The Problem with Black Lives Matter
I can understand why someone might have a kneejerk reaction to some of these points but you need to read to see the logic behind the demand and understand why it isn't crazy.
At the same time, demands are typically negotiated. Which means if you're making demands it's better to shoot for the moon so you can compromise somewhere in the middle.
1. Reparations for All "Past and Continuing Harms" to the Black Community
(basically: free school, technical and vocational training, debt forgiveness, and a "guaranteed minimum livable income" check for all black people)
With all due respect, I don't think the actual demand is presented as you describe. There is no debt forgiveness, for example, that I saw. It's talking about how higher education produces debt. We live in a society where the cost of higher education is much higher than it needs to be. It's artificially inflated and many schools are much more expensive seemingly as a means of keeping out the lower class. Imo, this is not necessarily racist but rather discrimination based on class.
Also, UBI (universal basic income), is not a new concept but it is untested. Finland is not a good example as explained in this article:
The idea, if done right, would effectively end poverty. At the same time, great minds like Elon Musk (a personal hero of mine), said that automation would force universal income. I fully appreciate that the idea seems ridiculous now. We're used to very slow change even though Trump was voted in to create radical change that would benefit his base (low income whites). But such a radical solution for low income blacks would be crazy. Trust me, black people already know reparations will never happen. That's why I think the goal is to try to push more for education, similar to what Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein proposed.
Universal basic income (UBI) is becoming respectable. Less than a decade ago, its principal supporters were weed-smoking hippies and Star Trek aficionados: “serious people” either laughed or sneered at it. But now, it counts among its supporters a growing number of top economists, entrepreneurs and financiers. Governments around the world are evaluating its use, and some are embarking on pilot studies. Businesses are partnering with not-for-profit organizations to conduct serious research into the costs and benefits of UBI.
And now, the IMF has joined the party. In its latest Fiscal Monitor, it says UBI could reduce income inequality and protect people affected by technological change and globalization.
Additionally, as I may get into later, these things could be paid for by taking money out of the judicial system. Crime and poverty are closely related.
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2. The End of the "War Against Black People"
(no more death penalty, no more having to post bail when arrested, no financial charges to be incurred when arrested, and the best part: " an end to all jails, detention centers, youth facilities and prisons as we know them."
There are some other things in there that i agree with although i dont know how to make them happen, such as addressing the privatization of prisons and the militarization of the police. But what i can tell you for sure based on the overall message is that BLM is NOT going to produce a practical solution to those issues.
The Vera Institute of Justice released a study in 2012 that found the aggregate cost of prisons in 2010 in the 40 states that participated was $39 billion. The annual average taxpayer cost in these states was $31,286 per inmate. New York State was the most expensive, with an average cost of $60,000 per prison inmate.
One of my favorite reggae artists said this in a song. Please listen to the words. We can have a conversation about excuses afterwards if you want, but right now, I just want you to hear him speaking for the poor and the powerless so you can understand where a lot of the crime comes from and understand that if you solve these problems you wouldn't need so many jails and prisons. In NY it costs $60,000 per prison inmate. I'm not saying we don't need these things at all. What I'm suggesting is that we're investing in the wrong way. But the reason we invest in incarceration is because it makes money for private investors.
Look into my eyes, tell me what you see?
Can you feel my pain? am I your enemy?
Give us a better way, things are really bad,
The only friend I know is this gun I have.
Listen to my voice, this is not a threat
Now you see the nine are you worried yet?
You've been talking 'bout' you want the war to cease
But when you show us hope, we will show you peace.
Look into my mind, can you see the wealth?
Can you tell that I want to help myself?
But if it happen that I stick you for your ring
Don't be mad at me it's a survival ting.
Look into my heart, I can feel your fear
Take another look can you hold my stare?
Why are you afraid of my hungry face?
Or is it this thing bulging in my waist?
Look into my life, can you see my kids?
Let me ask you this,do you know what hungry is?
