I posted this on Facebook yesterday. After the riots and terror perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, a significant percentage of the right-leaning media bent over backward to shift focus, and claim that the Black Lives Matter movement is a moral equivalent to the racists and fascists that rioted in Charlottesville.
This post was a quick response to those reactions. I have lightly edited my original post for clarity:
Black Lives Matter.
A movement. A philosophy. An idea.
Not really an organization, per se, in the way that the NAACP is.
It was originally formed in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin, and really started drawing national attention after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Since then, BLM has become a national movement, and a scapegoat for white Americans still uncomfortable with facing the American legacy of white supremacy.
And that leads into my point here. What I’m talking about is false equivalence. Already, the pundits are spinning the events in Charlottesville this weekend. Specifically, Fox News, and some of the other major right-wing media.
Yeah, they say, white supremacists are bad, but they’re just like Black Lives Matter.
A thousand times no.
BLM started because African Americans became sick and tired of being profiled and targeted by law enforcement, the legal system, the political system, and even by business interests. Black lives simply haven’t mattered to white Americans over the past few hundred years, particularly by white Americans in positions of power.
For the last freaking time, Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean that other lives don’t. It means that black lives have been treated by American society as less valuable than white lives, and they’re not going to take that anymore.
It’s a movement. A philosophy. An idea.
What it is not is an equivalent to the white supremacists that committed acts of terror in Charlottesville. Those monsters preached supremacy, hatred, and violence. They flew the Confederate battle flag, and the Nazi swastika. They raged against equality. They equated the struggle for civil rights with violent action against white people. They are wrong in every possible way.
Nazis, the “alt-right,” the KKK, and Steve Bannon… these are not the white equivalent of Black Lives Matter. They aren’t fighting for civil rights or social justice. They’re fighting for superiority and dominance. These are the philosophical heirs to the people we beat in World War II and the American Civil War.
How dare anyone equate Black Lives Matter to these domestic terrorists!
The people who are part of the BLM movement are flawed and inconsistent. You know, human beings. But they are part of a movement who is standing up for an historically oppressed group of people. A movement whose relevance has become even more clear with the events of this past weekend. As long as there are thousands (likely millions) of angry white nationalists, determined to push back against the progress of people of color, women, and LGBT individuals… movements like BLM are necessary.
To everybody who is equating white supremacists with BLM… you’re full of shit
. You’re creating a false equivalence and fanning the flames of hatred. And even more than that, you are justifying the existence of movements like Black Lives Matter.
History will not be kind to those who claim neo-Nazis and BLM are two sides of the same coin.