On Wednesday, an online video highlighted the increasingly grey area of America’s present protests in general and Black Lives Matter in particular.
As I’ve previously covered, there exist two very different things: the idea that the lives of black Americans matter — with which no voice in the ether is in disagreement — and also the organization called “Black Lives Matter,” which concerns many more things than the value of black lives.
From the BLM website:
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 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.
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, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
And there’s this:
Black Lives Matter movement founder: “We are trained Marxists.”pic.twitter.com/bG7QENIM98
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) June 22, 2020
As of July 1st, you can add something else to the lexicon of our current uprising.
As protestors marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building, they chanted the following:
“Israel, we know you, you murder children, too.”
It was only a matter of time before the DC protests turned anti-Semitic. pic.twitter.com/YTbwwGuOYh
— Nic Rowan (@NicXTempore) July 1, 2020
Of course, it’s those young people’s right — and maybe even their responsibility — to think for themselves about the tiny Western Asian nation.
Putting that aside, how many of them might have independently studied Israel enough to have an informed opinion about it?
The mob mentality — in my view — isn’t a good one.
But the group soon went back to something more universal:
They immediately switched to the more standard “Black Lives Matter” chant after the “Israel kills children” one. pic.twitter.com/6oBVtlVpU8
— Nic Rowan (@NicXTempore) July 1, 2020
According to The Washington Examiner, the 200-person march was led by Harvard University senior Christian Tabash and was “intended to tie the cause of Black Lives Matter to the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment movement against Israel.”
More from the Examiner:
As the march progressed, Tabash led his followers in alternating chants about Israel and racial justice.
“Israel, we know you, you murder children, too,” the crowd chanted at one point.
The crowd immediately followed that chant with alternating rallying cries of “Black lives matter!” and “Palestinian lives matter!” Many more shouted criticisms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A woman waved a sign that on one side bore the Palestinian flag and, on the other, the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”
Tabash also led the group in the reading of poetry detailing the crimes of Israel against Palestinian Muslims. One poem entitled “Mr. War” decried the Israeli government: “Curse thee, the corrupters of Zion. F— this occupation!” The poem later referred to the Jewish state as the “puppet master of continents,” a reference to a centuries-old conspiracy that Jewish people secretly rule the world.
While Tabash walked out in front of the marchers, he paused several times to say that the Palestinian movement is “intrinsically tied to Black Lives Matter” and calls to defund police departments. Tabash said that “American capitalism” and the Israeli state were built on the same principle: repression of minorities.
“And that’s why we say police from Palestine to Mexico to the United States — police as a whole — need to go!” he shouted.
It seems to me that whatever is occurring in our streets lacks a clear focus, and maybe a lot of the participants just want to be part of whatever the movement is. As I’ve said before, I believe many young people have grown up lacking a feeling of purpose and place in the universe. Perhaps this is their chance to find meaning.
Whatever all the working parts, the protests continue. And they’re all over the place — from End Police Brutality, to Achieve Racial Justice, to Defund the Police, to Destroy Evidence of the Confederacy, to Condemn the Found Fathers, to Capitalism is Evil, to Israel is Murderous…and we seem to be brushing uncomfortably close to Erase All History.
At some point — even with the Zombie Apocalypse of COVID-19 — society has to return to some kind of functional normalcy. But I can’t imagine how or when that will occur.
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