Well in this part of town, survival is my will
For you to stay alive you've got to rob and kill.
Look into my house would you live in there?
Look me in the eyes and tell me that you care,
Well I've made up my mind to end up in the morgue
Right now I'd rather die, cause man a live like dog.
Look down on my shoes, can you see my toes?
The struggle that we live nobody really knows
Stop and ask yourself, would you live like that?
and if you had to then, wouldn't you bus gun shot?
Look into the schools, tell me how you feel?
You want the kids to learn without a proper meal
Den what you have in place to keep them out of wrong?
If they drop out of school dem a go bus dem gun.
Look, I can never advocate criminal activity. However, what I can stress to you is that we are products largely of our environment. One of our esteemed members talked about getting off the bus at the wrong stop, in the wrong part of town, and being prepared to kill in order to defend himself. That sounds crazy to me but I can empathize with his situation. He pulled out a gun to scare people away who we do not know what they would have done to him. I chastised him a bit over his willingness to kill. Maybe I shouldn't have. However, when I think about the people who grow up there, who see violence everyday, who see a system where the powerful seem to be protected, where safety means being part of a gang, and when your opportunities are limited by your education... it should remove all surprise that many of these youth are also willing to kill. No one seems to cares about them. And eventually, they stop caring about themselves.
And all I'm saying is that we need real solutions to the ROOT CAUSE, which is poverty caused by a lack of access to capital and a lack of access to education (ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY) instead of pumping more and more money into dealing with the SYMPTOMS of drugs and gang violence. Why these solutions sound so crazy is because people think about the financial cost of helping people and for many people, it's too much and those people don't deserve it. How much are these lives worth?
How much do these lives matter?
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- Jaedon Adar-Barnaby
To any "____ Lives Matter" I would say "Life Matters" and in all its manifestations it should be treated with wisdom, love, and respect.
See me for the soul I am and the spirit I have. I am more than this crude matter we call flesh.
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3. Divestment from the institutions that criminalize, cage and harm black people; and investment in the education, health and safety of black people.
(cut police forces, release and expunge the records of everyone ever convicted of any drug trafficking charges or prostitution charges, and give them reparations for having been arrested and convicted, universal health care (including the guaranteed right to abortions), free college, "special protections" for queer and trans people, oh yeah and while youre at it, stop using fossil fuels and cut the military budget)
I know I just addressed this but it's really kind of the same thing. Most people have no idea how expensive it is to be poor. Not everyone has insurance. Not everyone has a degree. Not everyone has a name that sounds white. Many people start at a disadvantage that's hard, even for someone talented, to escape from. If you're exceptional, there's always a way out. If you're not... well... society just doesn't care as much. Let's be honest.
I would argue that ancient Egypt's military grew too large. What happens when your military force grows too large to sustain? Think about it. I get calls to donate to police. I happen to like my local police department. I even shared a video online of them arresting someone I know who was almost asking to be shot. They handled the situation which real heart. They could have done what other cops do... tackled him to the ground, sic their dog on him, beat him into submission, etc. Instead, the talked to him, one cop actually embraced him, and they treated him with dignity and respect even though he deserved very little. These are the same cops that will play basketball with kids at a community event. These are the kind of cops everyone needs.
But when there are too many cops and they're reacting to crime like an army... they're using military tactics. When they're needed they're needed. When the situation calls for it, then you should use the amount of force called for by the situation. But when they're not needed... then they're harassing citizens, prejudging people by racially profiling, and their jobs devolve into bringing in money by fulfilling quotas. At some point, a lot of capitalistic systems devolve into being more about money than people. And that's a huge problem.
