BLM’s Anti-Police Racket Is Coming Undone
In the opinion of Black journalist Jason L. Riley, the BLM anti-police racket is coming undone. Here is a re-post from todays Wall Street Journal:
BLM has squandered its moral authority by acting like a hustler on the make.
By Jason L. Riley April 19, 2022 6:38 pm ET
BLM got its start in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. It gained traction a year later, when Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo. According to a national poll published by the Daily Kos, support for BLM peaked at 52% in June 2020, a month after George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis. Its popularity has declined since then, and recent revelations about the organization’s spending habits are unlikely to reverse that trend. And so now the BLM anti-police racket is coming undone.
After the New York Post reported in April 2021 that a BLM co-founder had purchased four homes for a total of $3.2 million, the head of a local BLM chapter in New York City called for an independent investigation into how money was being spent. In July, BLM leaders in Canada, with help from its U.S. affiliate, purchased another multimillion dollar mansion in Toronto, which prompted several activists in the local chapter to resign. And earlier this month, New York magazine reported that BLM leaders purchased a $6 million California home in cash with money that had been donated to the organization.
“The transaction has not been previously reported, and Black Lives Matter leadership had hoped to keep the house’s existence a secret,” the article said. “Internal emails dating to 2016 show activists voicing concern about how donations were being spent and how the organization was being run. . . . The families of some Black victims of police violence have complained that they have seen little of the funds that have flowed to the movements most visible facet.”
Floyd’s death produced a windfall for the group. In October 2020, it took in $66.5 million in contributions. Weeks later, it purchased the California property. BLM told the magazine that it had “always planned” to disclose the purchase, but didn’t explain why it hadn’t.
There are also questions about how money not going into pricey real-estate is being managed. Fox Business reported earlier this year that attorneys general in California and Washington state had ordered BLM to cease fundraising activities until the group submitted delinquent financial disclosures. The organization told Fox that “we take these matters seriously and have taken immediate action.” If the public doesn’t know more about these shenanigans, New York magazine explained that it might be because the organization carefully monitors social media for negative mentions, “with members using their influence with the platforms to have such remarks removed.” It’s also hired private investigators “to look into [BLM] detractors and journalists.”
This isn’t the behavior of a respectable organization. It’s closer to the behavior of hustlers on the make.
And the speed at which BLM has squandered any moral authority it enjoyed earlier isn’t entirely surprising given that other black identity movements have met similar fates due to their limited appeal. Marcus Garvey’s separatist movement in the 1920s ultimately petered out. He was indicted for mail fraud, sentenced to prison and later deported to his native Jamaica. The Black Panther movement of the 1960s, which like BLM won the sympathies of millions of white liberals, was later revealed to be at its core a criminal enterprise. Its most prominent leaders wound up exiled, imprisoned or murdered by rivals.
The BLM movement’s other problem is that its prominence has been propelled in part by lies and half-truths. Michael Brown was shot dead after he attacked a police officer, and the “Hands up, don’t shoot!” story is a myth. Trayvon Martin was a troubled young man, and based on physical evidence the jury determined that Mr. Zimmerman fired at him in self-defense.
BLM’s antipolice agenda is out of step with the thinking of most blacks today and most blacks for at least the past half-century.
There is nothing wrong with calling out dirty cops or police brutality, which aren’t figments of black people’s imaginations. But neither do most blacks believe, as BLM types insist, that policing is a larger problem than criminal behavior. Like Garvey and the Black Panthers, BLM represents a fringe minority of black Americans rather than the mainstream majority. A Pew Research Center survey released last week found that crime is the top concern of black adults, which is nothing new. The 1968 Kerner Commission report noted that the loudest complaints from black neighborhoods concerned the lack of police protection—specifically, the relatively small number of cops assigned to black neighborhoods and their slow response to emergency calls.