and comprehensive investigation … to secure justice for Michael Brown’s family and the community.”
Before long, however, a number of unflattering facts about Michael Brown began to surface. On August 15, 2014, for instance, the Ferguson Police Department released an explicit surveillance video that showed Brown committing a strong-armed robbery of a local convenience store—stealing a box of Swisher Sweets, which are cheap cigars commonly used to smoke marijuana—just minutes before his fatal encounter with Officer Wilson. Brown’s relatives and the attorneys representing his family responded indignantly to the video’s release, calling it a “sideshow” and a “strategic” ploy “aimed at destroying the character” of the late victim and drawing attention away from Officer Wilson’s evil deed. Brown family lawyer Anthony Gray urged the public to “not take the bait.”
On August 17, the Brown family released a statement that said: “There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer [Darren Wilson] as he [Michael Brown] held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender…. The police strategy of attempting to blame the victim will not divert our attention from … this brutal execution of an unarmed teenager.”
Next, some conservative news outlets reported that Brown had been an aspiring rapper who wrote a number of songs replete with exceedingly vulgar and violent lyrics. A few examples:
- My favorite part is when that body hits the ground.
I soak ’em up like I’m ringing out a sponge
Talking down make me shoot off your whole tongue
- Every time I call you bitch. There b cum.
And when she cum I b cumin all over her tongue
I beat that pussy up and then be on the run (Come on bitch!)
I roll flat blunts that look just like my thumb
- My niggas from the area we don’t play…
Masturbating off my voice on my laptop.
Mother fuckers would have never far I made it in the rap game…
- Lights out. Lights out. I knock your ass out.
Lights out. Lights out… It’s lights out bitch.
I do the hit and I’m gonnna make it hurt….
And count my money while my bitch suck me like a Slurpee.
On August 20, a local grand jury consisting of three blacks and nine whites—roughly approximating the racial composition of Ferguson as a whole—began hearing evidence in an effort to determine whether Officer Wilson should be criminally indicted for the killing of Michael Brown. One of the witnesses who testified before that grand jury was Wilson himself, who told the jurors that:
- When he initially encountered Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson walking in the middle of the street and instructed them to move to a sidewalk, Brown responded by shouting an expletive.
- When he noticed that Brown was carrying a handful of cigars, Wilson suddenly realized that the teen was likely the perpetrator of the local convenience-store robbery that had just been announced over the police radio.
- When Wilson tried to open the door of his patrol car in order to question Brown, the teen slammed it back shut and punched the officer in the face through the open window.
- Fearing that he might get knocked unconscious and thereby become vulnerable to serious injury or death, Wilson drew his gun and told Brown: “Get back or I’m going to shoot you.”
- Reaching through the window of Wilson’s car door, Brown told the officer, “You are too much of a pussy to shoot me.” He then grabbed Wilson’s gun with his right hand, twisted it, and pressed it firmly into the policeman’s hip.
- Wilson managed to fire two shots from inside his car, wounding Brown in the hand and causing him to briefly run away.
- As Wilson gave chase and ordered Brown to stop, the young man suddenly turned around and charged head-first at the officer, who backpedaled while firing his gun in self-defense at the oncoming Brown. At one point, Brown used his right hand to reach under his shirt in the waistband of his trousers, causing Officer Wilson to fear that Brown may have had a weapon there.
But BLM members were uninterested in waiting for this or any other evidence that the grand jury might uncover. They continued to charge that white racism and police brutality were to blame for what had happened to Brown. Toward that end, during Labor Day weekend of 2014, BLM leaders Darnell Moore and Patrisse Cullors co-organized a “Black Life Matters Ride” where more than 600 people from across the U.S. convened in “the occupied territory” of Ferguson “to support our brothers and sisters.” “We understood Ferguson was not an aberration,” said BLM, “but in fact, a clear point of reference for what was happening to Black communities everywhere.” Following the Labor Day event, organizers from 18 different cities returned to their homes and developed local BLM chapters in those places.
Throughout the fall of 2014, supporters of Michael Brown and his family continued to indicate that no amount of exculpatory evidence would be sufficient to convince them that Officer Wilson should not be held criminally liable for the young man’s death. On October 28, for instance, as the grand jury entered the final phase of its investigation, Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump—who also had served as the attorney for the family of the late Trayvon Martin—made it clear that neither the family members nor their backers would be persuaded by any autopsy report or eyewitness statements that supported Wilson’s position. “The family has not believed anything the police or this medical examiner has said,” Crump declared.
A similar spirit shaped the attitudes of other police-haters and Michael Brown supporters:
- The Rev. Tommie Pierson, pastor of Greater St. Mark Family Church in St. Louis, said that if the grand jury failed to indict Officer Wilson, the local community “will feel like it’s open season on young black men” and “you will see an outburst of protest.”
- Revolutionary Communist Party supporter Lou Downey said, “If Darren Wilson walks, America must be brought to a halt. That means no business as usual. It means blocking streets and walking out of schools. It means we refuse to accept this.”
- Eric Guster, a blogger for The Root, wrote: “I have a feeling that prosecutors are getting ready to drop the hammer on us. They want us to be ready for what every tear-gassed, unlawfully arrested, shot at, beaten, harassed, billy-clubbed protester doesn’t want to hear: Wilson probably won’t be charged in the killing of Michael Brown.”
- Democrat congressman John Lewischaracterized Ferguson as a “turning point” for the modern civil rights movement, and predicted that the nation would see massive protests if the grand jury did not indict Wilson.
- The Washington Post reported that “unidentified ‘protest leaders’ have said that once the grand jury announcement is made, they will send a blast text message to a list of 16,000 subscribers—mobilizing them into action across the country” if no indictment was issued.
Through their association with BLM, Michael Brown’s family members gained a stature and a level of public influence far exceeding anything they had ever previously known. On November 12 in Geneva, Switzerland, Brown’s parents—Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr.—spoke before the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT). “We need the world to know what’s going on in Ferguson and we need justice,” said McSpadden. “We need answers and we need action. And we have to bring it to the U.N. so they can expose it to the rest of the world, what’s going on in small town Ferguson.”
The parents also joined the Organization for Black Struggle, Hands Up United, and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment in submitting to UNCAT a document that: (a) characterized Michael Brown’s killing and the force used by police officers in their effort to quell the subsequent riots, as “violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”; (b) requested that UNCAT recommend the immediate arrest of Officer Wilson and the cessation of “racial profiling and racially-biased police harassment across the jurisdictions surrounding Ferguson”; and (c) stated that the U.S. Attorney General and Department of Justice “must conduct a nationwide investigation of systematic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities, and youth in particular.”
On November 24, 2014, the grand jury probe into the Michael Brown case drew to a close. After having met on 25 separate days over a three-month period, and having heard more than 70 hours of sworn testimony from approximately 60 people including eyewitnesses as well as medical and firearms experts, the jurors elected not to indict Officer Wilson. Their decision was based on a series of key findings such as these:
- Among the eyewitnesses were more than half a dozen African Americans who provided testimony that largely supported Wilson’s account of the events.
- The physical evidence—including blood spatter analysis, shell casing locations, and ballistics tests—likewise supported Wilson’s testimony.
- Michael Brown’s DNA was found on Officer Wilson’s gun, on the left thigh of Wilson’s pants, and on the inside driver’s door handle of Wilson’s police SUV.
- Traces of Brown’s skin were found on the exterior of Wilson’s vehicle.
- Analysis of three separate autopsy reports indicated that Brown did not have his hands raised when he was fatally shot, and that he was not shot in the back.
- Toxicology test results showed that Brown, at the time of his death, had tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system at levels possibly high enough to trigger hallucinations.
Moments after the prosecuting attorney, Bob McCulloch, had publicly announced the grand jury’s decision, crowds of protesters stormed through a police barricade, pelted law-enforcement officers with objects like rocks and batteries, and poured into the streets of Ferguson where they smashed windows, vandalized cars, set buildings and police vehicles ablaze, and fired gunshots into the air. Many thousands of people rallied in other U.S. cities as well, waving placards and shouting chants of “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” Such protests would continue for weeks thereafter.
In March 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that, after an extensive investigation of physical, ballistic, forensic, medical, autopsy, and eyewitness evidence, it had decided not to prosecute Officer Wilson for any civil rights violations. That announcement was accompanied by the DOJ’s release of an 86-page report summarizing its findings. Key excerpts from the report included the following:
- “The evidence, when viewed as a whole, does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were ‘objectively unreasonable’ under the Supreme Court’s definition.”
- “There was no evidence to corroborate that Wilson choked, strangled, or tightly grasped Brown on or around his neck, as described by [Dorian Johnson].”
- “The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson while he was seated in his SUV were in self-defense and thus were not objectively unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”
- “Brown’s DNA was found at four significant locations: on Wilson’s gun; on the roadway further away from where he died; on the SUV driver’s door and inside the driver’s cabin area of the SUV; and on Wilson’s clothes.”
- “The evidence does not support concluding that Wilson shot Brown while Brown’s back was toward Wilson.”
- “Witness accounts suggesting that Brown was standing still with his hands raised in an unambiguous signal of surrender when Wilson shot Brown are inconsistent with the physical evidence, are otherwise not credible because of internal inconsistencies, or are not credible because of inconsistencies with other credible evidence.”
- “There are no witnesses who could testify credibly that Wilson shot Brown while Brown was clearly attempting to surrender.”
- “Not only do eyewitnesses and physical evidence corroborate Wilson’s account, but there is no credible evidence to disprove Wilson’s perception that Brown posed a threat to Wilson as Brown advanced toward him. Accordingly, seeking his indictment is not permitted by Department of Justice policy or the governing law.”
None of this highly compelling evidence, however, made even the slightest impact on BLM’s narrative regarding the Michael Brown case. Indeed, BLM owes much of its subsequent fame and influence directly to the massive publicity it gained as a result of the Brown shooting. As USA Today noted in August 2016: “Since police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown … in Ferguson, Mo., the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ have morphed from a public outcry into a national movement.”
The BLM-Led Violence in Ferguson, Following Michael Brown’s Death
The response to Michael Brown’s death started somewhat quietly on the evening of August 9, 2014, when Ferguson residents erected a makeshift memorial consisting of flowers, candles, balloons, and teddy bears upon the spot where Brown had died. The following day, however, saw the appearance of a large number of rioters who looted businesses, lit vehicles and buildings ablaze, and aggressively confronted and attacked police officers in the streets. By dawn on the morning of August 11, no fewer than 28 businesses in Ferguson and the neighboring town of Dellwood had been burglarized, burned, or damaged in some other significant way.
On the night of August 11, a number of protesters in Ferguson threw rocks at police, prompting the officers to respond with tear gas and bean-bag rounds in an effort to disperse the crowds. One of the demonstrators at the scene was Democrat State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who later complained that the police response had been excessive: “We were tear-gassed. I could not breathe, I could not speak, I could not focus, I could not think because I thought that I were going to die because we were shot at and tear gas was constantly thrown at us and the police officers. I’m the senator for the area, and I felt threatened. Everyone felt threatened.”
On August 12, several hundred protesters gathered in the city of Clayton, the political seat of St. Louis County, to demand the criminal prosecution of Darren Wilson, the officer who had shot Michael Brown. Pockets of violence broke out at the scene, where people threw bottles and other assorted projectiles at law-enforcement officers.
There was more of the same on the night of August 13, when protesters hurled Molotov cocktails, rocks, and bottles at police officers. Among those who were arrested for failing to comply with police orders were Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery, Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly, and Al Jazeera America correspondent Ash-har Quraishi. The apprehension of these media figures prompted President Barack Obama to criticize law-enforcement personnel, asserting that “there’s … no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests,” “to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” or to “be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”
On August 14, Democrat U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill followed Obama’s lead by stating that “militarization of the police” had “escalated the protesters’ response.” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder likewise indicated that he was concerned about what he described as the police use of military-style equipment in putting down the riots.
On the night of August 15, some 200 protesters attacked police in Ferguson. In the wee morning hours of August 16, rioters looted the Ferguson Market & Liquor store that Michael Brown had robbed just prior to confrontation with Officer Wilson a week earlier. They also looted additional nearby businesses, stealing food, electronics, cigarettes, liquor, and a host of other items.
On August 18, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued an executive order calling in the National Guard to “help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson.” The following day, 47 protesters were arrested, including some from as far away as California and New York. By August 21, order was largely restored n Ferguson, and Governor Nixon withdrew the National Guard from the city.
Michael Brown’s funeral was held on August 25, fully 16 days after his death. It was in every way a spectacle, with such luminaries as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, filmmaker Spike Lee, entertainer Sean Combs, and some children of the late Martin Luther King Jr. in attendance. To drive home the notion that racism was to blame for Michael Brown’s death, the parents of Trayvon Martin and a cousin of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy who had been infamously murdered by several white men in Mississippi 59 years earlier, were also present. The tenor of the proceedings was conveyed by a Kansas City Star report that said: “More than 4,500 mourners filled Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis for the service, which at times seemed like a cross between a gospel revival and a rock concert. It began with upbeat music punctuated by clapping. Some people danced in place.” The eulogy was delivered by the Rev. Charles Ewing, who stated that Michael Brown’s “blood is ‘crying from the ground, crying for vengeance, crying for justice.’”
The violence in Ferguson diminished greatly over the next several weeks, though there were still some sporadic outbreaks. By mid-fall, the unrest in Ferguson and its surrounding environs had resulted in injuries to at least 37 St. Louis County police officers since the death of Michael Brown. Moreover, approximately 20 civilians had been sent to hospitals after sustaining injuries at various protest sites.
Major violence broke out again in Ferguson on November 25, after a grand jury decided, following three months of deliberation, not to charge Officer Wilson with a crime in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Sixty-one people were arrested in Ferguson that night and into the next morning, plus at least another 20 elsewhere the immediate vicinity. Meanwhile, separate protests also erupted in New York, Seattle, Oakland and other cities, demanding “justice” for Michael Brown and his family.
Over the next few days, arsonists reduced numerous cars and buildings in Ferguson to smoldering, sooty ash heaps. All told, 17 businesses were damaged so badly that they were deemed “unsafe structures” by city authorities. Another 37 buildings in the city were damaged less extensively, though still significantly, by vandalism. And in nearby Dellwood, 8 buildings were completely destroyed by fires.
From August through December of 2014, the unrest in Ferguson cost taxpayers at least $26 million in expenditures related to the National Guard, the Missouri Highway Patrol, overtime pay for police and other emergency personnel, and the repair of property that was damaged, burned, looted, and vandalized.
The Consequences of BLM’s Rhetoric
In 2013 and beyond, a number of black criminal suspects who had died in the course of confrontations with police officers joined Trayvon Martin as new, martyred icons of the BLM movement. Prominent among these were Eric Garner (New York), Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri), Tamir Rice (Cleveland), Timothy Russell (Cleveland), Malissa Williams (Cleveland), and Freddie Gray (Baltimore). High-profile political leaders such as President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the mayors of the cities where the aforementioned deaths took place, routinely depicted race as a major underlying factor in those deaths.
In December 2014, for instance, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio—explicitly exhorting New Yorkers to remember that “black lives matter”—lamented the “centuries of racism” whose legacy was still influencing the actions of too many police officers. The mayor called not only for the retraining of police forces “in how to work with [nonwhite] communities differently,” but also for the use of body cameras to bring “a different level of transparency and accountability” to police work.
And in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death in April 2015, Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, citing her desire “to reform my [police] department,” called on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a civil-rights investigation to determine whether Baltimore police had been engaging in unconstitutional patterns of abuse or discrimination against African Americans. Moreover, when violent riots were overrunning parts of her city following Gray’s demise, Rawlings-Blake, by her own admission, “gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well.” In other words, the police were in effect sidelined.
In New York, Baltimore, and elsewhere in urban America, law-enforcement officers responded to the newly rising anti-police climate by becoming less proactive in apprehending criminals, particularly for low-level offenses. Then-mayor Rahm Emanuel put it this way: “We have allowed our police department to get fetal, and it is having a direct consequence. They have pulled back from the ability to interdict.” This phenomenon, in turn, led to a dramatic rise in crime rates in a number of U.S. cities. For example:
- Through the first five months of 2015 in New York, the incidence of murder was 20% higher than for the same period a year earlier, and shooting incidents were up 9%.
- During the three months that followed August 2014 (when Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri), homicides in nearby in St. Louis city rose 47%, and robberies in St. Louis County increased by 82%.
- After the protests and riots over the April 12, 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, shootings in that city increased by more than 60% compared to the same period a year earlier. In May 2015, Baltimore recorded 43 murders—the most in any month since August 1972.