When a person is locked up... maybe they are guilty... maybe they are innocent. But before we can even establish if a person did the crime or not, their life is interrupted by the arrest and if they can't afford to pay the bail for what the police are accusing them of, then they have to sit in jail possibly for weeks. I was in jail for nearly a week even though I had bail because this particular judge like to give out home detention like candy; meaning, until the court date I wasn't able to work, and with only 2 home detention officers for the entire jail, I had to wait until they could get to me and they only worked during business hours which means if you get arrested thursday or friday you may not get out until the next week. Why did I get arrested? I think it was driving with an expired license. I should have been able to pay a fee online and that'd be it. But no... my job was even calling hospitals trying to find me because to them, my disappearance.... and I kinda felt like I had just been kidnapped. I'm very loyal to my company because of how they handled this situation. They let me work from home while I was on home detention. And the owner of the company even offered me money if it would help. But I'm fortunate. I have a good job where I make good money. The guys I met in jail? Most people are in jail for FTA (failure to appear in court). Many of them would be back again and again because they didn't have the resources to get out or stay out. Many people would have lost their job, if they had one. And that interruption affects the family's survival. And believe me... a lot of judges and magistrates are like tax collectors. They spend hours and hours calling people up, telling them a fine, asking when they can pay, and then telling them to go pay court fees. It's a money sink and it affects African Americans disproportionately. In a 3 year span I probably spend $2500 in fines, mostly from overzealous officers. It could totally be a coincidence but after all the attention from BLM I felt like the police were paying less attention to me which is a great thing.
The reason why so many people have bad experiences with the police isn't because they're criminals getting what they deserve. For most, they are a CASH CROP, and the police have to harvest money out of the population in order to sustain themselves, judges, lawyers, etc. But we're justifying all the investment into the judicial system based on the idea that we have to lock so many people up. What if we were like other major civilized countries? What if we locked up fewer people? Then we could take all that money and use it on making sure there progressively less people to lock up. There is no greater investment to solve this problem than education. And housing. My fiance is a property manager. I would say, instead of putting so many low income people together in the same housing complexes, they need to be distributed to all apartments complexes so that they aren't socialized down a certain path; segregated into poor micro-communities. It's not about handouts. It's about common sense reform.
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4. The Restructuring of the Economy to Produce "Economic Justice" for Blacks
Restructure the tax codes to "redistribute" American wealth to blacks. Basically give a bunch of money to all black people. End of our existing trade agreements and end of the Trans-Pacific partnership.
Woah.... I thought black people in the US were American?
secondly, this does sound pretty bad out of context.
Across the country, low-income people, disproportionately Black and other people of color, pay proportionally more in state and local taxes than the wealthy: In the ten states with the most regressive tax structures, the poorest fifth pay up to seven times as much in state and local taxes and fees as the wealthiest residents, as a percentage of their income.
So the context is that they believe African Americans are impacted more severely by taxation. Anytime you change the tax codes it means that more money will come from another group in order to alleviate the group you're trying to protect. The conservative approach is to protect wealthy Americans and Corporations. They idea is that they will, if only they had more money, create jobs. However, they also have a duty to return more money to their investors. And if they can make more money while using less people (which are a natural liability for a company) they certainly will. However, if you give the poorest Americans more money (more of their own money) they will consume more goods and services than rich people. These goods and services come from both the middle class and the rich so in that case everyone wins. On the other hand, currently, many wealthy people are able to hide their money and otherwise evade fair taxes. This is what I would call economic justice.
They also talk about breaking up big banks and other things that are not necessarily pro-black but rather, like most of their proposals, are policies that are supportive of the lower class.
Many people were against TPP and Trump killed it because doing so was popular with his base (again: lower class whites). Many people simply feel that these trade agreements benefit corporations but not necessarily the American workers. I only know bits and pieces about TPP so I wouldn't feel comfortable debating it. But they don't want to end all agreements but rather renegotiate (basically what Trump ran on) to prioritize American workers.
In contrast to the free money you're suggesting, what they're actually asking for is:
Financial support of Black alternative institutions including policy that subsidizes and offers low-interest, interest-free or federally guaranteed low-interest loans to promote the development of cooperatives (food, residential, etc.), land trusts and culturally responsive health infrastructures that serve the collective needs of our communities.
loans. Not grants.... but loans.
