Rather than improve race relations, the Black Lives Matter movement has set them back a half-century. Nothing good will come of the bullying, violence and baseless accusations that are filling the news cycle.
Just before President Donald Trump was to start his fourth year in the White House, the state of race relations, according to Gallup, had increased 14 percentage points since he took office. It was an achievement “any president after three years would want to claim, particularly President Obama,” said a CBS reporter.
One would have thought that race relations would have been at their peak during the Obama years, given that the country elected and then reelected a half-black man. Instead, the 44th president’s “penchant for interjecting racial narrative, even in local cases, was, no doubt, a catalyst for racial tension in the United States,” the Daily Wire reported in January.
In January 2017, the BBC reported that race relations had “arguably become more polarized and tenser since 20 January 2009,” the date of Obama’s first inauguration.
“Not long after he took office in 2009, a New York Times/CBS News poll suggested two-thirds of Americans regarded race relations as generally good,” the BBC reported. “In the midst of last summer’s racial turbulence, that poll found there had been a complete reversal. Now 69% of Americans assessed race relations to be mostly bad.”
The Pew Research Center also reported in January 2017 that race relations over Obama’s presidency deteriorated. The percentage point difference between Americans saying race relations were “generally good” and those saying they were “generally bad” was a +44 a few months after his inauguration. Yet by May 2015 it had fallen to -27.
Rather than bring the nation together as the media inflamed the public, Obama racialized and politicized the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Trayvon Martin. He didn’t wait for the facts, or the adjudications. He simply poured high-test gasoline on the fires rather than try to put them out.
His administration also dropped an ”open-and-shut” case against the radical Black Panthers for voter intimidation, oversaw “a steady stream of false claims that America was an inherently racist society with a biased judicial and law enforcement system,” and fostered “group identity politics for political advantage,” says the Heritage Foundation’s Hans A. von Spakovsky.
Let’s not forget that Obama Attorney General Eric Holder called America “essentially a nation of cowards” regarding race and demanded we have a national conversation about race relations. Many of us rightly understood this talk would be a one-way lecture, with Holder and other race-obsessed Democrats and media scolds telling us how biased, bigoted, and intolerant we are.
Surely Holder, who characterized opposition to Obama’s policies as “racial animus,” was disappointed race relations improved during Trump’s first three years. We imagine he’s been quite pleased watching the Black Lives Matter movement destroy that progress.
And destroy it has. Just a few days ago, a violent, screaming mob rampaged through a Rochester, New York, restaurant, threatening patrons, turning over tables, and destroying property. Before the night was over, two police officers were hurt and eight “demonstrators” had been arrested.
Less than two weeks earlier, another riotous horde, which like the Rochester gang included white faces, demanded restaurant customers in Washington, D.C., raise their fist in solidarity with BLM. It was an ugly confrontation. Anyone who had the courage to stand up to the physical and mental abuse was branded a white supremacist.
There are instances less violent but just as disturbing of people apparently being forced to admit they’re racists even if they aren’t. We cite here a Northwestern University interim dean, who said “I’m Jim Speta. And I am a racist,” during a digital town hall meeting, and a school employee, who wrote “My name is Emily Mullin. I am a racist and a gatekeeper of white supremacy. I will work to be better.”
We’ve also watched for months as a mix of militants and dabbling virtue signalers have blocked the free flow of automobile and pedestrian traffic. Aggravating, menacing, and provoking people, who for the most part are far more valuable to society than destructive activists, as they try to go about their business is no way to win them over.
Seen enough? There’s more:
- Black bloc militants are now screaming “death to America,” which evidently is going over well in Iran.
- Three House Democrats have introduced a bill “that would label racism as a nationwide public health crisis,” reports The Hill. The implication is that anyone who isn’t a person of color is making minorities ill.
- The American Psychological Association president says “we are living in a racism pandemic, which is taking a heavy psychological toll on our African American citizens,” while the president of the Association of Black Psychologists has declared “every institution in America is born from the blood of white supremacist ideology and capitalism – and that’s the disease.”
- “The mainstream media are clearly looking to maintain the momentum of the Black Lives Matter agenda,” says the Daily Signal’s Ian Haworth, “by continuing to further the notion that all violent instances which have some racial component are therefore racially motivated.” The article was headlined “The Media’s Racist Nationalization of News.”
The backdrop to all of this is months of rioting, looting, arson, injuries, death threats and even deaths. The BLM movement, with a lot of help from Antifa, is responsible for the convulsion. Will it all, taken together, turn Americans who are not racist, and never have been, into racists? A few might be pushed over the edge into a mentally and emotionally dark place, and though we hope no one is, it would suit BLM. It is determined to create racism where it doesn’t exist.
Most, though, will simply become resentful, estranged, and suspicious. Which is no way to go through life. And no way to improve all Americans’ lives.
But BLM isn’t interested in racial harmony. It is a segregationist organization and Marxist in its roots, which means it intends to pit Americans against each other to destabilize society. BLM leaders have revolution on their mind, and, in their twisted thinking, splitting the entire country into either racists or anti-racists will accelerate the upheaval.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board
(Editor’s note: We tip our hat to Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit blog for the inspiration for the headline, which is a variation of the phrase “Want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump” used there so often in recent years.)