- From January to mid-May of 2015 in Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% compared to the same period in 2014.
- From January through March of 2015 in Houston, murders were up nearly 100% compared to the same period in 2014.
- From January 1 through May 24, 2015 in Chicago, shootings were up 25% and homicides were up 18% compared to the same period in 2014.
- From January through May of 2015 in Los Angeles, shootings were up 23% and other violent crime was up 25% compared to the same period in 2014.
For 2015 as a whole, America’s 56 largest cities experienced a 17% rise in homicides; in 10 heavily black cities, murders increased by more than 60%.
Moreover, some criminals deliberately made police officers the targets of their violence. Less than three weeks after Mayor de Blasio’s December 2014 condemnation of police in New York, for instance, a black gunman named Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two uniformed NYPD officers, execution-style, as they sat in their marked police car. In a Facebook message he had posted just prior to carrying out his double murder, Brinsley made it explicitly clear that his motive was to avenge the recent deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
The spike in urban violence nationwide continued into 2016. During the first quarter of that year, homicides in the nation’s 63 largest cities increased by 9%, while nonfatal shootings were up 21%. For the statistics on rising violence rates in a number of specific cities, click here. Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald characterized this spike in urban violence — and in attacks on the police — as “The Ferguson Effect” — a reference to the rage and anti-police hatred sparked by the aforementioned police shooting of Michael Brown.
These attacks against police officers, and the aforementioned increases in urban crime, are not at all troubling to BLM, because, notwithstanding the movement’s constant professions of deep concern about black lives, the reality is quite different. What matters most to BLM is finding a spark—e.g., allegations of police vigilantism—that can be used to ignite a race war; to take America back to the “long hot summers” of the 1960s, when criminals were seen as radical “heroes,” police had a bull’s-eye on their backs, and the streets of America’s inner cities ran red with fantasies of “revolutionary violence.”
The “Ferguson Effect” Is Confirmed
In January 2017 the Pew Research Center released a 97-page report titled “Behind the Badge,” which – based on the results of a questionnaire that had been sent to nearly 8,000 officers in more than 100 police departments nationwide – confirmed the reality of the so-called “Ferguson Effect.” As Breitbart.com sumarized:
“The survey reveals that officers are dealing with two conflicting concerns that create doubt, hesitation, fear, and uncertainty – things that can put officers’ lives, and those of the public, in danger. Officers have become more concerned about their personal safety. But they are also more concerned about the repercussions of using force, even when the use of that force is fully justified…. The Pew Research Center learned that 95 percent of officers in large departments, and 88 percent of those in smaller ones, are more concerned about their personal safety than they have been in the past. These concerns were likely intensified during the past year when officers experienced a 61 percent increase in the deaths of their fellow officers from hostile gunfire.”
“The 61 percent increase in law enforcement officers shot and killed in 2016 versus 2015 and a 53 percent overall increase in officers murdered in the performance of duty are deeply troubling statistics,” said Steven Weiss, director of research for the “Officer Down Memorial Page” website. “Included in that statistic is a disturbing increase in officers killed in ‘ambush-style’ murders, such as the incidents in Dallas and Des Moines. These types of murders are particularly disconcerting because they are not born out of a criminal’s desire to avoid arrest, but out of a hatred for not only law enforcement, but for our society as a whole. It is the type of attack that, for the most part, tactical training or increased vigilance may not help to prevent.”
The Pew survey also revealed that 85 percent of officers in large departments, and 63 percent of those in small departments, had become are more reluctant to use force against criminal suspects when appropriate. Similarly, 86 percent of officers in large departments, and 54 percent of those in smaller departments, said that, in an effort to avoid potentially violent encounters with criminals, they had grown less likely to stop and question people who seemed suspicious.
More BLM Activities & Quotes
At a December 2014 BLM rally in New York City, marchers chanted in unison: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.”
In April 2015, BLM held a “Populism 2015” assembly at a Washington, D.C. hotel. The event was sponsored by National People’s Action, the Campaign for America’s Future, USAction, and the Alliance for a Just Society.
On May 28, 2015, BLM held an event at the Center for American Progress titled “Toward a More Perfect Union: Bringing Criminal Justice Reform to Our Communities.” At this gathering, writes journalist Matthew Vadum: “[B]lack activists blamed the rising tide of black violence against police and whites on everyone except the perpetrators.” They cited such root causes as the evils of capitalism, white privilege, excessive numbers of laws and police officers, corporate malfeasance, and insufficient taxes levied on the wealthy.
In a July 2015 Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix, Arizona, BLM-affiliated protesters disrupted talks by two Democratic presidential candidates—U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley—shouting at both men: “Say that black lives matter! Say that I am not a criminal! Say my name!” O’Malley, for his part, responded by appealing for a sense of unity: “I think all of us have a responsibility to recognize the pain and grief caused by lives lost to violence. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” These remarks by O’Malley caused the demonstrators to become enraged, and they proceeded to boo loudly and shout him down.
At that same Netroots Nation conference, BLM activists led much of the crowd in the following chant (click here for video):
“If I die in police custody, don’t believe the hype. I was murdered!
Protect my family! Indict the system! Shut that shit down!
If I die in police custody, avenge my death!
By any means necessary!
If I die in police custody, burn everything down!
No building is worth more than my life!
And that’s the only way motherfuckers like you listen!
If I die in police custody, make sure I’m the last person to die in police custody.
By any means necessary!
If I die in police custody, do not hold a moment of silence for me!
Rise the fuck up!
Because your silence is killing us!“
On August 29, 2015—just hours after a lone black gunman had murdered a white sheriff’s deputy in Texas while the latter was pumping gasoline into his car—demonstrators affiliated with the St. Paul, Minnesota branch of BLM disrupted traffic as they marched—with police protection—to the gates of the Minnesota State Fair. Carrying signs bearing slogans like “End White Supremacy,” they repeatedly chanted in unison: “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” “Pigs” was a reference to police officers, and “blanket” was a reference to body bags. The slogan echoed what gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsleyan had posted on the Internet—”Pigs in a blanket smell like bacon”—in December 2014, just before he murdered NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
During the September 1, 2015 airing of a blog-talk-radio program associated with BLM, the hosts laughed at the recent assassination of Texas Deputy Daron Goforth, a husband and father who was shot 15 times at point blank range from behind while he was gassing up his patrol car. One host, a self-described black supremacist known as King Noble, said the execution of that “cracker cop” was an indication that “it’s open season on killing whites and police officers and probably killing cops, period.” “It’s unavoidable, inescapable,” he added. “It’s funny that now we are moving to a time where the predator will become the prey.” After claiming that blacks were like lions who could win a “race war” against whites, Noble declared: “Today, we live in a time when the white man will be picked off, and there’s nothing he can do about it. His day is up, his time is up. We will witness more executions and killing of white people and cops than we ever have before. It’s about to go down. It’s open season on killing white people and crackas.”
On September 14, 2015, BLM supporter/demonstrator Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, a 25-year-old convicted felon, shot and killed a rookie Kentucky state trooper named Joseph Cameron Ponder after a high-speed chase. The perpetrator lived in Florissant, Missouri, near the town of Ferguson, and had participated in local demonstrations protesting the 2014 death of Michael Brown, a young black man killed by a white Ferguson police officer after he had tried to take the officer’s handgun. Johnson-Shanks was so preoccupied with the Brown case, that he even attended Brown’s funeral and graveside service in August 2014.
On October 24, 2015, members of the BLM-affiliated Black Youth Project (BYP) took down an American flag during their #StopTheCops street protests in Chicago, replacing it with one that read “Unapologetically Black.” Like BLM, BYP opposes increased spending on law enforcement, as one of its activists, Maria Hadden, explained: “To provide better education, to provide access to basic human needs, housing and healthcare, those are the ways that we address crime. Those are the ways we improve the city, not by spending more money on police. So we believe we need to spend less money on policing, more money on community services.” Some BYP protestors taunted the police by singing, “Stop cops, stop cops, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when we defund you?” to the tune of the Bad Boys theme song from the television show COPS.
On November 12, 2015, a group of approximately 150 BLM protesters shouting “black lives matter” and racial obscenities stormed Dartmouth University’s library, shouting, “F* you, you filthy white f***s!,” “F*** you and your comfort!,” and “F you, you racist s**!” A report in the Dartmouth Review said:
“Throngs of protesters converged around fellow students who had not joined in their long march. They confronted students who bore ‘symbols of oppression’: ‘gangster hats’ and Beats-brand headphones. The flood of demonstrators self-consciously overstepped every boundary, opening the doors of study spaces with students reviewing for exams. Those who tried to close their doors were harassed further. One student abandoned the study room and ran out of the library. The protesters followed her out of the library, shouting obscenities the whole way. Students who refused to listen to or join their outbursts were shouted down. ‘Stand the f* up!’ ‘You filthy racist white piece of s!’ Men and women alike were pushed and shoved by the group. ‘If we can’t have it, shut it down!’ they cried. Another woman was pinned to a wall by protesters who unleashed their insults, shouting ‘filthy white b*!’ in her face.”
In mid-November 2015, students gathered at Kean University in New Jersey to stand in solidarity with BLM protests that were taking place at the University of Missouri. One of the participants at the Kean event was 24-year-old Kayla-Simone McKelvey, a Kean alumnus and self-proclaimed black activist who had graduated six months earlier. About midway through the rally, McKelvey slipped away and went to the university library, where she secretly and hastily created an anonymous Twitter account, @keanuagainstblk, and stated in its description that it was an account “against blacks” and “for everyone who hates blacks people.”[sic] McKelvey then sent her first “anonymous” tweet: a bomb threat to the campus. She followed that up with tweets that read: (a) “i will kill every black male and female at kean university”; (b) “i will kill all blacks tonight, tomorrow, and any other day if they go to Kean university”; and (c) “tell every black person that you know they will die if they go to #Keanuniversity”. According to police, McKelvey then returned to the rally and began spreading the word that she had “discovered” the aforementioned Twitter threats against black students. McKelvey was subsequently charged with third-degree “creating a false public alarm” and was ordered to appear in court on December 14.
In a February 2016 interview with Fox News, the co-founder of BLM’s Seattle chapter, Marissa Jenae Johnson, described the phrase “All lives matter” as a “new racial slur.” “White Americans have created the conditions that require a phrase like ‘Black Likes Matter,’” she said. “Do you know how horrific it is to grow up as a child in a world that so hates you? While you’re literally being gunned down in the street, while you’re being rounded up and mass incarcerated and forced into prison slavery.” “Black Lives Matter is not a strong enough statement for me,” she added.
in July 2016, Cornell University professor Russell Rickford declared: “We’ve got to build a grassroots, antiracist movement to defeat capitalism altogether, and it’s not going to happen at the ballot box. There can be no human system under capitalism. Capitalism is an anti-human system.”
On July 7, 2016, BLM activists held anti-police-brutality rallies in numerous cities across the United States, to protest the recent shootings of two African American men by white police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana. At a rally in Dallas, Texas, demonstrators shouted “Enough is enough!” while they held signs bearing slogans like: “If all lives matter, why are black ones taken so easily?” Then, suddenly, at just before 9 pm, a gunman opened fire on the law-enforcement officers who were on duty at that rally (in Dallas). Four policemen and one transit officer were killed, and seven additional police were wounded. The perpetrator, Micah Xavier Johnson, subsequently told a hostage negotiator that he had acted alone, was angry about the recent police shootings of two black men, and was determined to kill white people — especially white police officers.
In the wake of the carnage in Dallas, a number of BLM activists taunted uniformed police officers who were standing guard in front of a gas station. Some Twitter users posted footage of a local news report that showed a group of protesters dancing, shouting, and taunting police. Moreover, BLM sympathizers posted numerous online tweets to express their approval of the mass shooting. Some examples:
- “Y’all pigs got what was coming for y’all.”
- “GIVE A FUCK ABOUT DALLAS AND THEM PIGS FUCK EM ALL”
- “wtf! Is when whites think their superior than us! Dallas must burn,black lives matter now, got the message pigs!”
- “These fucking pigs deserve Dallas, and every incident after Dallas until reform. Fucking disgusting animals.”
- “Next time a group wants to organize a police shoot, do like Dallas tonight, but have extra men/women to flank the Pigs!”
- “dude hell yeah someone is shooting pigs in dallas. solidarity”
- “Shout out to them Dallas shooters !! rapping pigs in blankets”
- “DALLAS keep smoking dem pigs keep up the work.”
On July 9, 2016, activists participating in a BLM protest in Phoenix threw rocks at police officers and threatened to kill them.
In July 2016, a BLM activist speaking to a CNN reporter shouted: “The less white babies on this planet, the less of you [white adults] we got! I hope they kill all the white babies! Kill ’em all right now! Kill ’em! Kill your grandkids! Kill yourself! Coffin, bitch! Go lay in a coffin! Kill yourself!”
On August 13, 2016, BLM activists in Milwaukee engaged in violence after police in that city shot and killed a black man with a lengthy criminal record who was carrying an illegal gun that had been stolen in a burglary five months earlier. One video clip of the violence showed rioters chanting “black power!” and trying to drag white drivers out of their cars and assault them. The rioters also targeted local reporters for violent assaults, including one Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter who was thrown to the ground and punched. In another video clip, rioters could be seen burning down a gas station while chanting “black power!” This was just one of numerous businesses that were set on fire. In a Facebook post the following day, the Black Lives Matter Coalition For Justice wrote: “What happened last night was not the result of greed or an ignorant display of anger as some have called it, but rather pain and frustration built up from over 400 years of oppression. The rioting and looting that occurred last night in the city of Milwaukee is a demand for justice on every level…. What happened last night was a revolt and an uproar, not just a disturbance…. The people are angry. The people are fed up, and the people are demanding their freedom.”
In September 2016, BLM activists rioted in Charlotte, North Carolina after a black police officer there had shot and killed a gun-wielding black criminal named Keith Lamont Scott. Prior to that killing, Scott had been: convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in two different states, convicted of assault in three states, charged with “assault with intent to kill” in the 1990s, and spent 7 years in jail for “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.” In multiple requests for domestic violence protective orders, one of which had been filed in 2015, Scott’s wife claimed that the man had stabbed her, hit one of his children, and threatened to kill his entire family. The woman also reported that Scott carried a 9mm handgun but had no permit for it. (According to Fox News: “The gun recovered at the scene of Scott’s shooting had been stolen and later sold to Scott.”) At least 20 police officers were injured in the Charlotte riots, and National Guard troops were called in to help restore order. During the mayhem, protesters threw things at police, sometimes shot one another, looted and destroyed local businesses, set vehicles on fire, attacked white people who happened to be in the vicinity, decorated the landscape with BLM graffiti, and chanted slogans like “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”
In the summer of 2020, the publication The Brooklyn Rail published an article that listed a number of popular BLM chants: “Fuck the police”; “Fuck 12” (numerical slang for police); “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards), derived from hip-hop and punk subcultures; and “NYPD suck my dick!” (in New York City).
Influencing America’s Public Schools
In 2016, BLM started to move beyond street protests and began to establish a growing influence in America’s public schools. In October of that year, teachers in Seattle organized a “Black Lives Matter at School Day.” When the National Education Association (NEA) subsequently adopted a resolution endorsing that measure, “BLM at School Day” grew into a full “BLM at School National Week of Action,” to be held annually during the first week of February as part of Black History Month activities. In 2018, school districts in more than 20 major cities incorporated “BLM at School Week” into their curricula.
A key resource for BLM-related lessons is a textbook titled Teaching for Black Lives, a Rethinking Schools publication whose opening sentence reads: “Black students’ minds and bodies are under attack.” The book’s introduction challenges teachers to enlist in a campaign for racial equity, and, in fact, to transform classrooms into centers of resistance, with students as complicit activists. “The ferocity of racism in the United States against black minds and black bodies demands that teachers fight back,” the introduction states.
According to the editors of Teaching for Black Lives, teachers “must organize against anti-blackness amongst our colleagues and in our communities; we must march against police brutality in the streets; and we must teach for Black lives in our classrooms.” One of the book’s sections, “Making Black Lives Matter in Our Schools,” has as its purpose to show “how police violence and the movement for Black lives can explicitly be brought to schools and classrooms by educators through organizing mass action and through curriculum” and how “it is also important for students and teachers to understand their roles in organizing in support of Black life and Black communities, and against anti-Black racism” through “the hope and beauty of student activism and collective action.”