Over 26 federal agencies administer more than 1,000 grant programs annually to provide funding for the arts, educational institutions, agricultural projects and more.
We bailed out the auto industry under Obama and companies paid back those loans with interest. This demand is not for free grant money, but loans. Much of the financial difficulty of black communities was caused by the state. The state subsidizes a lot of exports to make them cheaper. It's not unheard of for the government to give money away if it is seen as an investment. Again... this demand is not for grants, but for loans.
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5. Complete Community Control
(the people being arrested get to fire the people arresting them)
during the height of the protests this was something I was advocating along with cameras.
Context matters. I find it very offensive to equate the community with "the people being arrested" as if the entire community is one big crime family and we want to fire all the police so that there are no police at all.
What community control is actually about, if you read... is that communities should have some oversight and input into the behavior and policies of their local police forces. The problem with many police departments is that they have no consequences for their behavior. No one gets fired even though it should be obvious that not everyone with a badge is cut out for the job. If a police officer is so fearful that they're willing to shoot far more often than other people.... they're simply in the wrong profession. We're not spoiled kids who want to choose our own parents. We're grown ups who are thoughtful and who deserve to have a say in how we are protected and served. It's not like oversight doesn't already exist. There are over 200 agencies. But local police forces should report to their communities and be responsible to those communities disapproval. We are not the enemy. We should be partners. Police often ask us what happened or they ask us to testify. But because they have not been a partner to us and because they act like they're not part of our community, then we don't trust them to protect us. It's like 2 different agendas colliding.
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6. Independent black political power and black self-determination in all areas of society.
(I have no idea how far they really want to take this but the terminology (and references to "political prisoners" and COINTELPRO) is suggestive of some kind of separatist end game aka Nation of Islam and Black Panther type stuff. "Black Separatism = blacks get their own country, either a designated part of USA or some other land somehwere else. In this aim the black racists and the white racists actually are on the same side, both want white and black separatism. Thats a possibility based on the language used in this point but they dont actually say that so...)
Where are you getting this from?
If you read the actual site it says:
1. An end to the criminalization of Black political activity including the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to the repression of political parties.
2. Public financing of elections and the end of money controlling politics through ending super PACs and unchecked corporate donations.
3. Election protection, electoral expansion and the right to vote for all people including: full access, guarantees, and protections of the right to vote for all people through universal voter registration, automatic voter registration, pre-registration for 16-year-olds, same day voter registration, voting day holidays, Online Voter Registration (OVR), enfranchisement of formerly and presently incarcerated people, local and state resident voting for undocumented people, and a ban on any disenfranchisement laws.
4. Full access to technology including net neutrality and universal access to the internet without discrimination and full representation for all.
5. Protection and increased funding for Black institutions including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), Black media and cultural, political and social formations.
how do these things equate to black separatism??
I feel like you're twisting these points to make them sound crazy which is what people tend to do when attacking BLM. They tend to find something, misunderstand it, mischaracterize it, and then it is sold to others in a "fake news" fashion so that people who don't hear it directly, think that BLM is bad and that black people are un American which only makes racists feel justified.
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I will never try to stand up for the rights of marginalized peoples again. Just because my skin isn't "dark" I'm racist?
Lykeios, some people are always going to think you're racist. I'm simply not one of them. The feelings attached to slavery, attached to segregation, attached to jim crow, KKK, and all these other things that have consistently been unfair to black people, those feelings are strong. When we talk about slavery, it's not just a few people being forced to work. We're talking about families separated, women raped, castrations, humans bred like animals and sold naked on auction blocks, destroying their hands picking their quota of cotton so they would have their skin ripped off by a whip. We're talking about brutal conditions with forced ignorance. If you were caught learning to read you could be killed. We're talking about the worst conditions that African Americans can think of. And even after it was "over" we were mocked and ridiculed, called "boy" and "nigger", couldn't drink from the same fountains or use the same bathrooms, even spit on.
