Wednesday's HOT MIC: Terror Attack in Michigan?
What the heck ever happened to Black Lives Matter? Buzzfeed has a real thumb sucker on "the movement" and why it isn't as prominent anymore.
A few excerpts:
Here, in the hills of Tennessee, the activists would come together for a meeting of groups involved in the Movement for Black Lives, an umbrella group of organizations that want the same things, and devise a plan to address the new president, the shock of his election, the law and order he had promised during the campaign, and the devastating blow it all had delivered to generational movements about race and criminal justice policy in the United States. They would devise a plan — like the heroes of the civil rights movement once had decades before.
That good feeling didn’t last long. Few people want to talk about exactly what went wrong — how exactly the meeting devolved. But one problem, according to people who attended or were briefed on the meeting, was pretty simple: The ideas weren’t that good.
Many chafed at the tenet, repeated by the press, that Black Lives Matter was free from hierarchy and instead began to question the existence of tight control exercised by a small group of activists. “The hierarchy was clearer than ever, even though folks are sure there isn’t one on the outside,” said one person briefed on the meeting. For months during the campaign last year, key progressives had watched Black Lives Matter and kept wondering two things many activists on the inside were starting to wonder themselves: What is the movement’s strategy? What is the end goal?
Nobody resolved the structural issues at Highlander. There was no one big plan.
In response to mounting opioid overdoses, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions seem intent on reigniting the war on drugs, which put into motion many of the elements, like heavily armed police and mandatory sentences, that sparked Black Lives Matter and a larger generational response. It’s an uncertain time in America, and many of the avenues once open to the movement — such as a president sensitive to the moral authority of young black activists — have closed. This is a new moment, with different challenges.
Some activists believe that while the internal conflicts are indeed real, they are no different from what other long-lasting groups faced, and they do not portend the movement’s end. Discord and disagreement are part of the natural evolution of all political movements. In her statement to BuzzFeed News, Matthews noted that “it’s healthy for people building movements not always to agree, and while we don’t always get along, what keeps us going through this hard work together is our shared desire for justice.”
I must have missed a similar piece in Buzzfeed or elsewhere about the demise of Occupy Wall Street. Remember when the media was positively swooning over OWS? The New York Times had a daily update on what the ne'er do wells were doing. The coverage was extensive and loving.
Occupy Wall Street died because there was no there, there. There was no coherence - just incoherent rage. If you want to know what happened to Black Lives Matter, look no farther than the delegitimizing riots and actual cheering of the death of police officers.
Nobody cares what your agenda is when you act like barbarians.