Teaching for Black Lives is replete with narratives designed to stoke fear, anger, and resentment in the minds of black students. One reference to “the continuing police murders of black people,” for instance, declares: “In August of 2014, Michael Brown was killed in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, his body left in the streets for hours as a reminder to the black residents in the neighborhood that their lives are meaningless to the American Empire.” There are additional noteworthy references to “the school-to-prison pipeline” and the “epidemic of police violence and mass incarceration.” The book also includes essays bearing such titles as: “Rethinking Islamophobia: Combating Bigotry by Raising the Voices of Black Muslims”; “Plotting Inequalities, Building Resistance”; and “Racial Justice Is Not a Choice: White Supremacy, High-Stakes Testing, and the Punishment of Black and Brown Students.”
By 2019, “Black Lives Matter at School Week” (BLMSW) was being observed by thousands of educators in public school districts across the United States. BLMSW’s online guide abounds with suggested lesson plans and recommended resources for educating students:
- One suggested lesson recommends that students examine “Economic Injustice through the exploration of credit card debt” using math skills. The lesson asks that students “Read and analyze an article by The Root (a Black news source) that explains how credit card debt is worse for the Black community.”
- A proposed science lesson would have students examine “Environmental Justice in the Context of Fresh Drinking Water.” The teacher’s packet explains, “The goal of this lesson is to initiate the conversation around the meaning and urgency of Environmental Justice…. The goal of Environmental Justice is to establish a spectrum of lenses that will provide our students the vision towards which the equitable distribution of resources and human rights issues are addressed…. It addresses the scientific roots of climate-induced injustices found in society, and it provides social justice based solutions to these problems.”
- A lesson recommended by the D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice focuses on the “Introduction of Transgender and Nonbinary Identities with I Am Jazz.” In an effort to teach students from pre-kindergarten to second grade how to “define the words ‘transgender’ and ‘nonbinary’ and give examples of ways to support people of all gender identities,” the lesson plan recommends screening a video of a transgender girl reading her autobiography titled “I Am Jazz.” The lesson plan adds: “When Jazz says, ‘I have a boy body but a girl brain,’ I would recommend stopping the video and reminding kids that there’s no such things as ‘boy bodies,’ but instead that the doctors thought she was a boy by using what they could see.”
- A lesson plan designed for use by grades 3-5 but which “may include lessons appropriate for K-2 as well,” teaches “Activism, Organizing and Resistance.” One of the lesson plan’s modules, “Art and Activism,” “capitalizes on children’s natural relationship to art by prompting them to examine the ways art relates to community leadership and activism,” with individual lessons titled “Art and Community Activism,” “Who Are the Activists in My Community?,” “Art and LGBT Rights: Study of Symbols,” and “Art and Social Justice: What is a Portrait?”
- In another module, “Resistance Stories (#teachresistance),” students are directed to read stories about activists “in order to consider ideas around economic justice and protest as a means to achieve change.” Once they have read the stories and discussed them in class, they “will then consider ways that they can take a stand about a social issue within their own school or community that concerns them” and “. . . then explore issues in their own communities and engage in a form of activism to address that issue.” The lesson plan also “introduces children to different ways young people have used the internet to work toward positive social change.” An additional part of the lesson plan is the section called “Exploring Teacher Strikes,” during which “Children explore the reasons why teachers have gone on strikes by engaging in role-playing.”
- The Seattle Public School System has used an ethnic studies “Identity Lesson” titled “Do Black Lives Matter in America?,” designed for use with 4th and 5th graders. This lesson plan makes use of a website called Mapping Police Violence, which teaches that “Black people are most likely to be killed by police,” “police killed Black people at higher rates than white people in 47 of the 50 largest US cities,” and “there is no accountability” for police who shoot black suspects.
Even very young schoolchildren are targeted with BLM propaganda in many classrooms. An early childhood teacher’s guide, for instance, emphasizes the importance of using “age-appropriate language” to help youngsters understand various concepts that are central to BLM’s philosophy. For example, teachers are urged to cultivate “transgender affirming” students by telling them: “Everybody has the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind. Everyone gets to choose if they are a girl or a boy or both or neither or something else, and no one else gets to choose for them.” And to promote what the guide calls “the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics and a return to the ‘collective village’ that takes care of each other,” teachers are instructed to say: “There are lots of different kinds of families; what makes a family is that it’s people who take care of each other; those people might be related, or maybe they choose to be family together and to take care of each other. Sometimes, when it’s lots of families together, it can be called a village.”
What began as a well-intentioned attempt to teach tolerance and anti-racism in schools, has widened into an ideological campaign permeating school curricula. Some components of that campaign were revealed at an NEA meeting, in one item adopted by members, New Business Item 39. Item 39 committed the NEA members to “Share and publicize, through existing channels, information already available on critical race theory … [and] have a team of staffers for members who want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric; and share information with other NEA members as well as their community members.” The language of Item 39 affirms the promotion of “an already-created, in-depth, study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy [sic], capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society, and that we oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.”
The NEA’s obsession with race, social justice, and victimization permeates the organization’s ideology and its notion of what should be taught, and propagandized, in public schools. In an NEA resource guide, Racial Justice in Education, for example, the organization lays out for teachers a group of what they term “Guiding Principles on Racial & Social Justice in Education.” The NEA’s “vision for public education,” the guide proclaims, “advances inclusion, equity, and racial and social justice in our schools and society.”
The bias in the NEA’s vision is revealed in some of the subsequent language of the guide, such as the proclamation that teachers’ “work must dismantle white supremacy, and ensure that bigotry or discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin are not part of our classrooms, educational curricula, school policies and discipline practices,” and, in a nod to the false notion that white law enforcement brutalizes minorities, that “schools must be safe for all students, and free from state-sanctioned, racialized, and gender-based violence.”
Prominent BLM Activist Arrested on Sex-Trafficking Charges
In May 2016, 33-year-old BLM activist Charles Wade, who had been profiled in several newspapers and had recently been invited to the Obama White House along with others from his organization, was indicted on seven criminal charges including felonious sex trafficking (for pimping out a 17-year-old girl). The charges carried sentences of up to 25 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
BLM Blames “White Supremacy” and the “Conservative Right” for Jihadist’s Mass Murder in Florida
On June 21, 2016 — a few days after a self-proclaimed Muslim jihadist used an AR-15 rifle to murder 49 people and wound 53 others in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida — BLM posted an article on its website that blamed “white supremacy, patriarchy and homophobia of the conservative right” for the atrocity. It read, in part, as follows:
“Despite the media’s framing of this as a terrorist attack, we are very clear that this terror is completely homegrown, born from the anti-Black white supremacy, patriarchy and homophobia of the conservative right and of those who would use religious extremism as a weapon to gain power for the few and take power from the rest. Those who seek to profit from our deaths hope we will forget who our real enemy is, and blame Muslim communities instead….
“Homegrown terror is the product of a long history of colonialism, including state and vigilante violence. It is the product of white supremacy and capitalism, which deforms the spirit and fuels interpersonal violence. We especially hold space for our Latinx family now, knowing that the vast majority of those murdered were Latinx, and many were specifically Puerto Rican. From the forced migration of thousands of young people from the island of Puerto Rico to Orlando, to the deadly forced migration throughout Latin America and the Caribbean — we know this is not the first time in history our families have been mowed down with malice, and we stand with you.
“Religious extremism is not new to America and is not unique to Islam. For centuries, religion has been used to subjugate queer people of color and lay the groundwork for our deaths. We live in a society that gasps at mass murder but does little to produce the policies or radical ideological shift needed to keep LGBTQ people and our families alive and safe….
“We will not allow our movement to be dominated by white progressives that still attempt to define our solutions and limit our leadership. We will not allow the vision to be stunted by a gun control agenda with neither racial context nor a clear history of the relationship between white supremacy and guns in the United States…. You cannot decry guns without also decrying how those guns were used to take Native land, to enslave Black bodies, to remake “Latin America”, and to redefine the western hemisphere. We need more than legislation, more than vigils and prayers, more than donations — we need a deep transformation at the cellular levels of this nation….
“We need a world that realizes that the word ‘terrorist’ is not synonymous with Muslim, any more than ‘criminal’ is synonymous with Black. The enemy is now and has always been the four threats of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and militarism. These forces and not Islam create terrorism. These forces, and not queerness, create homophobia. These forces unleash destruction primarily on those who are Trans, and queer, and brown and Black, and we are the first to experience its violence…. Until these systems are defeated, until anti-Blackness no longer fuels anti-Muslim and anti-queer and trans bigotry, exploitation, and exclusion — we can never be truly free.”
BLM’s Updated Demands & Agendas
On August 1, 2016, BLM, under the name “Movement for Black Lives,” issued a major Statement articulating its updated policy agendas and demands. Titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice,” the Statement consisted of 6 core demands and 38 policy priorities. Notably, those demands and priorities are mostly indistinguishable from those of the Democratic Party’s official platform.
Below are verbatim excerpts from the contents of BLM’s demands and priorities:
(1) End The War On Black People
We demand an end to the war against Black people. Since this country’s inception there have been named and unnamed wars on our communities. We demand an end to the criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our people. This includes:
- An immediate end to the criminalization and dehumanization of Black youth across all areas of society including, but not limited to; our nation’s justice and education systems, social service agencies, and media and pop culture. This includes an end to zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students, the removal of police from schools, and the reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services.
- An end to capital punishment.
- An end to money bail, mandatory fines, fees, court surcharges and “defendant funded” court proceedings.
- An end to the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs.
- An end to the war on Black immigrants including the repeal of the 1996 crime and immigration bills, an end to all deportations, immigrant detention, and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids, and mandated legal representation in immigration court.
- An end to the war on Black trans, queer and gender nonconforming people including their addition to anti-discrimination civil rights protections to ensure they have full access to employment, health, housing and education.
- An end to the mass surveillance of Black communities, and the end to the use of technologies that criminalize and target our communities (including IMSI catchers, drones, body cameras, and predictive policing software).
- The demilitarization of law enforcement, including law enforcement in schools and on college campuses.
- An immediate end to the privatization of police, prisons, jails, probation, parole, food, phone and all other criminal justice related services.
- Until we achieve a world where cages are no longer used against our people we demand an immediate change in conditions and an end to public jails, detention centers, youth facilities and prisons as we know them. This includes the end of solitary confinement, the end of shackling of pregnant people, access to quality healthcare, and effective measures to address the needs of our youth, queer, gender nonconforming and trans families.
What is the problem?
- Across the country, Black children attend under-resourced schools where they are often pushed off of an academic track onto a track to prison. Zero-tolerance policies — a combination of exclusionary disciplinary policies and school-based arrests — are often the first stop along the school-to-prison pipeline and play a key role in pushing students out of the school system and funneling them into jails and prisons.
- Each year more than three million students are suspended from school — often for vague and subjective infractions such as “willful defiance” and “disrespect” — amounting to countless hours of lost instructional time. As a result, Black students are denied an opportunity to learn and punished for routine child and adolescent behaviors that their white peers are often not disciplined for at all.
- For Black youth, the impact of exclusionary school discipline is far reaching – disengaging them from academic and developmental opportunities and increasing the likelihood that they will be incarcerated later in life. In addition, current research emphasizes the need to examine the unique ways in which Black girls are impacted by punitive zero-tolerance policies. There are higher disciplinary disparities between Black girls and white girls than disciplinary disparities between Black boys and white boys; yet, Black girls have historically been overlooked in the national discourse around youth impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline.
- Black youth are also more likely to experience higher rates of corporal punishment….
- Outside of schools, young Black people are criminalized in ways that limit their life chances at every point. 2010 data shows that while Black youth comprised 17 percent of all youth, they represented 31 percent of all arrests. These disparities persist even as juvenile “crime” rates have fallen. Among youth arrests, young Black people are more likely to be referred to a juvenile court than their white peers, and are more likely to be processed (and less likely to be diverted). Among those adjudicated delinquent, they are more likely to be sent to solitary confinement. Among those detained, Black youth are more likely to be transferred to adult facilities. The disparities grow at almost every step, stealing the dignity of young Black people and forcing them onto lifelong pathways of criminalization and diminished opportunity.
- For Black girls, the U.S.’s failure to address gender-based violence, which they experience at greater levels than any other group, is paramount to the criminalization they experience. In fact, sexual abuse is one of the primary predictors of girls’ entry into the juvenile justice system, with girls often being routed to the system specifically because of their victimization. For instance, girls who are victims of sex trafficking are often arrested on prostitution charges….
- There is a critical need for a coordinated strategy in local communities that addresses rampant racial disparities in the application of zero-tolerance policies and criminalization practices that impact Black boys and girls….
- Tens of thousands of youth under the age of 21 are currently incarcerated for offenses ranging from truancy to more serious charges. Every crime bill passed by Congress throughout the 1980s and 1990s included new federal laws against juvenile crimes and increased penalties against children. Similar trends can be seen throughout state legislation. There is mounting research that children under the age of 23 do not have fully-developed brains and that the cheapest, most humane, and most cost-effective way to respond to juvenile crime is not incarceration, but programs and investments that strengthen families, increase stability and provide access to educational and employment opportunities. Prosecuting youth with crimes is not only cruel; but it also permanently disadvantages them with a criminal record, which makes completing their education, getting a job, finding housing and growing up to be contributing members of society unfairly difficult.
We demand reparations for past and continuing harms. The government, responsible corporations and other institutions that have profited off of the harm they have inflicted on Black people — from colonialism to slavery through food and housing redlining, mass incarceration, and surveillance — must repair the harm done. This includes:
- Reparations for the systemic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education including: free access and open admissions to public community colleges and universities, technical education (technology, trade and agricultural), educational support programs, retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.
- Reparations for the continued divestment from, discrimination toward and exploitation of our communities in the form of a guaranteed minimum livable income for all Black people, with clearly articulated corporate regulations.
- Reparations for the wealth extracted from our communities through environmental racism, slavery, food apartheid, housing discrimination and racialized capitalism in the form of corporate and government reparations focused on healing ongoing physical and mental trauma, and ensuring our access and control of food sources, housing and land.
- Reparations for the cultural and educational exploitation, erasure, and extraction of our communities in the form of mandated public school curriculums that critically examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism and slavery, and funding to support, build, preserve, and restore cultural assets and sacred sites to ensure the recognition and honoring of our collective struggles and triumphs.
- Legislation at the federal and state level that requires the United States to acknowledge the lasting impacts of slavery, establish and execute a plan to address those impacts. This includes the immediate passage of H.R.40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act” or subsequent versions which call for reparations remedies.
What is the problem?
- Education in the U.S. has always been a subversive act for Black people. During enslavement we were legally barred from the most basic forms of education including literacy. Post-Civil War, and even after the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision, Black people have been locked into segregated institutions that are underfunded, under resourced and often face severe health risk because of the decrepit conditions of their school buildings.
- The current racial equity gap in education has roots that date back to enslavement. In fact, recent studies suggest that racial educational inequalities may be the most (measurable) enduring legacy of slavery. The same study also verified ongoing income inequality correlated to counties where slavery was prevalent.
- The cradle-to-college pipeline has been systematically cut off for Black communities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 23 states spend more per pupil in affluent districts than in high-poverty districts that contain a high concentrations of Black students; and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights shows persistent and glaring opportunity gaps and racial inequities for Black students. Black students are less likely to attend schools that offer advanced coursework, less likely to be placed in gifted and talented programs, more likely to attend schools with less qualified educators, and employ law enforcement officers but no counselors.
- Public universities, colleges, and technical education remain out of reach for most in the United States and policies to help students cover costs continue to shift towards benefiting more affluent families….
- Financial aid is not sufficiently covering the basic needs of students attending public universities and colleges, leaving many of them struggling to eat and pay for housing, transportation, daycare and healthcare….
- The rising costs of higher education and exploitative and predatory lending practices of private and for-profit institutions make Black students more likely to drop-out, and leave them and their families stuck with debilitating and crippling debt….
- [F]ederal and state funding systematically underfunds Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) compared to Predominantly White Institutions (PWI)….
What does this solution do?
- We seek complete open access for all to free public university, college and technical education programs (including technology, trade and agricultural) as well as full-funding for lifelong learning programs that support communities and families. We also seek the forgiveness of all federal student loans. Policies shall apply to all and should focus on outreach to communities historically denied access to education including undocumented, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.
- Cover all living costs, including but not limited to housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and food for students attending public universities, colleges, and technical educational programs (including technology, trade, and agricultural).
- Fully fund and provide open access to K-12, higher education, technical educational programs (including technology, trade, and agricultural), educational support programs and lifelong learning programs to every individual incarcerated in local, state, and federal correctional facilities (juvenile and adult).
- Provide full access to all undocumented people to state and federal programs that provide aid to cover the full costs, including living costs, to attend public universities, and colleges, technical educational programs, and lifelong learning programs.