If someone you don't know... thinks you are a racist... and that makes you feel some kind of way... to the point where you are willing to do nothing to stand up for the rights of marginalized people again... then I don't know what to tell you. "Racist" is such a horrible word if you hate it. But if you're not a racist then you should endure it because the people you are standing up for have endured FAR FAR WORSE. And the only reason why there are black people who feel that way is because when they were hurting it seemed like just about every white person... didn't care. White people told us about Jesus and how he was beaten and abused for the sins of mankind and how we should all love him for that. Jesus said whatsoever you have done to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it also to me. But when the least of these are brown (as Jesus was) it seems like the vast majority of whites (therefore whites as a "collective") look the other way. And its because there aren't enough whites doing what is in their power to do, in this democracy, that it feels, to them, that whites are, generally, working together.
I am pissed off at the attitude I've seen from people I try to respect and support in their various struggles (African-American, "white", Hispanic, Asian, whoever they are). I can't do **** to change the "system" and if people are going to assume crap about me because of something I said (first off that I'm "caucasian") then, like I said, count me out.
You're wrong. Whites are the ONLY ONES who can change the system. All black people can do is protest, to call your attention to what needs to be changed. We live in a democracy. Whites are the majority. Therefore the system benefits them. It's that simple. And if whites (again in general) wanted it to change, they would change it. That's how people see democracy. Is it more complicated than that? Yes. Does money play a huge role? Absolutely.
But when black people get attacked for protesting...
When there is no protest we can do that is acceptable...
When so many years have gone by without significant change on the issue...
When the confederate flag is waved in our faces and we still get called "nigger"...
When Dylan Roof shoots up a church full of black people because he wanted to start a race war and the cops bought him food from Burger King.
When a black man can still get dragged to death behind a truck...
It just doesn't seem like America is ready to let go of racism or even recognize its hatred towards black people motivated by the color of our skin. The whole point of these conversations is trigger an empathetic response that is larger than your own ego so you can actually DO SOMETHING. American soldiers fight to the death for America and what it represents to them. Black soldiers fight side by side with white soldiers. One of the things the black soldiers fight for is liberty and justice, not for the majority, but for all. That's something worth fighting for whether you get called a racist or whether I get called a "nigger". At some point we have see this as an American problem.
Part of the problem is institutional. You can't change that by yourself but if you are one of many, you CAN. (Yes... you can)
Part of the problem is social. You can't change that by yourself either but if you are one of many, you CAN.
When a white person expresses racist attitudes, and the worst I've ever seen was in videogames because of anonymity, their views are either accepted, ordained, rejected, coddled, or ignored. If you hear another white person saying something racially insensitive, you don't have to start a fight. Just say... "hey, man, that's not cool." You may never get that opportunity. But if you do, just say that. Why? Because racism is like a virus. It's spreads socially. Your reaction to racist views is what allows racist views to spread. People who spread hate aren't afraid of the consequences because for most... there are none. It is only when the next generation cannot spread hate that hate will die with them and the people will get jobs based on merit, education and healthcare based on human rights, etc.
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Your posts are, in general, excellent, and this is no exception.
That is no excuse, for then its just sloppy speech and misleading, if its not intended to be racist. It might not experienced as racist by the offender because they are not the victim of the 'slop', but it can be taken as racist by those that are. Defeating racism is everyones responsibility. If a side to a racist argument discard the same thing they demand they become not only hypocrits, but as part of their own problem because they will be inflaming a response in kind. Don't give into it, be better then them, and certainly don''t do the same thing to spread it further as that is akin to working 'for' the racists on the other side!!
I feel where you're coming from. All I can tell you is that many of my people are using emotions instead of logic. They're not in the same position to analyze the situation and all contributing variables the way any of us would like them to. And there will be mistakes. For example... Malcolm X. I wish he'd never accepted membership in the Nation of Islam but that's how he became who he was. It wasn't white people who reached out to him and gave him a sense of empowerment. It was the NOI. So his views were more radical because of his experience. But his experience was personal. I think the NOI is similar to the KKK in certain ways because their views are socialized but there is a positive side to having those connections, as with any social club.
