A black grandmother with a smartphone and a Facebook account has become a viral sensation, in a series of videos critiquing the Black Lives Matter movement and its approach to the entrenched problems facing black communities.
Last weekend, Peggy Hubbard amassed over 7 million views of a Facebook video in which she offers her own riffs on the problems facing black Americans. While acknowledging the existence of police brutality, Hubbard says black people should focus on eradicating social “deterioration” and “black brutality,” as a prime source of violence against African Americans.
From my heart!
Posted by Peggy Hubbard on Thursday, August 20, 2015
Hubbard, whose Facebook page says she’s from St. Louis, Missouri, uploaded the video following two recent deaths in the black community there. Mansur Ball-Bey was killed in St. Louis by police who say that he aimed a stolen gun at them before they shot. Nine-year-old Jamyla Bolden died after being hit by a stray bullet in a Ferguson, Missouri drive-by shooting.
In the video, Hubbard condemns the suggestion that black people who shoot at police shouldn’t expect return fire. She decries those who protest the deaths of criminals at the hands of police, rather than the slaying of innocent black people by fellow African Americans:
Police brutality? How about black brutality? You black people, my black people, you are the . . . most violent [people] I have ever seen in my life. A little girl is dead. You say black lives matter? Her life mattered. Her dreams mattered. Her future mattered. Her promises mattered. It mattered. Yet, you trifling [people] are out there tearing up the neighborhood I grew up in.
Unrest prevails in many black neighborhoods, Hubbard believes, primarily because of blacks who choose to commit violent crimes. Hubbard recalls turning her own son in for a crime he committed, as she’d warned him she would if he ever broke the law. Unless black people show that they care for their own lives and the lives of their neighbors, Black Lives Matter “doesn’t matter,” says Hubbard. “If your life doesn’t matter to you, then it doesn’t matter to us.”
As the video racked up a viral number of hits, the comment section filled with thousands of concurring remarks, alongside angry declarations that Hubbard is no longer a true black person. She responded with a second video, featuring a calmer but still passionate demeanor.
Say what you need to say.
Posted by Peggy Hubbard on Saturday, August 22, 2015
To charges that she abandoned black people’s “side,” with her first video, she replies,
Excuse me, but I didn’t know there was a side to be on. Only thing I know is I see right, and I see wrong. I see good, I see bad. This is not a race issue, and it never has been a race issue. People made it about race. This is not about race. This is about morals. This is about accountability and responsibility. We have to be responsible for the things we do and the things we say.
Hubbard points out that black people demand respect, but most respect must be earned, regardless of one’s race. She also emphasizes the importance of shared humanity — people belong most fundamentally not to the white race or to the black race, but to the human race. While the Black Lives Matter crowd tends to shift all blame to “whiteness” and to “the system,” Hubbard shifts responsibility back to individuals as moral agents:
Life in general matters. But until it matters to you, America — black America, white America — until it matters to you as an individual, it’s never going to matter. It’s never going to get better, and there’s going to be this divide. This divide is there because we built it. We put this divide there. We put this wall up. It’s never, ever going to get better until we admit that there is a problem in our community.
In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon Tuesday night, Hubbard reiterated her critiques of the Black Lives Matter movement, and read some of the angrier and more obscene internet comments they’ve earned her. Her response to the critics? “Bite me.”
— Celina Durgin is a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review