- Increased federal and state investments in all Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs).
We demand investments in the education, health and safety of Black people, instead of investments in the criminalizing, caging, and harming of Black people. We want investments in Black communities, determined by Black communities, and divestment from exploitative forces including prisons, fossil fuels, police, surveillance and exploitative corporations. This includes:
- A reallocation of funds at the federal, state and local level from policing and incarceration (JAG, COPS, VOCA) to long-term safety strategies such as education, local restorative justice services, and employment programs.
- The retroactive decriminalization, immediate release and record expungement of all drug related offenses and prostitution, and reparations for the devastating impact of the “war on drugs” and criminalization of prostitution, including a reinvestment of the resulting savings and revenue into restorative services, mental health services, job programs and other programs supporting those impacted by the sex and drug trade.
- Real, meaningful, and equitable universal health care that guarantees: proximity to nearby comprehensive health centers, culturally competent services for all people, specific services for queer, gender nonconforming, and trans people, full bodily autonomy, full reproductive services, mental health services, paid parental leave, and comprehensive quality child and elder care.
- A constitutional right at the state and federal level to a fully-funded education which includes a clear articulation of the right to: a free education for all, special protections for queer and trans students, wrap around services, social workers, free health services (including reproductive body autonomy), a curriculum that acknowledges and addresses students’ material and cultural needs, physical activity and recreation, high quality food, free daycare, and freedom from unwarranted search, seizure or arrest.
- A divestment from industrial multinational use of fossil fuels and investment in community- based sustainable energy solutions.
- A cut in military expenditures and a reallocation of those funds to invest in domestic infrastructure and community well-being.
(4) Economic Justice
We demand economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure Black communities have collective ownership, not merely access. This includes:
- A progressive restructuring of tax codes at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth.
- Federal and state job programs that specifically target the most economically marginalized Black people, and compensation for those involved in the care economy. Job programs must provide a living wage and encourage support for local workers centers, unions, and Black-owned businesses which are accountable to the community.
- A right to restored land, clean air, clean water and housing and an end to the exploitative privatization of natural resources — including land and water. We seek democratic control over how resources are preserved, used and distributed and do so while honoring and respecting the rights of our Indigenous family.
- The right for workers to organize in public and private sectors especially in “On Demand Economy” jobs.
- Restore the Glass-Steagall Act to break up the large banks, and call for the National Credit Union Administration and the US Department of the Treasury to change policies and practices around regulation, reporting and consolidation to allow for the continuation and creation of black banks, small and community development credit unions, insurance companies and other financial institutions.
- An end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a renegotiation of all trade agreements to prioritize the interests of workers and communities.
- Through tax incentives, loans and other government directed resources, support the development of cooperative or social economy networks to help facilitate trade across and in Black communities globally. All aid in the form of grants, loans or contracts to help facilitate this must go to Black led or Black supported networks and organizations as defined by the communities.
- Financial support of Black alternative institutions including policy that subsidizes and offers low-interest, interest-free or federally guaranteed low-interest loans to promote the development of cooperatives (food, residential, etc.), land trusts and culturally responsive health infrastructures that serve the collective needs of our communities.
- Protections for workers in industries that are not appropriately regulated including domestic workers, farm workers, and tipped workers, and for workers — many of whom are Black women and incarcerated people— who have been exploited and remain unprotected. This includes the immediate passage at the Federal and state level of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and extension of worker protections to incarcerated people.
What is the problem?
- In the ten states with the most regressive tax structures, the poorest fifth pay up to seven times as much in taxes and fees as the wealthiest residents, as a percentage of their income.
- While states sometimes shift the cost of some services onto poorer residents, at other times they simply cut services all together. Many municipalities have had to increase public school class sizes, shorten school days, close vital city offices, and eliminate a huge number of public sector jobs.
- As the wealthiest Americans and most powerful corporations continue to evade their fair share of taxes, many programs and initiatives that could contribute to racial and economic justice go underfunded or unfunded.
What does this solution do?
- Taxing income:
- Raise marginal tax rates for high earners, specifically the top percentile (for equity and revenue generation reasons —they pay more than 40 percent of federal income tax revenue, yet their average rate has been reduced to around 20 percent) and begin by gradually raising the top marginal rate first to 50 percent and then up to 80 percent.
- Remove income caps on payroll taxes that fund social security and unemployment insurance.
- Raise corporate income taxes, especially on large corporations and end tax deferral for foreign income of multinational corporations.
- Taxing wealth:
- Increase taxes on capital to the point where they are higher than taxes on labor, as wealth inequality is greater than income inequality. Specifically:
- Increase capital gains tax
- Create anti-speculation tax on property transfers
- Increase estate tax
- Have states shift to an income-sensitized property tax that focuses on homes above a certain threshold and second homes
- Impose a wealth tax (on tangible and financial assets)
- Taxing undesirable activities:
- Taxing “bads” not “goods”: shift from sales taxes to taxing externalities such as environmental damage where it is difficult to eliminate the damage through regulation, and make this approach income-sensitized to hold low-income people harmless.
- Create a Tobin tax for international financial transactions, especially for currency speculation.
- Assess and eliminate tax expenditures such as mortgage reduction, health insurance exemption, etc.
- Make low-wage employer fees or payroll tax rate proportional to wage disparity.
- Expand the earned income tax credit.
- Provide a universal child tax credit.
- Create mechanisms for sharing tax revenues between localities.
(5) Community Control
We demand a world where those most impacted in our communities control the laws, institutions, and policies that are meant to serve us – from our schools to our local budgets, economies, police departments, and our land – while recognizing that the rights and histories of our Indigenous family must also be respected. This includes:
- Direct democratic community control of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, ensuring that communities most harmed by destructive policing have the power to hire and fire officers, determine disciplinary action, control budgets and policies, and subpoena relevant agency information.
- An end to the privatization of education and real community control by parents, students and community members of schools including democratic school boards and community control of curriculum, hiring, firing and discipline policies.
- Participatory budgeting at the local, state and federal level….What does this solution do?
- By requiring all civilian oversight agencies to retain the power to hire and fire officers, determine disciplinary action in cases of misconduct related to excessive and lethal force, determine the funding of agencies, set and enforce policies, and retain concrete means of retrieving information — such as subpoena power — from law enforcement and third parties as it pertains to circumstances involving excessive, sexual and lethal force; communities will be able significantly to reduce the number of Black people impacted by police violence.
(6) Political Power
We demand independent Black political power and Black self-determination in all areas of society. We envision a remaking of the current U.S. political system in order to create a real democracy where Black people and all marginalized people can effectively exercise full political power. This includes:
- An end to the criminalization of Black political activity including the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to the repression of political parties.
- Public financing of elections and the end of money controlling politics through ending super PACs and unchecked corporate donations.
- Election protection, electoral expansion and the right to vote for all people including: full access, guarantees, and protections of the right to vote for all people through universal voter registration, automatic voter registration, pre-registration for 16-year-olds, same day voter registration, voting day holidays, enfranchisement of formerly and presently incarcerated people, local and state resident voting for undocumented people, and a ban on any disenfranchisement laws.
- Full access to technology including net neutrality and universal access to the internet without discrimination and full representation for all.
- Protection and increased funding for Black institutions including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), Black media and cultural, political and social formations.
What is the problem?
- … The criminalization of freedom movements and activists has resulted in the incarceration of hundreds of people, many of whom are recognized as legitimate freedom fighters. Black communities have been disproportionately targeted by the state and have become political prisoners incarcerated in local, state and federal prisons. The FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) outlined the purpose, objectives, methods and tools used to criminalize freedom movements.
- Today, direct victims of COINTELPRO (and similar law enforcement initiatives) remain exiled and incarcerated, while indirectly Black communities remain under surveillance by all levels of law enforcement with the intention of preventing the growth of another nationwide movement….
What does this solution do?
- We are calling for the release of all political prisoners held in the U.S. and the removal of legitimate freedom fighters [like Assata Shakur] from the International Terrorists list. Additionally, we call on Congress to hold hearings on the impact of COINTELPRO as the Church Committee hearings in 1975 did not offer remedies to individuals and communities negatively impacted by this government initiative….
- Cease all current investigations and cold cases into former activists. Some cities like NYC, have ongoing “unsolved.” We know of the recent indictments of activists and freedom fighters from the civil and human rights era of the 60s and 70s like:
- Imam Jamil Al Amin (formerly known as H Rap Brown), captured in 2000
- Kamau Sadiki, captured in 2002 for a case from 1971
- San Francisco 8, indicted in 2007 for a case from 1971
BLM’s Support for Fidel Castro
Shortly after former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016, BLM published an article titled “Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante.” The piece began by stating: “We are feeling many things as we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro. There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante. And there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel.”
The article praised Castro for having taught people “that to be a revolutionary, you must strive to live in integrity.” “As a Black network committed to transformation,” it added, “we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding [cop-killer/fugitive] Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us. We are thankful that he provided a home for [cop killers/airplane hijackers] Brother Michael Finney, Ralph Goodwin, and Charles Hill[;] asylum to Brother Huey P. Newton[;] and sanctuary for so many other Black revolutionaries who were being persecuted by the American government during the Black Power era.” Expressing gratitude to Castro for “attempting to support Black people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when our government left us to die on rooftops and in floodwaters,” BLM lauded the late dictator for having “provided a space where the traditional spiritual work of African people could flourish.” The piece closed by saying: “As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!”
Calls for the Murder of White People and President Trump
During an anti-President Trump protest in Seattle in late January 2017, a female activist associated with BLM took a megaphone and, for four minutes, shouted obscenities, anti-capitalist rhetoric, and incitements to violence against white people and President Trump. Among her remarks were the following: “Fuck white supremacy, fuck the U.S. empire, fuck your imperialist ass lives. That shit gotta go. Fuck that shit. You know what America thrives off of? Capitalism. We use our mother fucking, fucking black and brown bodies to live and survive while white people own fucking properties after that…. White people, give your fucking money, your fucking house, your fucking property, we need it fucking all. You need to reparate [sic] black and indigenous people right now. Pay the fuck up, pay the fuck up. It ain’t just your fucking time, it’s your fucking money, and now your fucking life is devoted to social change…. We’re all operating under white supremacy…. And we need to start killing people. First off, we need to start killing the White House. The White House must die. The White House, your fucking White House, your fucking Presidents, they must go! Fuck the White House…. Capitalism is … fucking racism….”
BLM Planned to Riot if Police Officer Was Not Indicted
In February 2017, former BLM activist Trey Turner reported that his comrades had planned to burn down the Minnesota state capitol in Saint Paul and the governor’s mansion if Saint Paul-area police officer Jeronimo Yanez — who fatally shot a black man named Philando Castile during a July 6, 2016 traffic stop — was not prosecuted. For details about the Castile shooting, click here.
BLM Chapter Bans White People from Event
In April 2017, BLM’s Philadelphia chapter banned white people from attending one of its events, explaining that it was being held in a “black only space,” and that its meetings were “black centered.” “If you identify as a person of the African Diaspora [a reference to people who were taken out of Africa during the transatlantic slave trades] You can attend our meetings and become a member,” Philadelphia BLM said in a tweet. “If not you can support us in other ways.” In another tweet, the group noted that the late Malcolm X had likewise banned whites from his meetings on race: “Malcolm took our same stance. White people could not attend the meetings but could support his organization.”
Police Officer Sues BLM
In July 2017, a police officer who had been wounded in a shooting rampage that killed three police officers a year earlier in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sued DeRay McKesson and four other BLM leaders, seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
BLM Falsely Reports That Police Lynched a Black Man
In the early morning hours of August 1, 2017, a black man in St. Paul, Minnesota named Davion Gatlin came upon a dead man hanged by the neck from a tree branch. Gatlin took pictures of the gruesome scene and immediately posted them to Facebook to complain that police had lynched a black man. Gatlin’s post was picked up and shared (with the pictures of the dead man) by the Minneapolis Black Lives Matter chapter, which helped the post go viral among other BLM-related pages: “A man was found lynched in St. Paul, MN this morning. St. Paul PD was quick to call this a suicide while witnesses on the scene say the man’s hands were tied behind his back. We are hurt by the tragic news and know that this despicable & disgusting act of cowardice will not be erased.”
But in fact, the man’s death was subsequently shown to have been a suicide due to mental illness. Moreover, the man, whose name was Michael Bringle, was white, and his hands were not tied behind his back. Police rebuked the false narrative promoted by BLM: “Michael’s passing is incredibly hard on those who cared about him, and their pain has been compounded by the inconsiderate and downright disgusting act of posting and sharing a picture of him hanging from a tree on Facebook. If you have posted or shared the photos, please take them down so the family can begin to heal and Michael can rest in peace.”
BLM Leader Tells Whites to “Give Up Your Home to a Black Family”
In August 2017, Chanelle Helm, a co-founder and lead organizer for BLM’s Louisville, Kentucky chapter, published a list of 10 things that white people should do in order to change America for the better:
1. “White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.”
2. “White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.”
3. “If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.”
4. “White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.”
5. “White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.”
6. “White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.”
7. “White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.”
8. “Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.”
9. “OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.”
10. “Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.”
In November and December of 2017, BLM’s Los Angeles chapter organized a “Black Xmas” initiative that urged African Americans to avoid patronizing white-owned business establishments for the remainder of the calendar year. The motto of that initiative was: “#DIVEST from White corporations / #INVEST in Black community / If you must buy, #BUYBLACK.”
BLM’s Ties to the Chinese Communist Party
In July 2017, BLM co-founder Alicia Garza became the principal at the Black Futures Lab (BFL), which “transforms Black communities into constituencies that build independent, progressive political power in cities and states.” She is also the principal at the Black to the Future Action Fund, which “works to transform Black communities into constituencies that build Black political power in cities and states,” and “to enact policy that improves the lives of Black people, and to elect Black legislators with progressive values who move progressive policies.” In 2020, The Daily Signal’s Mike Gonzalez discovered that donations to BFL did not go directly to the foundation itself but rather to its fiscal sponsor, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), which is closely tied to the Chinese Communist Party. Wrote Gonzalez:
“According to an authoritative 2009 Stanford University paper tracing its early days to the present, and which can be found on Marxist.org, ‘The CPA began as a Leftist, pro-People’s Republic of China [PRC] organization, promoting awareness of mainland China’s revolutionary thought and workers’ rights, and dedicated to self-determination, community control, and serving the people.’ To this day, the CPA continues to be a partner of the PRC in the United States…. It is clear … that CPA works with China’s communist government, pushes its agenda here in the United States, and is regularly praised by China’s state-owned mouthpieces. It is clear, too, from, this perspective, why the CPA would sponsor a new enterprise by Garza: They espouse the same desire for world communism.”
BLM is also tied to Communist China through the Chinese Communist Party organization Asians for Black Lives, whose two leading founders were former leaders of the CPA.
BLM Leader Calls Jussie Smollett Trial a “White Supremacist Charade”
In January 2019, BLM Los Angeles leader Melina Abdullah and fellow leftists across the United States reacted with instant, horrified outrage when media outlets nationwide reported that Empire television actor Jussie Smollett, an openly gay African American, was claiming that he had just been the victim of a downtown Chicago hate crime perpetrated by two white men who had assaulted him, poured bleach on him, draped a rope around his neck, and shouted “This is MAGA country,” along with a variety of anti-black and anti-gay slurs.
But less than three weeks after Smollett had first reported the alleged attack against him, it was clear that the actor’s tale was a fabrication, and that he himself had orchestrated the entire incident in order to gain publicity and to discredit President Trump and his supporters. On February 21, 2019, Smollett was charged with a felony for having filed a false police report. Smollett’s criminal trial began on November 29, 2019. Once the jury began its deliberations on December 8, Abdullah issued the following statement about the trial:
“As abolitionists, we approach situations of injustice with love and align ourselves with our community. Because we got us. So let’s be clear: we love everybody in our community. It’s not about a trial or a verdict decided in a white supremacist charade, it’s about how we treat our community when corrupt systems are working to devalue their lives. In an abolitionist society [with no police or prisons], this trial would not be taking place, and our communities would not have to fight and suffer to prove our worth. Instead, we find ourselves, once again, being forced to put our lives and our value in the hands of judges and juries operating in a system that is designed to oppress us, while continuing to face a corrupt and violent police department, which has proven time and again to have no respect for our lives.
“In our commitment to abolition, we can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom. While policing at-large is an irredeemable institution, CPD is notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality. From the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to the Burge tortures, to the murder of Laquan McDonald and subsequent cover-up, to the hundreds of others killed by Chicago police over the years and the thousands who survived abuse, Chicago police consistently demonstrate that they are among the worst of the worst. Police lie and Chicago police lie especially.
