Politics & Policy

Black Lives Matter Keeps Getting More Radical — Will the Media Care?

Black Lives Matter protesters outside the Democratic convention, July 26, 2016. (Bryan Woolston/Reuters)
Their decision to elevate the most extreme voices has dire consequences for racial justice.

I feel sorry for Americans who look to Black Lives Matter as an instrument of racial reconciliation. I truly do. There are millions of citizens of good will who are sick to death of racial division and whose hearts ache over the historic inequalities between black and white. They believe that black lives matter, and they want, desperately, to be part of a movement that can heal this country’s deep and lasting cultural, educational, and economic wounds.

These Americans of good will have been had, with the media’s help. Black Lives Matter is an instrument not of justice and reconciliation but rather of violence and revolution. It’s shot through with its own form of racism — anti-Semitism — and with authoritarian demands that would not only strip Americans of their constitutional rights but bankrupt our nation and render it vulnerable to its enemies abroad. Doubt me? Read the organization’s own words.

On Monday, Black Lives Matter joined with dozens of radical civil-rights groups to issue an official “platform,” and the document is nothing less than an extraordinary grab bag of anti-American and fundamentally Marxist demands. It declares, for example, that “America is an empire that uses war to expand territory and power,” and then advocates vast cuts in the military budget and the immediate end to all American military engagements. Inexplicably, it also attacks Israel, calling it an “apartheid state” and declaring it guilty of “genocide” against Palestinians. According to BLM, it’s important for black Americans to tie themselves to “liberation movements around the world.”

If you care about the Constitution or the economy here at home, Black Lives Matter does not care about you. It would end “the privatization of education” (except at “historically black colleges and universities”), depriving students of First Amendment rights of free speech and free association and depriving parents of the fundamental natural right to raise and educate their own children. At the same time, it demands free tuition and open admission for all black people at every public university in the United States and demands free “housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and food” for all students.

RELATED: Black Lives Matter: Radicals Using Moderates to Help Tear America Apart

At base, BLM wants to end “white supremacy, imperialism, capitalism, and patriarchy.” So that means free money for everyone (a universal basic income for all citizens, with bonus dollars for black Americans), the disruption of the nuclear family, and the end of the United States as an economic or military power. In its place, Black Lives Matter would create a socialist nation featuring large-scale, mandatory indoctrination into radical-approved histories and political theories. No, I’m not making this up.

This isn’t a serious political movement. It’s the grown-up equivalent of a student temper tantrum, where the demands for leaving the dean’s office include everything from better stir-fry in the cafeteria to peace in the Middle East. It self-identifies as radical, and implementing its agenda would require nothing more and nothing less than the overthrow of the American political and constitutional order.

RELATED: Black Lives Matter Puts Feelings First, Evidence Last

Moreover, it’s built on and animated by a series of lies. The founding lie, of course, is “hands up, don’t shoot,” and the myth of Michael Brown. After exhaustive federal and state investigations, no credible evidence was found that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Brown while Brown was attempting to surrender. Indeed, the available evidence indicated that Wilson shot Brown after Brown attacked him and tried to seize his gun.

White progressives salve their own troubled racial consciences by feeding false narratives and elevating the most unreasonable voices.

But that’s not the only lie. Indeed, the day-in-day-out animating argument for Black Lives Matter is the alleged wave of unjustified police killings of unarmed black men. This is the hook on which Black Lives Matter hangs virtually its entire public presence. Its advocates even grotesquely declare that it’s “open season” on black men in the United States. However, the best available evidence, when one controls for the volume and nature of police encounters, indicates that black men aren’t more likely than others to be shot by police.

There is evidence that police are more likely to, say, pepper-spray or handcuff a black suspect, and those findings are serious and certainly merit close study. But “Black Wrists Matter” is hardly a rallying cry for the social, political, economic, and cultural revolution that Black Lives Matter desires. They are hyping the threat — not just to implement police reforms but to ignite a political revolution.

RELATED: The Left’s Repulsive Rationalization of Violence against Police

But you’d never know this from coverage by mainstream media. The networks consistently elevate Black Lives Matter spokespeople without even hinting at their radical views — allowing them to draw adherents by the millions and granting them one of our culture’s largest megaphones.

This directly contradicts the typical media approach to conservatives. Mainstream media not only work overtime to identify and root out conservative “extremism,” but they will blame conservative rhetoric for violence even in the total absence of evidence. (See, for example, commentary about the jihadist massacre in Orlando or the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tucson). When it comes to leftist extremists, however, the media will work overtime to distance Black Lives Matter from violence even though its supporters routinely call for it, sometimes attacking police directly.

#related#But white liberals love black radicals — from the Black Panthers to Black Lives Matter. Yet the decision to celebrate the most radical voices has dreadful consequences for the black community and for racial justice. White progressives salve their own troubled racial consciences by feeding false narratives and elevating the most unreasonable voices. Black radicals, meanwhile, use their white allies to help them dominate the civil-rights movement, shutting out dissent and using impossible demands to justify an endless, angry cultural and political conflict.

Black Lives Matter has now fully outed itself. It’s not reasonable. It’s not rational. It might even be racist. It’s part of our national racial problem, not part of the solution. But don’t expect its media enablers to care. They helped make Black Lives Matter in part because Black Lives Matter helps them feel good about themselves. When there’s virtue to signal, the truth — and justice — are of little consequence.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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