NICOLE RUSSELL: The devastating impact of BLM on America over its 10-year history

It’s hard to believe the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement turns 10 years old this July. For a period of time, it took over social media, social discourse, and news reports about police, community, and systemic racial injustice.

The movement exposed police brutality and the Brookings Institute notes that BLM pushed for wider use of police body cams. But like many movements, including #MeToo, it has had many negagive impacts. A close look raises the question: Has BLM really changed the way society views black people or has it just become another hashtag?

Although the movement had widespread support among black people and four in ten black people say the movement has helped them, according to Pew, support has decreased significantly among white people since 2020. Pew also reports that only 14 percent of US adults “say the movement has been extremely or very effective at increasing police accountability.”

It’s easy to see why support waned. After George Floyd was murdered by police, protests broke out that burned down entire cities. While most people were mandated by their local governments to stay quarantined inside due to Covid, they watched on the news as black people rioted, burned, and looted Minneapolis and St. Paul, costing the Twin Cities at least $500 million in damages in 1,500 property locations.

A couple years later, a New York Magazine report revealed that leaders had purchased a $6 million home in Southern California with donated funds. They tried to keep it secret. The trail of documents “creates the impression that money donated to the cause of racial justice has been spent in ways that benefit the leaders of Black Lives Matter personally,” the article read. The expensive home and secrecy surrounding it raised questions: if black lives mattered so much, why wasn’t $6 million more used to affect policy change? For all the hashtags, has anyone seen the results of a group that reported in February 2021 that it had raised more than $90 million in 2020 and still had $60 million on hand that year?

Murky finances might not seem like a big deal to some, but the entire organization has set itself up to shed light on racism, to aid activists on the ground, to set policy in motion, when in reality the disheveled finances makes it look like a well-developed grift by some very savvy people at the top.

The worst part about BLM and the reason support has waned is what it’s actually done for black people and crime. BLM called to “defund the police” in many states, but the result was that more black people were killed in 2020 than the year prior. Heather Mac Donald wrote during the crime spike in 2020 that “George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May was justly condemned — but the event has now spurred an outpouring of contempt against the pillars of law and order that has no precedent in American history.”

Black people in America make up only about 14 percent of the population, but they commit far more crimes than any other race. According to the FBI’s 2019 statistics, 1.8 million black people were arrested for about 4,000 or 51 percent of murders. That year they committed almost 53 percent of all robberies.

Worst of all, of the black people killed, almost 90% of them are homicides committed by black people. The Heritage Foundation found that FBI stats from 2011-2020 show that “African Americans bear an increasingly large share of the harm from crime” and that “African American offenders, meanwhile, are committing an increasingly large share of violent crimes.”

Thomas Sowell, a black economist, said about BLM, “If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the United States for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by one percent. When the mobs of protesters declare 'Black lives matter,' does that mean ALL black lives matter — or only the less than one percent of black lives lost in conflicts with police?

BLM beckons the rest of the world to acknowledge race and behave differently, even while they slaughter their own. BLM pushed so far in the direction of raising awareness of racial inequality that the only thing the movement has become known for is a focus on race. Instead of exposing, resolving, or – ideally – eradicating systemic racism, in many ways it has perpetuated it.

As Justice Clarence Thomas said in his majority opinion on affirmative action: “The solution to our Nation's racial problems thus cannot come from policies grounded in affirmative action or some other conception of equity. Racialism simply cannot be undone by different or more racialism.” As a black man who grew up in a very different world, he would know.

Like many movements, Black Lives Matter accomplished some good things, particularly in the area of policing, but in other ways, it was its own worst enemy, perpetually fighting racism with more racism. In its own quest to condemn the way everyone else treats black people, it failed to address the most damning thing of all: Few care less about how much black lives matter than black people themselves.


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