“Black Lives Matter will continue to work towards the abolition of police and every unjust system. We will continue to love and protect one another, and wrap our arms around those who do the work to usher in Black freedom and, by extension, freedom for everyone else.”
Abdullah also tweeted on December 8, 2021: “As they move in to closing arguments in the #JussieSmollettTrial, we must courageously love and protect one another and always remember that POLICE LIE. We love you Jussie!”
On December 9, 2021, a jury convicted Smollett on five of six counts of staging the attack on himself nearly three years earlier.
BLM Plays Major Role in Nationwide Riots Following the Death of George Floyd
In the aftermath of the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd — a black man who had died after being abused by a white police officer in Minneapolis — a number of U.S. cities were overrun by violent riots in which BLM and Antifa played a major role.
The Toll of the George Floyd Riots
By June 3, 2020, at least 200 cities had imposed nighttime curfews in an effort to quell the mayhem, while more than 30 states had activated some 62,000 National Guard personnel to help restore order.
By June 8, two police officers had been killed in the nationwide riots, while another 700+ officers in 25 states had been injured. In addition, 60 Secret Service agents and 40 U.S. Park Police had also sustained injuries. Fifteen civilians had died in the riots as well.
And the toll on police officers only continued to rise thereafter. On July 17 in Chicago, for instance, 18 officers were injured – some needing hospitalization — when BLMers used rocks, fireworks, frozen bottles, and other objects to attack them. But when police responded by arresting some of the perpetrators, Black Lives Matter Chicago activist Aislinn Pulley said the next day: “We have a right to freedom of assembly. We have a right to protest. What happened yesterday was a travesty. That’s what happens in dictatorships.” At a separate July riot in Chicago’s Grant Park, where protesters attempted to tear down a statue of Christopher Columbus, 49 police officers suffered injuries; 18 of those them were sent to area hospitals for injuries that included a broken eye socket and a broken knee cap.
In early June of 2020, BLM’s New York chairman Hawk Newsome declared: “We pattern ourselves after the Black Panthers, after the Nation of Islam, we believe that we need an arm [firearm] to defend ourselves” against police depredations. Lauding the rioters who were tearing apart so many cities from coast to coast, he added: “People want to destroy because they’re angry and they’re frustrated. They want to go out and grab all those things that America told them that they should have, but they couldn’t have.”
By June 30, at least 14,000 protesters and rioters in 49 separate cities had been arrested. Many of them had attempted to desecrate and/or topple a wide array of federal monuments, memorials, and statues. It is estimated that as of July 3, somewhere between 15 million and 26 million people had participated in the various demonstrations from coast to coast, prompting The New York Times to run a headline that read: “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History.”
By the beginning of July 2020, the so-called George Floyd riots were projected to become—in terms of losses due to theft, fire, vandalism, and other forms of destruction—the costliest sustained acts of civil disorder in American history. The previous high was the $1.4 billion worth of damage (in 2020 dollars) that had resulted from the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Indeed, the property damage that took place in just the first two weeks of the 2020 riots exceeded the damage caused by all the major riots of the 1960s combined.
According to a September 2020 report in the far-left website Axios, Property Claim Services, a company that tracks insurance claims filed due to riots and other acts of destruction, found that the violence that had occurred just during the first two weeks after George Floyd’s death on May 25, had resulted in approximately $2 billion in insurance claims. This was aside from approximately $5 billion in additional dmages that were uninsured. By way of comparison, the 1992 Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles caused $775 million in damages at that time, which translates to $1.42 billion in 2020 dollars. Moreover, writes John Nolte of Breitbart.com: “If you add up the insurance cost in 2020 dollars for all six major American riots during the turbulent 1960s, the total is a little shy of $1.2 billion — which means the terrorists in Antifa and Black Lives Matter caused more mayhem and property damage in a little over a week than this country saw throughout all of the 1960s.”
BLM & Antifa Take over Parts of Seattle
In early June 2020, an Antifa / BLM mob took over the East Precinct of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) after threatening to burn it down, and also occupied Seattle City Hall. Next, the mob announced that it was establishing an autonomous zone of approximately six city blocks in Seattle. As one source explained: “They bar media from entering and screen people coming in. They are walking around fully armed. Talking about making their own currency and making their own flag. SPD is talking about abandoning the west precinct now…. This is just like the Occupy movement. Soon we will have feces and drugs everywhere and people getting assaulted and raped in the encampments.”
The leftists who seized the surrounding blocks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood renamed it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ). The Seattle Police Department in that “liberated” zone was renamed the “Seattle People Department.” The radical occupiers issued a series of ultimatums entitled “THE DEMANDS OF THE COLLECTIVE BLACK VOICES AT FREE CAPITOL HILL TO THE GOVERNMENT OF SEATTLE, WASHINGTON.” They referred to the Seattle Police Department as a “terrorist cell.” Among their demands were the following:
- “The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform, we demand abolition” and the elimination of “100% of funding” for police.
- “We demand a retrial of all People in Color currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime, by a jury of their [nonwhite] peers in their community.”
- “We demand the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.”
- “We demand in replacement of the current criminal justice system the creation of restorative/transformative accountability programs as a replacement for imprisonment.”
- “We demand autonomy be given to the people to create localized anti-crime systems.”
- “We demand free college for the people of the state of Washington, due to the overwhelming effect that education has on economic success, and the correlated overwhelming impact of poverty on people of color, as a form of reparations for the treatment of Black people in this state and country.”
- “We demand the hospitals and care facilities of Seattle employ black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients.”
BLM Leader Calls for Armed Black Vigilantes to Wage War Against the Police
In early June of 2020, BLM New York Chairman Hawk Newsome called for Black Panther-style arming of black vigilantes to engage in war with the police. “We pattern ourselves after the Black Panthers, after the Nation of Islam, we believe that we need an arm to defend ourselves,” Newsome said. “I don’t see us working with police. I see us policing ourselves. I see us teaching black people how to police their own communities.” Newsome condoned the rioters and looters who had been ravaging numerous American cities ever since the May 25 incident in which a black Minneapolis man named George Floyd died after having been physically abused by a white police officer. “People want to destroy because they’re angry and they’re frustrated,” he said. “They want to go out and grab all those things that America told them that they should have, but they couldn’t have.”
BLM Leader Calls for Destruction of Jesus Statues & Images
In June 2020, 40-year-old BLM activist Shaun King demanded that religious statues showing a light-skinned Jesus be toppled to the ground by left-wing activists. Said King on Twitter: “Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been.” Asserting also that “all murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends” should likewise be destroyed, King added: “They are a gross form [of] white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down. If your religion requires Jesus to be a blonde haired blue eyed Jesus, then your religion is not Christianity, but white supremacy. White Americans who bought, sold, traded, raped, and worked Africans to death, for hundreds of years in this country, simply could not have THIS man at the center of their faith.”
BLM Leader Threatens to “Burn Down” the American “System”
In a June 24, 2020 interview, Hawk Newsome, the president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, made the following remarks:
- “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.”
- “Let’s be very real. Let’s observe the history of the 1960s, when black people were rioting. We had the highest growth in wealth, in property ownership. Think about the last few weeks since we started protesting. There have been eight cops fired across the country.”
- “What is this country rewarding? What behavior is it listening to? Obviously not marching. But when people get aggressive and they escalate their protests, cops get fired, Republican politicians talking about police reform. I don’t condone nor do I condemn rioting. But I’m just telling you what I observed.”
- “[T]his country is built upon violence. What was the American Revolution? What’s our diplomacy across the globe? We go in and we blow up countries and we replace their leaders with leaders who we like. So for any American to accuse us of being violent is extremely hypocritical.”
“Fu** The Police” Marches
On June 25 and June 27, 2020, BLM held a pair of anti-police marches in Washington, D.C. They were promoted as “FTP” events, where the acronym stood for “Free The People,” “Fight The Power,” and “Fuck The Police.”
“If we don’t get no justice, they don’t get no peace,” said one Twitter account promoting the rallies.
“Our Goal Is to Get Trump Out”
During a June 19, 2020 interview on CNN, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors declared that President Donald Trump was “not fit for office.” “Trump not only needs to not be in office in November,” she said, “but he should resign now. Trump needs to be out of office. And so what we are going to push for is a move to get Trump out…. [O]ur goal is to get Trump out.”
BLM Organizer: “Give Me Money or We’ll Break Windows”
In June 2020, BLM organizer Devonere Armani Johnson — who also goes by the names Yeshua Musa and Jesus Moses — was arrested in Madison, Wisconsin after: (a) following an older white man into a tavern while shouting, “you’re a racist” at him through a megaphone; (b) lecturing the tavern patrons on his opinion that the biblical Jesus “was not a white man”; (c) telling those same patrons that Jesus had in fact been “plagiarized from ancient Egypt” and had been sent by Queen Elizabeth to bring slaves to America; and (d) shouting, “My name is Joshua Musa, and I am fu**ing disturbing the sh** out of this restaurant. I got a fu**ing bat.”
Following Johnson’s arrest, a series of “Free Yeshua” protests and riots erupted in Madison.
Soon thereafter, federal agents busted Johnson again, this time for allegedly blackmailing businesses into giving free food, drinks, and money to him and his friends, lest he “shut down and destroy” those establishments. When one business owner told Johnson that he had already given to Black Lives Matter, Johnson said that was insufficient: “Give me money or we’ll break windows.” On another occasion, Johnson went to a bar and warned, “You don’t want 600 people to come here and destroy your business and burn it down.”
BLM Organizer Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges
In June 2020, a 38-year-old New Hampshire man named Chris DeVries organized a Black Lives Matter protest which he dubbed “Skate Away the Hate,” an event where participants rode bicycles and skateboards through the town of North Conway to demonstrate their shared support for BLM. DeVries also advocated the divestiture of public funds from police departments and prison systems.
But soon after that “Skate Away” event had taken place, police, based on information that Snapchat provided to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, obtained a search warrant to investigate DeVries for child pornography offenses. In July 2020, DeVries was charged with six counts of possessing child sexual abuse images, one count of possessing psilocybin mushrooms, and one count of falsifying physical evidence — i.e., he had thrown his cellphone from the porch of his home when law-enforcement officers arrived to begin looking for evidence of his alleged crimes. That phone contained stored images of “lewd exhibition” and sexual activity involving underaged girls. On October 6, 2020, a grand jury indicted DeVries for 20 counts of possessing child abuse images. When the defendant appeared in court just before Christmas 2021, he pleaded guilty to all 20 counts and was subsequently sentenced to a minimum of three to six years in prison.
BLM Defiles American Flag & Shuts Down Washington, D.C.
On July 4, 2020, BLM protesters in Washington, D.C. started off their Independence Day activities by dancing and stepping on an American flag at Black Lives Matter Plaza, chanting “Fuck the Fourth of July and fuck the American flag.” Later in the afternoon, a group burned an American flag outside of the White House while chanting “America was never great!” Some demonstrators fought against Trump supporters and police officers in front of the Washington Monument and the Trump hotel. They also brought swarmed onto the highway between Washington, D.C. and Virginia, bringing traffic to a complete standstill.
At Least 23 Cities Cut Funding for Their Police
In response to BLM’s anti-police rhetoric and the fearful responses of Democrat mayors and city councils across the United States, at least 23 cities cut the budgets for their police departments to some degree.
“The Ferguson Effect” All Over Again
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s May 25, 2020 death in Minneapolis, BLM’s police-hating rhetoric did exactly what it had done five years earlier: It caused law-enforcement officers in large police departments nationwide to become highly reluctant to engage criminals except where absolutely necessary; the result was a massive increase in violent crime and homicide throughout urban America. Consider, for instance, the case of Chicago:
- On Sunday, May 31, eighteen homicides were committed in Chicago, breaking the city’s previous one-day record of thirteen, set 29 years earlier. In fact, over the course of that same weekend as a whole, Chicago police responded to at least 73 incidents in which 92 people were shot, including 27 who died as a result. “We’ve never seen anything like it at all,” said Max Kapustin, the senior research director at the University of Chicago Crime Lab. “I don’t even know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything that we’ve ever seen before.”
- During Father’s Day weekend, June 19-21, Chicago saw more than 100 people shot in an astonishing wave of gunfire, 14 of them fatally.
- During the last weekend of June, 63 people were shot in Chicago, 16 of them fatally.
- By July 10, shootings in Chicago were up by 76% over the corresponding figure from 2019.
- For July as a whole, murders and shootings in Chicago increased by 139% over the same period in 2019, while shootings spiked by 90%, making it the city’s most violent month in 28 years.
New York City was likewise turned into a cauldron of violence by BLM hatred:
- In a 28-day period from mid-May through mid-June 2020, the incidence of murder, burglary and grand larceny auto crimes in New York spiked dramatically when compared to the same period in 2019. Particularly alarming was the homicide count – 38 murders in 28 days – a total twice as high as the corresponding figure from the year before.
- From June 16-22, the number of shootings in New York City increased by some 358 percent compared with the same time frame in 2019 – from 12 shootings last year, to 55 this year. In those 55 most recent shooting incidents, a total of 74 people were wounded.
- From June 19-27, more than 110 people in New York City were wounded or killed in 83 separate shootings.
- In a 12-hour period during the weekend of June 27-28, eleven people were shot and wounded citywide. This spree of gunfire brought the number of shootings over the most recent seven-day period in New York to 59 – a figure that dwarfed the 26 shootings which had occurred during the same time frame in 2019.
- Between June 15 and July 2, shootings in New York City soared by 205% above the corresponding figure for the same period in 2019, while gunshot injuries increased by 238%.
- Between June 1 and June 30, the incidence of serious crimes in New York City increased dramatically when compared to the same period in 2019. This included a 130% increase in the number of shooting incidents, a 30% spike in murders, a 118% rise in burglaries, and a 51% increase in auto thefts.
- All told, June 2020 became New York’s bloodiest month since 1996.
The NYPD’s Chief of Department, Terence Monahan, blamed these horrific trends largely on the fact that “the animosity towards police has been absolutely unbelievable.” “The violence, the shootings are up,” he said. “We haven’t seen this many [during a comparable time period] since 1996.” The animosity cited by Monahan was on full display in the wee morning hours of Sunday, June 28, when a mob of young people spent several hours hurling bottles and epithets at NYPD officers who tried to break up their massive street party following reports of gunfire at the gathering. The attendees defiantly and repeatedly demanded that the officers “Get the f–k out of here!” Others taunted the cops by launching aerial fireworks from atop a van, and by dancing lewdly in front of an NYPD vehicle. In a subsequent interview with reporters, one young black man summed up his attitude toward the police thusly: “The black people wanted the cops to know that this is our neighborhood and you’re not going to intimidate us.” Meanwhile, a dispirited police officer described the situation as “complete lawlessness.”
Increased Police Retirements
And because the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio was highly sympathetic to the protesters and rioters – as evidenced by the enactment of a BLM demand calling for a $1 billion cut to the NYPD budget – many New York City officers decided that it was time to get out while they could. During the 30-day period from May 25 through June 24, no fewer than 272 uniformed cops announced that they were retiring – a 49 percent increase over the 183 officers who had filed for retirement during the same period in 2019. For 2020 as a whole, a total of 5,346 NYPD uniformed officers (15% of the NYPD force) either retired or put in their papers to leave — a 75 percent spike from the year before. That figure included 2,746 who filed for retirement, and 2,600 who simply quit their jobs. By way of comparison, in 2019 the NYPD had 1,544 uniformed officers file for retirement, and another 1,509 who quit their jobs, for a total of 3,053.
In Seattle, nearly 20% of the city’s police force left their jobs between January 2020 and May 2021.
The atmosphere in Milwaukee had grown equally grim. According to Milwaukee Inspector Leslie Thiele: “Our homicides are way up. We haven’t seen these numbers since 1991. We have 86 homicides this year, compared to 37 to this point last year – so we have a 132% increase. Thiele’s fellow Milwaukee Inspector Terrence Gordon says: “Morale [among police] is terrible. But people don’t have low morale because of something the chief did, it’s because they’re afraid that nobody in this community is going to stand up for them. In 25 years, I’ve never seen it like this. I never thought that I’d see the day where a Milwaukee police officer would withdraw from the community they swore to serve. But I can see it beginning to happen right now, and it’s just terrible, because on the other side of all these crimes are victims.”
The hearts of police officers were likewise torn asunder in Washington, D.C., as evidenced by the fact that in a June 2020 press release, the city’s Metropolitan Police Union said that 71% of the members it surveyed were considering leaving the department. Of those, nearly 40% were planning to leave law enforcement entirely.