It is important to understand that black people have been reactionary since we arrived because we have been systematically subject to whims and impulses of whites. After everything that black people suffered through it isn't reasonable to expect every black person to be patient for a hundred years while white people evolve beyond their racist past. So what you're left with is different degrees of hope, different degrees of bitterness, etc. I couldn't agree more with you that this is everyone's responsibility but if you're bullying someone in school the person with the greatest responsibility to stop the bullying is... the bully. If the person being bullied grows to hate you in the meantime what can you really truly expect? Not you, but it seems like some other whites have this strange expectation that black people should patiently wait until the day that white people are ready to stop being racists and stop treating them like garbage. My fiance recently suffered because of racism in her job. And even though customers experienced the racism too the racist was promoted when they should have been fired. Why? Kind of reminds me of Weinstein's company covering up his misconduct. You'd be surprised how much racism exists without any checks and balances.
This is where black nationalism grows out of. It grows out of a status quo position of inferior political and economic power that constructs a need to help ourselves in all the ways that the larger society keeps us down. For example... its well known to us but not necessarily to whites, that it can be incredibly difficult for us to get loans. Institutions tend to find justifications for saying no. In fact, it's easier for Indians coming from overseas to get loans so they can start businesses. And when other minority groups come here they tend to practice group economics. Black people don't. We hesitate to work together because of integration and yet integration doesn't go far enough to protect our survival. We're in an uncomfortable situation, being dependent on social acceptance for jobs, but also being denied so often that it really underscores the need to create our own jobs. But a lot of these people don't hate whites at all; disappointed maybe. Instead, they simply see the lack of help as a sign that we need to do more if not everything or ourselves. And many of them are so tired of waiting for help that never seems to come that they're basically just unwilling to simply keep waiting as if we're waiting for the second coming. There are no excuses for bad behavior but if we don't understand the source/cause then we'll simply react to each other ad infinitum.
Again with accuracy, you're right but I think you're giving too much credit to the critics. I think if a rape victim is having a moment of clarity they might reflect on mistakes they made or things they could have done better but at the end of the day THEY WERE RAPED! And when people interview them and question them, seemingly more curious about their mistakes or more vocal about criticizing what they were wearing or how late it was or how intoxicated they were, even if some of what they say is true and even if some points are accurate, it does not excuse the rapist. But in this society things like this help rapists go free because what do you do when someone is saying you did something wrong? You either accept it and pay the penalty, or you plead not guilty and attack their credibility. In a courtroom the prosecution is interested in what the offender did wrong, not what the victim did wrong. The defense questions the victim trying to prove their client is either innocent or appeal to their peers to try to get that person off. And you know how defense attorneys manipulate juries. What we have is the court of public opinion. Can you deny that questioning BLM can be perceived as being defensive? Shouldn't our focus be on bad cops? When the focus is shifted to BLM which "side" does that tend to favor? During the Occupy Wall Street movement they were protesting the 1% and they were, imo, right. But what happened? The media started attacking them (all) based on the actions of a few as if they could control the behavior of all those people. Eventually those attacks tore away at the credibility of OWS until it had no influence. Corporations didn't really need to react because the victim was successfully shamed. What I'm suggesting to you, isn't that facts don't matter and accuracy isn't important. What I'm suggesting is that this is how the other side fights back. They attack you politically so that your political attacks become toothless. Do you think BLM is going to change their policies based on TOJO conversations? Of course not. So these conversations help to shield the police and aid and abet their crimes by effectively silencing their opponents. Because if they cannot shut you up they'll instead make other stop listening and that's what they're doing to BLM just as they successfully did with OWS. And now... the same problem OWS was protesting still exists and what's being done about it? Nothing. So accuracy can be used as a tool of political science, just like "fake news" was effectively used in the last election.
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