Richard Elfers is a columnist, a former Enumclaw City Council member and a Green River College professor.

Richard Elfers is a columnist, a former Enumclaw City Council member and a Green River College professor.

Looking at why BLM is considered evil in conservative circles

Those who see the BLM movement as evil are often the same ones who supported the Jan. 6 insurrection

  • Wednesday, July 7, 2021 9:35am
  • Opinion

In “Black Lives Matter; Marxist Hate Dressed Up as Racial Justice?” by John Perazzo, published by the “David Horowitz Freedom Center,” the editor of the publication writes: “Editor’s note: In this just-released report on Black Lives Matter, author John Perazzo exposes the BLM movement as a racist, anti-Semitic, anti-family and anti-capitalist attack on the very foundations of American democracy.”

Perazzo accurately shares the origins of BLM. It came into existence because of the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman who had been charged with the murder and manslaughter of Black teen Trayvon Martin in 2012. BLM was founded to end “the virulent anti-black racism” that “permeates American society.” The movement gained steam with the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 and with each Black death by cop after that.

Perazzo goes on to label the three women who founded BLM. All three were Marxists: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. Tometi never openly stated that she was a Marxist, but she endorsed Venezuela’s Nicholas Maduro and the late Hugo Chavez.

Perazzo then went on to list names of communists, socialists and dictators despised among conservative readers. The list included Fidel Castro, “former Black Panther, convicted cop-killer, and longtime fugitive Assata Shakur,” Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Saul Alinsky, Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The list goes on.

This listing of names brought back memories of the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s where anybody who knew a communist or a socialist was “guilty by association.”

BLM is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel (which does not make them anti-Semitic), anti-nuclear family, but pro-community, and Democratic. All these are “dog whistles” for evil in conservative circles.

BLM was blamed for violence and deaths in the race demonstrations that have taken place all over the country. BLM received blame for a dramatic increase in violent crime, especially in NYC: “New York City was likewise turned into a cauldron of violence by BLM hatred…” Perazzo blamed BLM for the police pulling back from enforcing the law, fearful of becoming another Derek Chauvin, recently convicted of murdering George Floyd. Issues of the COVID pandemic were not considered in Perazzo’s arguments.

Perazzo concludes his pamphlet by stating, “It is indeed a tragedy that a movement so evil and so ruinous has been able, with the help of a compliant mainstream news media, to dupe millions of Americans into embracing it as a crusade for ‘racial justice.’ In reality, BLM is the very embodiment of Marxism, anti-semitism, and racism – a trifecta of wickedness capable of destroying any society.”

Let’s look at some of Perazzo’s arguments from a more moderate perspective: First, an article in Time, written by Sanya Mansoor on Sept. 5, 2020, shared a survey by ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project) which found, “The vast majority of Black Lives Matter protests – more than 93% – have been peaceful….”

Of the 7,750 BLM demonstrations between May 26 and August 22 in 50 states and Washington, D.C., after the death of George Floyd, “… More than 2,400 locations reported peaceful protests while fewer than 220 reported ‘violent demonstrations.’” The definition of “violent protests” varied according to the location from attacks on individuals and property, to fighting back against police, to toppling Confederate statues. “ACLED suggests ‘this disparity stems from political orientation and biased media framing… such as disproportionate coverage of violent demonstrations.’”

In some cases, the violent response came from the government, “in which authorities ‘use force more often than not’ when they are present at protests and that ‘disproportionately used force while intervening in demonstrations associated with the BLM movement, relative to other types of demonstrations.’”

These violent demonstrations occurred at a time when the Trump administration “exacerbated tensions caused by racial inequality and police brutality. President Donald Trump and high-ranking members of his administration have frequently generalized protesters as violent anarchists.”

Yes, BLM is left leaning and, yes, it favors the end of racial inequality. It is not against the law to be a Marxist, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel or LGBTQ in this country. Those rights are protected by the First and 14th Amendments. There certainly has been no anti-semitism or talk of overthrowing our democracy in any of BLM’s postings. It is ironic that it is those on the right who have demonized BLM have sought to minimize the Jan. 6 insurrection – “an attack on the very foundations of American democracy.”

In October 2015, President Obama publicly articulated his support for BLM’s agenda by saying: “I think the reason that the organizers (of BLM) used the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter. Rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that’s happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”

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