Things were bad as well in Minneapolis, whose Democrat city council voted unanimously in June 2020 to approve a measure to disband and abolish the city’s police department. On July 21, The New York Times reported that nearly 200 officers in Minneapolis—roughly one-fifth of the city’s police force—had officially filed paperwork to leave their jobs, citing post-traumatic stress. “It’s almost like a nuclear bomb hit the city, and the people who didn’t perish are standing around,” said veteran officer Rich Walker Sr. regarding the department’s low morale. “I’m still surprised that we’ve got cops showing up to work, to be honest.”
- Because of resistance from the mayor of Minneapolis, the measure to disband and abolish the city’s police department never materialized. But the loss of the roughly 200 officers who left their jobs resulted in a dramatic spike in crime across the city. Indeed, the first three weeks of 2021 saw a 250 percent increase in the number of shooting victims, a 22 percent rise in rapes, and a 59 percent spike in robberies compared to the same time frame in 2020.
In St. Louis during the weekend of June 6-7, no fewer than 21 people were shot, 6 of them fatally. During the first week of June, homicides in Los Angeles were up 250% compared to the previous week, while the total number of gunshot victims was up 56%. In Baltimore during the month of June as a whole, the incidence of homicide increased by 29% over the corresponding rates for April and May.
On August 2, 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported that among the 50 largest cities in the U.S., “reported homicides were up 24% so far this year, to 3,612.” “In all,” the Journal added, “36 of the 50 cities studied saw homicide rise at double-digit rates, representing all regions of the country.” For example, the total number of homicides in Austin, Texas, had increased by 64.3% over the same period in 2019. The corresponding increases in some other cities were: 54.5% in Chicago; 42.3% in Fort Worth; 34% in San Antonio; 31.6% in Phoenix; 31.4% in Philadelphia; 27.1% in Houston; 24% in New York City; 19.4% in Columbus; and 14.5% in Jacksonville. “Homicides … are up,” said the Journal, “because violent criminals have been emboldened by the sidelining of police, courts, schools, churches and an array of other social institutions by the reckoning with police and the pandemic, say analysts and law-enforcement officials in several cities.”
In early February 2021, the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice issued a report which found that homicide rates in 2020 had exceeded the corresponding 2019 levels in 29 of 34 cities that were studied, and that they had risen by an average of 30% in those cities. The 30% figure represented the largest single-year percentage change on record and, according to the report, corresponded to an additional 1,268 homicides in the 34 cities (as compared to their 2019 homicide totals). The previous record for a one-year percentage jump in murders was a 12.7% increase in 1968. To view a breakdown of the homicide increases in each individual city, click here.
All told, there were approximately 5,000 more murders in the U.S. in 2020, than in 2019 — an unprecedented increase.
Murders of black victims skyrocketed by an astonishing 62%, from 3,595 in 2019, to 5,839 in 2020 — a spike of 2,244 additional black people killed in 2020.
Flight from the Cities
In sum, cities from coast to coast were disintegrating on a daily basis. Their respective tax bases began fleeing – quite understandably – to safer environs. For instance, the Minneapolis manufacturing company 7-Sigma Inc., which was heavily damaged during the George Floyd riots, decided to move, as quickly as possible, out of the city where it had been headquartered since 1987. Other local businesses said that they fully intended to follow suit.
BLM & Antifa Attack Police & Try to Topple Columbus Statue in Chicago
On July 17, 2020, BLM and Antifa rioters in Chicago attempted to pull down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Grant Park. In the process, they attacked police officers, most of whom were not wearing helmets, with all manner of projectiles including bricks, rocks, sticks, bottles, and even fireworks.
Quantifying BLM’s Responsibility for the Violence and Riots of 2020
A September 2020 Princeton study, sympathetic to the demonstrators, revealed that in the first three months of the unrest which followed the death of George Floyd in May, there had been 570 violent protests in 220 locations. Riots had taken place in 48 of the 50 largest American cities, and 74 of the top 100. There were also “peaceful protests” in some 2,400 separate locations nationwide, according to the Princeton study. But those protests advanced precisely the same Black Lives Matter indictment of America’s allegedly ubiquitous racism, as did the riots. Thus, those “peaceful protests” played a major role in enabling the riots and promoting the notion that the rioters’ grievances were well-founded.
In a separate September 2020 report, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit organization that tracks conflict in every part of the world, indicated that BLM actions had taken place in more than 2,400 locations in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Of the 12,045 U.S. protests that were held in those locations between May 26 and August 22:
- 1,143 protests — i.e., 9.5 percent — involved violence of some sort, such as looting, armed attacks, arson, the launching of projectiles, clashes with police, the use of pepper spray, etc. Of these violent incidents, 84 percent involved BLM.
- 633 protests — i.e., 5.3 percent — were coded as full-blown riots, and 88 percent of these were known to involve BLM activists. But data for 51 of those 633 riots lacked information about affiliations that the participants may have had with any particular group, like BLM. So if we look only at the 582 riots for which information about the participants’ group affiliations is available, we find that BLM activists were involved in 95 percent of those incidents.
Moreover, there were at least 47 civilian fatalities in the BLM riots.
BLM Allies with Ties to Communist China, Helped Organize the 2020 Riots in U.S. Cities
Author and filmmaker Trevor Loudon reports that two BLM allies with ties to Communist China played major roles in organizing and leading the 2020 riots that erupted in cities across the United States. One was the Minneapolis-based Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), which openly supports the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The other was Liberation Road, a Chinese-directed, Bay Area-based socialist group with close ties to the local Chinese consulate and to the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), which in turn is closely tied to the CCP. Loudon explains that Liberation Road activists “burnt Ferguson, Missouri to the ground in 2014” after a black teenager named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in that city. Moreover, says Loudon, Liberation Road “is the parent body of Black Lives Matter.”
BLM Activist Says Looting Is a Form of Reparations
In August 2020, BLM activists in Chicago held a rally to express their solidarity with the 100+ individuals who had recently been arrested after a night of mass looting and criminal activity. One BLM organizer who spoke at the rally, Ariel Atkins, said: “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes.” “That is reparations,” she continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.” In a similar spirit, In a similar spirit, a social media post for the rally encouraged people to come out and “support the people arrested last night for protesting another police shooting & taking reparations from corporations.”
BLM Demands That White People Give up Their Homes
On August 14, 2020, a group of dozens of BLM protesters in Seattle marched through a residential neighborhood and demanded that the white residents there give up their homes. Said one of the protesters: “Do you know that before your white ass came here, this was all black people? Do you know people like you came in here and basically bought all the land from the black people for less than what it was worth, kicked them out so you could live here? Do you know that? ‘Cause if you don’t, now you f–king do — now do something about it! So how do you plan to fix it? As a gentrifier, because you are part of that problem.” Others in the crowd shouted things such as:
- “Give black people back their homes! You’re sitting there comfortably — comfortable as f—k as if they didn’t help gentrify this neighborhood! I used to live in this neighborhood, and my family was pushed out, and you’re sitting up there having a good time with your other white friends!”
- “Give us our s–t back!” one man yells.
Another protester told a white man who had called police to report that a window at his business had been shattered by protesters: “You’re being racist, you’re being racist. Check your privilege, check your privilege…. “Go back to [your] gentrification business … This was never your neighborhood. This was never your neighborhood.”
BLM Brutalizes White Truck Driver in Portland
On the night of August 16, 2020, a mob of mostly black BLM protesters surrounded a pickup truck on a Portland, Oregon street and attempted to assault the driver and his girlfriend, both of whom were white. When the driver tried to steer his vehicle away from danger, the crowd chased him and caused him to crash into a tree. They then dragged the man out of the truck, pushed him to the ground, and stood around him and punched him as he pleaded for mercy. Before long, one of the crowd members ran toward the unsuspecting victim from behind and kicked him, with full force, on the side of his face, instantly knocking him out. “What the f–k is you talkin’ about, ni**er!” the assailant screamed as the victim’s head hit the ground and bled profusely while protesters rifled through the man’s truck in search of items they could steal. Another man in the crowd repeatedly chanted, “Black lives matter, ni**er!” And even as the white victim remained unconscious, a woman taunted him by shouting, “Get your bitch ass up!”
BLM Participates in “Black National Convention”
On August 28, 2020, the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), an anti-capitalist, anti-police coalition that is a partner of BLM, held a virtual Black National Convention whose objective was “to build a BLACK united front” and to “reach and engage four million Black voters across the U.S., build infrastructure of Black political engagement that transcends the 2020 election season, and create and ratify a policy platform for the first 100 days of the next [Biden] administration.” Tens of thousands of people participated in the event, which characterized the upcoming presidential election as “the biggest election of our time, and long after.” Among other things, the convention paid tribute to the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, where such luminaries as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale had first introduced a black national agenda.
One of the featured speakers at the M4BL convention, activist and political strategist Jessica Byrd, said: “The uprising in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and countless other murders from police and vigilante violence along with the alarming Black death rate due to COVID-19 has exposed what we can no longer hide—America does not value Black lives. But we also know that rising up and taking action is how Black communities have secured our rights and dignity throughout this nation’s divided history.”
Other keynote speakers included BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, #MeToo movement co-founder Tarana Burke, and Dream Defenders co- founder Phillp Agnew.
Hundreds of BLMers Chant “Death to America”
On June 7, 2020, at the behest of Iranian legislator Ahmad Naderi, a session of Iran’s parliament erupted in shouts of “Death to America,” as a way “to show respect” for BLM and “the movement of the oppressed in the U.S.” Vice Speaker Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, who presided over the gathering, joined in chants as well.
On August 26, 2020, hundreds of BLM activists marched through the streets of Oakland, California, chanting “Death to America.” Some members of the 600-to-700-person mob also threw projectiles at police officers, lit fires, smashed windows, and vandalized buildings. (Click here for story and video.)
BLM Supports Ambush That Tries to Murder Two Police Officers
On the night of September 12, 2020, two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies stationed their patrol car near the Willowbrook Metro station in Compton, California. At approximately 7 p.m., a masked gunman slowly crept up to the vehicle and then turned and fired multiple shots through the window, hitting both deputies in what Fox News Los Angeles reporter Bill Melugin described as a “100 percent ambush.” The ambushed deputies were a 24-year-old male and a 31-year-old mother, both recent additions to the department. Both were critically wounded. As Sheriff Alex Villanueva subsequently wrapped up a press conference in which he condemned the shootings, a mob confronted the sheriff’s deputies at the scene, with one member shouting “It’s a celebration! It’s a celebration!” Others taunted the deputies and took videos with their phones.
Meanwhile, the two ambush victims encountered a separate conflict at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, where a BLM mob assembled outside the hospital chanting “Death to police!” The mob blocked entrance to the hospital emergency room, where family members of the wounded officers were present. “I hope they fucking die,” one man yelled, with another adding “Y’all gonna die one by one. This ain’t gonna stop.” As police struggled to disperse the mob, a woman ignored commands to stay back and interfered with an arrest. She turned out to be Jodie Huang, a reporter for Southern California Public Radio affiliate KPCC, which proclaims that “the statement ‘Black Lives Matter’ reinforces our commitment” to “condemn systemic racism — and racism of any kind.” In July 2020, Huang had tweeted that “Black Lives Matter is a spiritual movement.” She also had authored a report on a BLM action at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, in solidarity with rioters in Portland.
Riots in Philadelphia
On October 27, 2020, hundreds of BLM rioters stormed the streets of Philadelphia shortly after after news broke of the death of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old, knife-wielding black man who was shot and killed as he charged at two white police officers and refused to drop his knife. The rioters injured at least 30 officers, mostly by pelting them with bricks, rocks, and other assorted objects. One man drove a truck into line of officers, hitting a 56-year-old female sergeant and breaking her leg. The rioters also vandalized or burned at least five police cars and a fire department vehicle. Moreover, they smashed the windows of a police station and covered it in graffiti, including “ACAB” — an acronym for “All Cops are Bastards.”
BLM Cares Nothing About Black Victims of Black Crime
In early November 2020, Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald pointed out BLM’s hypocrisy, noting that the organization is routinely and consistently silent in response to incidents where black victims — even if they are children — are killed by black perpetrators. She wrote:
“Anti-cop riots convulsed Philadelphia last week over the justified, if tragic, police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. Wallace, 27, had been threatening his mother with a knife and had refused to drop the knife as he approached officers. Joe Biden took up his cause, tweeting ‘for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another black life in America lost. Walter’s life mattered.’
“To be sure — but Biden is referring here exclusively to the loss of black life at the hands of the police, which he, his party and the media have portrayed as a racism-fueled national epidemic. In fact, fatal police shootings constitute a smaller fraction of black homicide deaths than they do of white and Hispanic homicide deaths. Three percent of black homicide victims are killed by a cop, compared to 10 percent of white and Hispanic homicide victims killed by a cop.
“Wallace’s life mattered, yes — but so did the lives of the dozens of black children killed in drive-by shootings since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. The Democratic and media establishments have been virtually silent about those shootings, even amid their skyrocketing numbers. Consider a sampling:
“- On Oct. 23, a 3-year-old boy was shot twice in Southwest Philadelphia.
“- In Sacramento, a 9-year-old girl was killed on Oct. 3 during a family gathering in a park. Her 6-year-old cousin and aunt were also shot. Two hours later, a 17-year-old crashed into a pole after being fatally shot. Shortly thereafter, a 17-year-old girl was shot.
“- On Sept. 26, a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot in the head on the Far West Side of Chicago.
“- A 3-year-old boy in Orlando was fatally shot in the head while playing in his living room on Sept. 22, when a passing car sprayed bullets at the front door and windows of the home. The day before, a 14-year-old boy in the same neighborhood was killed with a shot to his head while he was sitting on his front porch. A 15-year-old next to him was critically wounded.
“- On Sept. 21, a 1-year-old boy in Kansas City, Mo., was killed when someone walked up to the car in which he was riding and riddled it with bullets. The victim was among the 13 children who had been killed in shootings through late September in Kansas City.
“- A 15-year-old girl was shot to death in St. Louis on Sept. 15.
“- On Sept. 9, an 11-year-old girl in Bethlehem, Pa., was shot in the face answering a knock on the back door of her home.
“- A 6-year-old boy was shot on Sept. 7 at the annual J’ouvert party that opens the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.”
Violence Against Trump Supporters in D.C.
At a large, pro-Donald Trump rally on November 14, 2020 in Washington, D.C., BLM and Antifa activists were captured on video physically assaulting Trump supporters.
Fundraising for Democrat Senate Candidates in Georgia Runoffs
In a November 26, 2020 email to supporters, a Black Lives Matter PAC said that it hoped to raise half a million dollars to boost Georgia Senate Democrat candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both of whom were engaged in runoff elections whose outcome would decide, within the next few weeks, which party would have a majority in the U.S. Senate. Said the email: “We know how important this election is going to be in determining what decisions will be made in the Senate for the next few years — decisions that will impact us directly, like access to quality and affordable health care, reforming the criminal justice system, all the way to major electoral reform like passing the BREATHE Act.”
First BLM Activist Elected to Congress
In November 2020, Democrat Cori Bush of Missouri became the first BLM activist ever to be elected to Congress. She was promptly given a seat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee. “I ran for office on the promise of justice,” Bush said in a statement. “Justice for Black lives. Justice for Michael Brown Jr. and Breonna Taylor. Justice for every community held back by racist systems and oppression. Today, I am proud to have been named to a committee with the power to bring about justice for all.”
Disrupting a Children’s Cancer Center Fundraiser
In December 2020, a local BLM organization known as The People’s Revolution organized a march to disrupt an annual Christmas lights display which is held on a street called Candy Cane Lane in West Allis, Wisconsin to raise money for a children’s cancer center. Featuring suburban homes beautifully decorated for Christmas and the holidays, the event was marred by a screaming mob of BLM protesters who harassed the people in attendance. Blocking traffic and terrorizing visitors who were in their cars, the marchers shouted slogans like “Black Children’s Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace.”
BLM & Antifa Threaten Diners in D.C.
On February 6, 2021, BLM and Antifa protesters marched through Washington, D.C. and threatened people as they ate dinner in restaurants. “Burn it down,” the demonstrators chanted, adding: “We are here tonight because black lives matter. Despite black lives mattering, black people are still dying at the hands of the police paid for by our tax dollars.” Video footage uploaded by independent journalists also showed black-clad Antifa radicals holding the red-and-black flag of anarcho-communism and fighting with police officers. (For video footage of these protesters in action. click here.)
