Movements that started off with noble intentions are often hijacked by extremists with ulterior motives. As a result, the movement itself morphs into a plague on the people as opposed to something of an alleged benefit. This is not always the case, of course, as some movements are wicked from the start.
The formation and growth of the Black Lives Matter movement raises the very sensitive subject of race relations, and specifically, allegations that there is systemic oppression of African-Americans by members of the law enforcement community.
While there are no doubt those who are somehow supportive of that movement who believe they are advancing a noble cause, the FBI has determined that within that movement are those who represent a domestic terror threat, and have thus listed black extremists as such. In fact, the FBI, in its report, has introduced us to a new term, “Black Identity Extremists,” or BIEs.
According to the FBI, “It is very likely that BIEs’ perceptions of unjust treatment of African-Americans and the perceived unchallenged illegitimate actions of law enforcement will inspire premeditated attacks against law enforcement over the next year,” the report said. “It is very likely additional controversial police shootings of African-Americans and the associated legal proceedings will continue to serve as drivers for violence against law enforcement.”
The movement had its start at the “2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., [and] has spawned a violent domestic threat from ‘black identity extremists’ who have stepped up attacks on police, according to an explosive new report by the FBI’s counterterrorism division.
“The warning, first reported by Foreign Policy magazine, says that ‘it is very likely BIEs proactively target police and openly identify and justify their actions with social-political agendas commensurate with their perceived injustices against African Americans…’
“Brown, an African-American 18-year-old, was shot in August 2014 after struggling with white police officer Darren Wilson. Although Brown’s supporters claimed it was a deadly case of police brutality, Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing and resigned in November 2014.”
This tragedy and the movement it spawned has numerous implications, and none of them good.
In the first place, any encounter between an African-American and the police, especially white police officers, that turns deadly will be exploited as a racist act by the BIEs who have an agenda to pursue. This reaction has nothing to do with the legitimacy or lack of the actions thereof by the police. The event itself with be cause for riots and other violent encounters.
The other implication is that white police officers, needing their jobs and not wishing to be the center of a media and agenda driven, career-ending controversy, will simply stop enforcing the laws in black communities. The victims here are the vast major of black citizens in those communities who are not interested in committing crimes, but just wish to get on with their lives. Their victimization is the tragic result as criminal elements are allowed to operate immune from law enforcement actions.
Making matters worse, “[a]ttacks in which police officers are targeted have been on the rise in recent years. The most high-profile such incident occurred last year in Dallas, when a gunman named Micah Johnson hid in a parking garage and fired on 11 police officers, killing five of them, during a protest against officer-involved shootings. The FBI report noted that Johnson referred to anger over police shootings and toward whites as what drove him to kill the five police officers.”
This is precisely the sort of thing that the FBI has determined will become more prevalent.
Not surprisingly, leaders within the Black Lives Matter movement have denounced the report as racist.
“DeRay Mckesson of Black Lives Matter told The Guardian the terrorism report echoes the days when the FBI tracked activist groups including the NAACP and those that opposed wars.
“‘We knew that we were likely being watched,’ said Mckesson, a longtime critic of government monitoriing of protest groups. ‘This is confirmation that the work of social justice continues to threaten those in power.’”
We are very familiar with the term “social justice,” and one might cogently argue that it is neither “social” nor does it necessarily support “justice.”
The report also has its supporters.
“‘It’s not racial profiling, it’s violence profiling,’ Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank, told Fox News. ‘Identity politics can kill, whether it’s white identity politics, which killed in Charlottesville, or black identity politics, which kills cops.’
“‘We have to be able to distinguish between free speech and violence,’ Walter said. “[Many] longtime [black] activist groups were not obsessed with violence.’”
Blue Lives Matter is an advocacy group formed in support of the police in what is an incredibly difficult time. Randy Sutton is a nation spokesperson for that group.
“‘Nobody is saying anything negative about protests,’ Sutton said, ‘Protesting is everyone’s right. This is about commiting acts of violence. Many Black Lives Matter protests call for violence against police, with chants like “What do we want?” and “Dead cops!” It’s terrorism, and it’s no different than Islamic terrorism.’”
Strong statements, but Sutton has a point. And he also verifies an observation made earlier in this piece.
“Sutton said the rising number of ambush attacks on police has had a chilling effect on how they do their jobs.
“‘Police are not being as aggressive because of the political climate,’ he said. ‘There’s been a dramatic decrease in proactive policing.’”
Which means that the criminals are winning. First, they engage in acts of violence to cause the police to back off enforcing the laws in instances where there might be an encounter with an African-American. This allows local thugs more freedom to engage in criminal acts in predominantly black neighborhoods.
As a result, the black identity movement is hurting the very people it purports to be defending. Yes, they should be treated as the terrorists that they are.