Father of Michael Brown Says BLM Abandoned Ferguson Activists
On March 2, 2021, the father of Michael Brown Jr. — the black teenager whose death in an altercation with a Ferguson, Missouri police officer had catapulted BLM to national prominence in 2014 — accused BLM of having abandoned Ferguson activists. In light of a recent Black Lives Matter Foundation report showing that BLM had taken in more than $90 million in donations during 2020, Mr. Brown Sr. — in conjunction with International Black Freedom Alliance director Tory Russell — demanded that BLM allocate $20 million for community improvement projects in Ferguson. Mr. Brown Sr., for his part, asked: “Where is all that money going? Who are they giving it to and what are they doing with it? Why hasn’t my family’s foundation received any assistance from the movement? How could you leave the families who are helping the community without any funding?” Russell, meanwhile, said in a video: “Thousands of other youth activists in their 20s and 30s have been out in the streets protesting for months and months, and years and years. Still forgotten. We’re asking that Black Lives Matter leadership funds $20 million for Ferguson organizers, organizations and community foundations to do the work. We’re not begging for a handout, we’re coming for what we deserve.”
BLM Activist in D.C. Calls for “Blood” and Violence
At a “Jail Killer Cops” BLM rally on April 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C., a 21-year-old BLM activist named Rahim B. took the microphone and said:
“Voting is not gonna bring us this [change]. We voted in the new president, Joe Biden, but I told folks straight up — Joe Biden ain’t gonna do nothing for us because Joe Biden was in office as the vice-president when the Black Lives Matter movement started and ain’t nothing changed. We’ve been protesting for a really long time. How much longer can we protest and march in the streets before we are ready, really ready, to get blood on their hands because one of these days, it’s going to have to come to that. [,,,]
“Bringing about that change is not going to always be pretty, and it’s not going to be peaceful. I don’t condemn [those] who loot, I support them for looting. I support people who take matters in their own hands. If you want to set something on fire, go do that.”
Widespread Riots in April 2021 Following Police Shootings
BLM and Antifa radicals engaged in widespread rioting and looting after an April 11, 2021 incident where a white female police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota had accidentally shot and killed Daunte Wright, a young black man with a criminal history, who was resisting arrest and attempting to flee. (The officer meant to use her Taser on Wright, but instead shot him with her gun.) On April 16 in particular, a number of U.S. cities were the sites of unrest. In Brooklyn Center itself, for instance, agitators tried to tear down fencing that surrounded the local police department, threw projectiles at officers, and spray-painted “Death to Amerika” and “ACAB” (an acronym meaning “All Cops Are Bastards”). Eventually, some people wearing hockey gear, gas masks, and respirators — and armed with baseball bats and other weapons — forced their way through the exterior fence, at which point law-enforcement ordered them to leave. More than 100 of those who did not comply were arrested and taken into custody.
Rioters in Portland — angry about the deaths of Daunte Wright and a Hispanic man who had recently been shot and killed by an officer at a local park — smashed windows at Nordstrom, Nike, and other businesses, and also set fire to an Apple store.
In Oakland, a crowd of 250 to 300 rioters — angry about the deaths of Daunte Wright and a deranged homeless man named Tyrell Wilson who had been shot an killed by a policeman several weeks earlier — assaulted a police officer, broke windows, spray-painted buildings, set cars on fire, and torched the California Bank and Trust building.
In Chicago’s Logan Square Park, a crowd of approximately 1,000 demonstrators clashed with police officers.
Demonstrations also took place in Raleigh, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.
BLM Activist Bree Newsome Defends Rioting & Looting
In a series of tweets in mid-April 2021, the filmmaker and prominent BLM activist Bree Newsome expressed her support for violent rioting and looting as “a legitimate, politically-informed response to state violence.” Some additional excerpts from her tweets:
- “I refuse any effort to deflect from the central issue of racism by pretending property damage warrants police firing teargas on communities that are justifiably outraged by how police keep murdering people.”
- “Far from making the argument people think it does, the hand-wringing over property damage & looting in situations like this only highlights how this society treats Black people as less than human.”
- “No one has difficulty understanding targeted property damage as a political act when it’s white ppl. Depicting Blk &/or poor ppl as mindlessly looting just to ‘take advantage’ of social unrest [fostered by actions of the police] serves a racist fantasy of Black ppl being lawless.”
- “The whole function of the focus on looting is to say, ‘look— this is why we need police even if they frequently murder people. Black ppl are just waiting for any opportunity to steal & the police are the only ones protecting the property.”’
- “[P]eople are so fully indoctrinated into white supremacy that they’ve never interrogated who is allowed to damage property & why. The police are simultaneously damaging property during a riot they incited but that is deemed acceptable.’
- “The Boston Tea Party is also framed as a justified political act. It’s only Black ppl who must protest quietly.”
- “Folks love to distinguish between ‘peaceful protesters’ and the protesters throwing rocks at police while ignoring how the police side of the conflict is nothing but violence & military grade weaponry. Why can’t police also be obligated to respond by marching in circles w/ signs?”
- “There are many arguments to be made in favor of nonviolent resistance. ‘Violent resistance never leads to desired results’ is not one of them & it hurts the credibility of the argument to make a statement that is demonstrably untrue.”
- “It’s also problematic that many only speak of nonviolence to say how people should *respond to* violent systems but don’t call for the abolition & dismantling of the violent systems themselves.”
BLM Activists Tell Whites to “Get the Fuck Out” of New York City
On April 20, 2021 — shortly after a jury had convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd 11 months earlier — shouting BLM protesters in Brooklyn, New York demanded that the “white people” who were dining outside at Maya Taqueria should “get the fuck out of New York” because “we don’t want you here.” They also shouted: “We don’t want your f—ing money! We don’t want your f—ing taqueria, owned by f—ing white men!”
“We’re Never Gonna Be Satisfied!”
On the afternoon of April 21, 2021 — moments after a jury had convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd 11 months earlier — BLM activists on the streets of Minneapolis made it clear that the three “guilty” verdicts against Chauvin would have absolutely no effect on their determination to condemn and transform the allegedly racist criminal-justice system that they viewed as an emblem of the permanent and irredeemable racism that typified America as a whole. They repeatedly chanted, “Burn it down!” and made statements like the following:
- “Yes, we can defund the police. And maybe one day we will abolish the police, but we ain’t gonna do shit unless we have control over them. That is the number one thing right now. … We’re not gonna let these pigs in these buildings have any more control over our lives today. That shit ends today.”
- “We need to go way beyond voting at this point. We need to be coming out here every single day if that’s what it takes, until we get justice for the people that they murdered a week ago that they’ve already forgotten about. … The only reason once again, that we got this conviction, is because we showed up. And if we don’t keep showing up, and if we don’t change laws, and we don’t attack this system, from every single fucking angle we can, we will be here again.”
- “We’re not, we’re never gonna be satisfied. Black Lives Matter isn’t a trend. It’s a movement. Black Lives Matter forever, okay? So, we’re not gonna stop just because we’ve got one conviction. We’re happy with the conviction, but we’re gonna keep going. … This is a black genocide. This is more than one case. We’re not satisfied.”
- “Derrick Chauvin’s Police Department burned to the ground. So we have to remember, those people are still facing challenges for arson. We have to remember that we just set us up a map once again because that was epic!”
BLM Issues 7 New Demands
In early January 2021, BLM issued the following seven major, non-negotiable demands:
1. Convict and ban Trump from future political office:
We are joining Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and others who are demanding Trump be immediately convicted in the United States Senate. Trump must also be banned from holding elected office in the future.
2. Expel Republican members of Congress who attempted to overturn the election and incited a white supremacist attack:
More than half the Republican representatives and multiple senators stoked Trump’s conspiracy theories and encouraged the white supremacists to take action to overturn the election. We are supporting Rep. Cori Bush’s resolution to expel them from Congress for their dangerous and traitorous actions. We also support steps to bar them from seeking another office.
3. Launch a full investigation into the ties between white supremacy and the Capitol Police, law enforcement, and the military:
The Capitol was able to be breached and overrun by white supremacists attempting to disrupt a political process that is fundamental to our democracy. We know that police departments have been a safe haven for white supremacists to hide malintent behind a badge, because the badge was created for that purpose. We also know off-duty cops and military were among the mob at the Capitol on January 6th. Guilty parties need to be held accountable and fired. We are supporting Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s COUP Act to investigate these connections.
4. Permanently ban Trump from all digital media platforms:
Trump has always used his digital media platforms recklessly and irresponsibly to spread lies and disinformation. Now it is clearer than ever that his digital media is also used to incite violence and promote its continuation. He must be stopped from encouraging his mob and further endangering our communities, even after [Joe Biden’s] inauguration.
5. Defund the police:
The police that met our BLM protestors this summer with assault rifles, teargas, and military-grade protective gear were the same police that, on [January 6], met white supremacists with patience and the benefit of the doubt, going so far as to pose for selfies with rioters. The contrast was jarring, but not for Black people. We have always known who the police truly protect and serve. D.C. has the most police per capita in the country; more funding is not the solution.
6. Don’t let the coup be used as an excuse to crack down on our movement:
In response to the coup, Politicians have already introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021. We’ve seen this playbook before. These laws are used to target Black and brown communities for heightened surveillance. Republicans are already busy trying to create an equivalence between the mob on January 6th and our Freedom Summer. We don’t need new domestic terror laws, facial recognition, or any other new police power for the state. Our government should protect righteous protest and stay focused on the real issue: rooting out white supremacy. There are enough laws, resources, and intelligence, but they were not used to stop the coup. Our elected officials must uncover why.
7. Pass the BREATHE Act:
The police were born out of slave patrols. We cannot reform an institution built upon white supremacy. We need a new, radical approach to public safety and community investment. President Biden has already drawn on the BREATHE Act [which advocates slavery reparations payments for blacks and the abolition of all police forces] in his executive actions calling for racial equity screens in federal programs, investing in environmental justice at historic levels, and engaging with system-impacted communities. The BREATHE Act paints a vision of a world where Black lives matter through investments in housing, education, health, and environmental justice.
BLM Saint Paul Founder Exposes the “Ugly Truth” about BLM
In late May 2021, Rashard Turner — who founded BLM’s St. Paul, Minnesota chapter in 2015 — said in a video: “After a year on the inside, I learned they had little concern for rebuilding black families, and they cared even less about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis. That was made clear when they publicly denounced charter schools alongside the teachers union. I was an insider in Black Lives Matter. And I learned the ugly truth. The moratorium on charter schools does not support rebuilding the black family. But it does create barriers to a better education for black children. I resigned from Black Lives Matter after a year and a half. But I didn’t quit working to improve black lives and access to a great education.”
Patrisse Cullors Steps Down from Leadership Post with BLM
On May 27, 2021, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors announced that she would be stepping down as executive director of the BLM Foundation the following day. She claimed that her resignation had been in the works for more than a year and was unrelated to criticism she had received from conservatives vis-a-vis her enormous wealth and her various recent property acquisitions. “Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right thinks about me,” Cullors said.
Criticism from Parents of Black Youngsters Who Were BLM Cause Celebres
In late May 2021, after Patrisse Cullors stepped down as a leader of BLM, some women whose sons had been killed by police officers accused the organization of profiting from their grief. “I don’t believe she [Cullors] is going anywhere,” said 44-year-old Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot and killed by Cleveland police in November 2014. “It’s all a facade. She’s [Cullors is] only saying that [she is leaving BLM] to get the heat off her right now.” Ms. Rice, who said she had exchanged a few emails with Cullors over the years but had never been granted a face-to-face meeting, added: “They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us.”
Fifty-two-year-old Lisa Simpson, a Los Angeles-based woman whose son, Richard Risher, had been killed by police in July 2016, also condemned Cullors: “Now she doesn’t have to show her accountability. “She can just take the money and run.” This was not the first time that Ms. Simpson had criticized BLM or its leaders. In March 2021 she accused the organization of “raising money in our dead sons’ names and giving us nothing in return.” BLM’s Los Angeles chapter raised $5,000 for her son’s funeral but never gave any of it to Simpson, the woman claimed. In a March 2021 joint statement, Ms. Simpson and Ms. Rice said: “We never hired them [BLM] to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police. The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers. We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken.”
In a similar vein, Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in a police raid at her Kentucky home in April 2020, wrote in an April 14, 2021 Facebook post: “I have never personally dealt with BLM Louisville and personally have found them to be fraud (sic).”
Founder of BLM Utah Chapter Says American Flag Is “Symbol of Hatred”
In a July 4, 2021 Facebook post, Lex Scott, the founder of Utah’s Black Lives Matter chapter, wrote: “When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around. When we see this flag we know the person flying it is a racist. When we see this flag we know that the person flying it lives in a different America than we do. When we see this flag, we question your intelligence. We know to avoid you. It is a symbol of hatred.”
Ms. Scott subsequently told Fox News: “Ever since we put up the post, our page has been flooded with hatred from people who fly the flag. And we want to thank those people for proving our point.” When asked how she would respond to people who say the American flag represents all Americans, Scott replied: “I would ask those people if they ever showed outrage when the Ku Klux Klan marched down the street holding that flag, if they ever showed outrage last week when Patriot Front, a White supremacist group, was marching through Philadelphia holding that flag, if they feel outraged that the Three Percenters have co-opted their flag, that the Proud Boys have co-opted their flag. If they have never shown outrage when hate groups use their symbol for hatred, then they need to not come to us – they need to go directly to those groups. When you allow a hate group to fly that flag in the name of hatred, and you say nothing, and you do nothing, you send a message to us that you agree with their messaging. You agree with that hate, and you condone it.”
In another Facebook post, Scott wrote: “I want you to walk in my shoes for a second. I want you to picture this. You show up for a protest, and hundreds of armed White men show up. They have guns, they yell racial slurs at you, they are carrying and wearing American flags. If you see that every person that hates you is carrying an American flag how would you feel about that flag? I feel fear. That is not up for debate. I feel like the person flying it is racist, because every racist that I have come in contact with is either wearing that flag or flying that flag. I feel as if I should avoid that person because they may be dangerous.”
BLM Reacts to Cuba’s Pro-Freedom Demonstrations by Praising the Communist Regime and Blaming the U.S.
When Cubans were engaged in massive pro-freedom demonstrations against their oppressive government in July 2021, BLM reacted by praising Cuba’s oppressive communist regime. Moreover, the organization blamed the United States for Cuba’s economic plight and, by extension, the unrest that was taking place at the time. On July 14, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation used its Instagram page to post its official statement about the demonstrations in Cuba: “Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans, and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo.”
Characterizing the embargo as a “cruel and inhumane policy” that was “at the heart of Cuba’s current crisis,” BLM continued: “Since 1962, the United States has forced pain and suffering on the people of Cuba by cutting off food, medicine and supplies, costing the tiny island nation an estimated $130 billion.” (That claim, however, ignored the fact that the U.S. embargo allowed America to export agricultural products, food, medicine, medical equipment, and humanitarian supplies into Cuba.)
“Without that money, it is harder for Cuba to acquire medical equipment needed to develop its own COVID-19 vaccines and equipment for food production,” BLM added. Asserting that “the people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination,” BLM claimed that “the U.S. government has only instigated suffering for the country’s 11 million people – of which 4 million are Black and Brown.”
“Now we look to President Biden to end the embargo, something President Barack Obama called for in 2016,” said BLM. “This embargo is a blatant human rights violation and it must come to an end.”
BLM also praised Cuba’s communist regime for its “historically demonstrated solidarity with oppressed peoples of African descent,” and for “protecting black revolutionaries” like BLM icon Assata Shakur.
New York BLM Leaders Warn of “Riots,” “Fire,” & “Bloodshed” if Mayor Adams Reinstates “Gestapo” Police Unit
On November 10, 2021, New York City’s mayor-elect, Eric Adams, had a closed-door meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall with a number of local BLM chapter leaders to hear out their agenda. In light of Adams’ campaign pledge to reinstate some version of the plainclothes officers’ unit that had seized hundreds of illegal guns in dangerous neighborhoods each year before Mayor de Blasio disbanded it in 2020, the meeting was highly contentious from the start. After the meeting, New York BLM co-founder Hawk Newsome told reporters: “Everybody talks about ‘good cops.’ We don’t believe in good cops.”
Added Newsome: “If he [Adams] thinks that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again. There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed because we believe in defending our people. So there is no way that he is going to let some Gestapo come in here and harm our people. We pray for peace but … prepare for the worst.”
Newsome’s sister, Chivona Newsome, who co-founded the same BLM chapter with her brother, vowed: “We will shut the city down. We will shut down City Hall, and we will give him [Adams] hell and make it a nightmare.”
On November 13, 2021, Fox News host Dan Bongino followed up on Hawk Newsome’s original remarks and asked him: “You don’t want riots, right? You don’t want riots, correct? And violence? I just want to get you on the record.” Newsome replied: “I’m going on the record right now. As Dr. [Martin Luther] King said, riots are the voice of the unheard. It’s a natural occurrence that if people continue to be traumatized and oppressed they will lash out.” He then cited the Boston Tea Party as an example of a “riot.” When pressed further by Bongino to condemn the use of violence as a means of protesting a police use-of-force incident that he opposed, Newsome said: “No. What I’ll say is: I understand when a police officer unjustifiably kills someone, why people lash out. I understand that completely. I’m not going to condemn, nor am I going to condone it.”
BLM Condemns the Kyle Rittenhouse Jury Verdict
On August 25, 2020 — during a violent Black Lives Matter/Antifa riot which followed an incident where a white Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer had shot and permanently disabled a knife-wielding black criminal named Jacob Blake — Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old white youth from Antioch, Illinois, drove to Kenosha, where his father resided, with the intent of: (a) helping to prevent further vandalism in that city, and (b) providing medical aid to people injured in the melee. At the scene of the unrest, Rittenhouse was armed with a semi-automatic rifle that had been purchased (with his money) and held for him by his friend Dominick Black, a resident of Kenosha. When white rioter and Kenosha resident Joseph Rosenbaum — who had spent 15 years in prison for multiple child molestation convictions that included anal rape — chased Rittenhouse, threatened to kill him, and tried to take away his rifle, Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum. While subsequently being chased by a crowd of approximately a dozen rioters, Rittenhouse ran down a street toward police vehicles, in hopes that the officers might protect him from his pursuers. But the fleeing Rittenhouse tripped and fell to the ground, at which point he was struck on the head by a 39-year-old white man who jump-kicked him. Then, while Rittenhouse was still on the ground, white Silver Lake resident Anthony Huber — a domestic abuse repeater and an ex-convict who in 2013 had pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of strangulation, suffocation, and false imprisonment — struck him on the head and neck with a skateboard and attempted to pull away his rifle, at which point Rittenhouse killed Huber with a single gunshot to the chest. And when white West Allis resident Gaige Grosskreutz — who had a long arrest history that included multiple misdemeanors and felonies — then approached the fallen Rittenhouse and pointed a handgun directly at him, Rittenhouse shot him once in the right arm, wounding but not killing the man. Rittenhouse was subsequently tried on six criminal charges which included homicide, reckless endangerment, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18. A large number of leftists portrayed him as a racist, Trump-supporting white vigilante who had recklessly fired his gun at “social justice” and “racial justice” demonstrators in Kenosha.
After a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts on November 19, 2021, BLM activist Troy Gaston — who in May 2020 had been arrested for committing battery on a police officer, and who had spent a total of ten years in prison for such crimes as burglary, forgery, and misuse of a credit card — delivered a speech at a “Stop White Supremacy!” rally in Chicago on November 20. There, he said: “Today we come out here simply to be recognized as people who deserve to live and be treated with [equality] and respect. I ask that everybody come out here today and let your f**king voices be heard.” Following his speech, Gaston made the following remarks to Breitbart News:
- “I guess the verdict was, basically, push back on protesters who come out there to protest and to have the respect of the city to have their voices heard.”
- “Rittenhouse, coming out there for whatever reason, came out there and did harm. The jury has spoken. Our court system has resolved. So we gotta ask ourselves, ‘Do you support doing harm?’ or ‘Do you support voices being heard?”
- “How could it be peace [after the Rittenhouse verdicts] when there’s no justice? There could be no peace without justice.”
- “We are waiting for the federal government to charge Rittenhouse with first-degree murder.”
Gaston also told Yahoo News: “I’ve been designed to fight. Black people’s whole existence is a resistance. It’s about the work of people trying to find the dignity within themselves to show a connection with the human spirit with other people.”
BLM Launches Christmas Campaign Against “White Supremacist Capitalism”
On Thanksgiving Day 2021, BLM’s official Twitter account mocked Americans for “eating dry turkey and overcooked stuffing on stolen land” on that holiday. It also condemned the “white-supremacist capitalism” of Christmas. Additional messages included:
- “YOU ARE ON STOLEN LAND.” (emphasis in original)
- “This #Thanksgiving we send our deepest love to families whose loved ones were stolen by state-sanctioned violence and white-supremacy. May we offer a special prayer for those who will forever have an #EmptySeatAtTheTable.”
- “Colonization never ended. It just became normalized. This nation was built on the stolen land of Indigenous people and the stolen labor and lives of our African Ancestors.”
The day after Thanksgiving, BLM posted its virtual Christmas decoration, a “Black Xmas” logo.
And one day after that, BLM tweeted: “For 7 years #BlackLivesMatter has been drawing connections between white-supremacist-capitalism & police violence with our #BlackXmas campaign.” That tweet included a link to a Los Angeles Sentinel article about Black Xmas by Dr. Melina Abdullah, a professor and BLM activist who wrote:
“Now is when we must renew our commitment to struggle – not simply against white-supremacist-capitalism, but towards imagining and building new visions for the world and for Black people.[…] When we think about the enormity of what we face…the thousands of lives stolen by police violence, each hashtag, police budgets in the billions, tens of thousands of our folks living unhoused, poisoned water, people confined to cages, centuries of miseducation, and the oppression embedded into every crevice of every system, it is too overwhelming to fight against. We must hold the line nonetheless. More than fighting against these structures that pummel us constantly, though, we must build new systems. We must dare to set our own agenda. Rather than merely resisting white-supremacist-capitalism, we must embrace and build cooperative economics (ujamaa).For the last seven years, Black Lives Matter has been challenging people to ‘dream of a Black Xmas,’ to intentionally use our resources to: #BuildBlack (invest in Black-led, Black-serving organizations), #BuyBlack (spend exclusively with Black-owned businesses from Black Friday through New Year), and #BankBlack (move our money from white corporate banks to Black-owned ones).” […] #BlackXmas is about being self-determined and felling existing structures by building new, and more viable, beneficial ones … in the names of our mightiest and most righteous warrior Ancestors, in the names of those stolen by police violence, in honor of our community, and as a commitment to the generations to come.”
BLM Supporter Uses SUV to Intentionally Kill 6 and Injure 62 at Christmas Parade in Wisconsin
On November 21, 2021, a 39-year-old black BLM supporter named Darrell Brooks intentionally drove his sport utility vehicle (SUV) into a crowd of participants and observers at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing 6 people and injuring 62 others. All six of the dead people were white.
Prior to that incident, Brooks already had an extensive criminal history that included many felonies dating back to at least 1999. Among his offenses were: carrying a concealed weapon; aggravated battery with intent to do great harm; resisting or obstructing an officer; possession of cocaine; possession of marijuana; possession of methamphetamine; possession of THC; possession of a controlled substance; loitering; taking and driving a vehicle without consent; receiving stolen property; domestic abuse; criminal damage to property; strangulation and suffocation; probation violation; bail jumping; failure to appear in court; second-degree recklessly endangering safety; disorderly conduct and battery; bail jumping; domestic violence battery; being a non-compliant sex offender; impregnating a 15-year-old girl; use of a dangerous weapon; possession of a firearm by a felon; striking a woman “in the face with a closed fist”; and shooting toward a family member’s occupied car. Just a few days prior to his vehicular rampage in Waukesha, Brooks was accused of trying to run over a woman with his vehicle in a gas station parking lot, an offense for which he was released on a mere $1,000 bail on November 19, 2021.
In an online post he had previously written, Brooks referred to Black Lives Matter by displaying the letters “BLM” carved into a fruit arrangement. Another post showing Brooks’ support for BLM was accompanied by a middle-finger emoji and a police-officer emoji.
Additional Brooks posts with political themes and messages included the following:
- On October 3, 2019, he reposted a tweet featuring a photo of Monica Lewinsky accompanied by the quote: “I’m willing to take one for team and give Trump a blowjob in the oval office. Apparently that’s the only thing that can convince Republicans to impeach [Trump].”
- On Facebook, he posted a photoshopped fake image depicting former Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin as a Nazi.
- He posted anti-police rhetoric.
- He posted a photo of a baseball cap bearing the words: “Wire Kanye’s Jaw Shut Again” – a reference to rapper Kanye West, who was an open admirer of President Trump.
- On Twitter, he posted a photo of the late Malcolm X accompanied by Malcolm’s quote that said: “Help Africa in its struggle to free itself from Western domination. No matter where the black man is, he will never be respected until Africa is a world power.”
- On Facebook, he posted memes and messages calling for violence against white people and Jews, and praising Adolf Hitler for having orchestrated the Holocaust. “LEARNED ND TAUGHT BEHAVIOR!! so when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD..,” Brooks wrote in a June 9, 2020 post that was accompanied by a middle-finger emoji.
- He also shared a meme titled “Hitler knew who the real Jews were!” – a message claiming that the Nazi Fuhrer had stated that his genocide was motivated, in part, by his belief that “the negros … are the true Hebrews.” The post further accused America of having moved “false white Jews into a state of Israel,” and it asserted that World War III would erupt when people “learn Hitler was right” and “did the world a favor by killing” Jews.
BLM Calls for 37-Day Boycott of White Businesses & Condemns Capitalism
In late November 2021, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), BLM’s national arm, announced that it would lead a boycott against “white companies” throughout the upcoming holiday shopping season, from November 26, 2021, through January 1, 2022. Their stated goal was to help “end white-supremacist-capitalism” by patronizing only black-owned businesses during that period. Promoted under the hashtags #BlackXmas and #BuyBlack, this boycott would be a continuation of an annual tradition that BLM had started in 2014.
In a November 24, 2021 blog post, BLM wrote: “As BLMLA [BLM Los Angeles] organizer, Jan Williams, reminds us, ‘Capitalism doesn’t love Black people.’ In fact, white-supremacist-capitalism invented policing, initially as chattel-slavery-era ‘paddy rollers,’ in order to protect its interests and put targets on the backs of Black people. Under modern-day policing, those targets have been affixed to the backs of Black people.”
“#BlackXmas challenges us to shake off the chains of consumerism,” the blog post added, “and step fully into our own collective power, to build new traditions, and run an offense as well as a defense. Let’s harness our economic power to disrupt white-supremacist-capitalism and build Black community. #BlackXmas is about being self-determined and dismantling existing structures by building new, and more viable, beneficial ones…in the names of our mightiest and most righteous warrior Ancestors, in the names of all those stolen by police violence, in honor of our community, and as a commitment to the generations to come.”
In a November 26, 2021 Instagram post, BLM wrote: “#BuyBlack – Skip the Black Friday sales and buy exclusively from Black-owned businesses. #BankBlack – Move your money out of white-corporate banks that finance our oppression and open accounts with Black-owned banks. White-supremacist-capitalism uses policing to protect profits and steal Black life.”
The website blackxmas.org provided maps showing people where they could find black-owned business establishments to patronize in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, and in South Bend, Indiana. That same website also featured a video showing a 2017 protest in which members of BLM’s Los Angeles chapter chanted: “Take it to the streets and fuck the police! No justice no peace!”
BLM’s D.C. Chapter Objects When Shot Police Officer Is Hailed As “Hero”
After a Metropolitan Police officer was shot and wounded by a barricaded black suspect on the night of January 24, 2022, the Washington, DC chapter of BLM posted a series of tweets asserting that the American public should not “jump to conclusions” reflexively depicting such officers as “heroes.” “Let’s wait till we have all the information (isn’t that what y’all tell us),” the chapter tweeted, condemning “the difference in how people talk and act when an officer is hurt vs when they hurt a Black person.” “This is the point we’ve been making for months,” said a subsequent tweet. “Tear jerker press conferences and proclamations of heroes coming soon. Imagine if people knew these folks’ name. Being black in DC is more dangerous than any job.”
BLM-DC also posted a link to its #StopMPD campaign, which called for an end to “police violence and terror” while rejecting claims that not all officers are “bad” people. “This assertion is almost always coupled with examples of law enforcement officials who step outside of their assigned duties to ‘help’ Black people and champions the belief that we can change systems by changing the individuals who work within this system, but not [changing] the system,” the #StopMPD campaign declared. “We’ve seen time and again that doesn’t work.” The #StopMPD webpage also described the District of Columbia as an “occupied police state” that had always been hostile to nonwhites.
Memphis BLM Founder Is Sentenced to 6 years in Prison for Illegally Voting
On February 15, 2022, the leftwing website The Daily Beast provided numerous details about Mr. Brown’s radical politics and Democratic Party ties:
On February 7, 2022, 44-year-old Pamela Moses, the founder of the Memphis chapter of Black Lives Matter, was sentenced to six years and one day in prison for illegally registering to vote in Tennessee. She was not eligible to register in that state because of prior felony convictions (in 2015) for forgery and tampering with evidence. When Judge Michael Ward handed down the sentence, he said to Moses: “You tricked the probation department into giving you documents saying you were off probation.” Moses, for her part, said she thought that her voting rights had been restored in 2019.
BLM’s Louisville Chapter Bails out Black BLM Activist Charged with the Attempted Murder of a White Mayoral Candidate
In mid-February 2022, twenty-one-year-old BLM activist, black nationalist, and gun-control advocate Quintez Brown — who had been publicly been praised by both former President Barack Obama and MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid — was arrested for the attempted assassination of local mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg, whose sweater was grazed by a bullet when Brown stormed into Greenberg’s office and began firing away. Bail was set at $100,000, and BLM’s Louisville Community Bail Fund — which had originally been established to bail out BLMers during the violent riots protesting the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor — paid that sum in full. The Post Millennial reported on February 16, 2022: “BLM Louisville has expressed support for Brown since the morning of the alleged shooting, saying in response to concerns about Brown’s motivations that ‘the radicalization of any Black person in American [sic] is justification of erasure of the genocide against Black people.'”
“When Quintez Brown was charged with attempting to murder the Democratic frontrunner to be the next mayor of Louisville on Monday, it marked a shocking turn in the life of a promising Black activist who disappeared last year before running for office himself. The violent incident, likened to an assassination attempt, came after Brown veered toward increasingly radical politics in recent years, meeting just last week with a representative for a Black nationalist paramilitary group. […]
“A former intern and editorial columnist of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Brown wrote in the paper that he had studied philosophy and Pan-Africanism while at the University of Louisville. There, he’d previously served as the opinion editor of the school’s newspaper, the Cardinal, and is an MLK Scholar. […]
“Brown’s affiliation with Black Lives Matter and social-justice issues led to his being featured on MSBNC in 2018, where he spoke about wanting ‘common-sense gun reform.’ He was also featured by the Obama Foundation as a ‘rising face,‘ and participated in the former president’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ program, becoming one of just 22 students nationwide invited to the inaugural gathering of the ‘My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.’
“’I have seen the consequences of poverty and centuries of systemic racism and oppression, and I believe in the potential of everyone,’ Brown said in a statement still posted on the foundation’s webpage. ‘I cannot stand by silently while I see the lives and potential of my brothers and sisters be cut short due to systemic injustice. Our brothers need hope. Our brothers need positive role models. Our brothers need mentors.’
“Social media posts from the last decade show Brown pictured alongside such luminaries as the Rev. Al Sharpton and Kentucky Senate candidate Charles Booker, a Democrat. In a 2021 Twitter post, Booker described Brown as ‘a brilliant young scholar’ who spoke at his Senate launch years prior. […]
“Brown’s more recent social media posts, particularly the accounts associated with his campaign for a seat in the Louisville Metro Council, show an increasing interest in Black nationalist and pan-Africanist leaders. He frequently posted photos and quotes of the Black Panthers, Stokely Carmichael, George Jackson, and late Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah.
“’We have one scientific and correct solution, Pan-Africanism: the total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism,’ his Twitter bio reads.
“He even appeared to urge followers last week to join the Lion of Judah Armed Forces, a gun-toting group whose leadership has voiced ideas similar to those of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. The latter anti-Semitic ideology holds that Black Americans, not Jewish people, are the true descendants of the Biblical Hebrews. Adherents of the BHI movement were charged with murdering four Jewish people at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City in 2019. […]
“In January, shortly after filing to run for the Metro Council, Brown posted a ‘Revolutionary Love Letter’ to his Medium account, in which he expressed his disaffection with mainstream politics and politicians. ‘By expecting someone else to take full responsibility for our liberation, these reactionary so-called Black leaders are committing an act of political suicide,’ he wrote. ‘The revolutionary consciousness of the masses must understand that the struggle against the negative forces of genocide and fascism will not end at the ballot box of the ruling class. Attempting to get within one of the two major parties has caused our leaders to become co-opted with their interests shunted to the background.’”