On the 19th anniversary of the horrific radical Islamic terror attack on September 11, 2001, Black Lives Matter activists on Twitter tried to mock people who say “All Lives Matter” and “Never Forget 9/11.”
The hashtag “#AllBuildingsMatter” started trending on Twitter after stand-up comic Wale Gates shared a segment from Saturday Night Live cast member Michael Che’s Netflix series from 2016. Che used All Buildings Matter to mock those who insist that America should “Never Forget” September 11 and those who respond to the Black Lives Matter movement with the slogan “All Lives Matter.”
All Buildings Matter
“‘Black lives don’t matter,’ that’s not what they say. That’s not the argument,” Che explains in the video. “They hit you with that slick sh*t. Well, ‘All Lives Matter.’ Really? Semantics?”
“That would be like if your wife came up to you and was like, ‘Do you love me?’ And you were like, ‘Baby! I love everybody, what are you talking about? I love all God’s creatures, what are you saying? You’re no different,'” Che quipped.
Then the SNL actor compared the historic struggles of black Americans to the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.
“Why do black people always have to get over sh*t so quickly?” he asked. “Slavery. ‘Oh that was 400 years ago.’ Segregation. ‘You guys got black history month out of it. Come on, we gave you February.’ Police shooting. ‘That was two weeks. Come on, you still? Still?’ 9/11. ‘Oh, Never Forget.'”
“That’s why, this September, I’m getting a t-shirt that says, ‘All Buildings Matter.’ Now you see how that works,” Che quipped.
— Wale Gates (@walegates) September 11, 2020
The Tulsa race massacre and September 11
Black Lives Matter supporters used the “#AllBuildingsMatter” hashtag to draw attention to the horrific 1921 Tulsa race massacre, when mobs of white residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked black residents and businesses in “Black Wall Street.” The horrific white mob destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the Greenwood District.
The exact number of deaths and serious injuries remains unknown. Estimates of deaths range from 26 black people and 10 white people (1921 records) to between 150 and 200 black people and 50 white people. A 2001 commission estimated the fatalities at between 75-100 and 150-300. Estimates for the wounded range between 183 and more than 800.
The HBO show Watchmen (2019) rightly drew attention to this horrific event, and it seems that “#AllBuildingsMatter” trended on Twitter because users shared photos of the Tulsa race massacre with that hashtag.
"Black Wall Street"
– circa 5/31/1921 – 6/1/1921
Greenwood District, Tulsa, OK
Cause of Demise – "White People" pic.twitter.com/OXwQafayt8
— Baby Daytona Flexin (@_DelloDinero_) September 11, 2020
NAACP chapter President Bishop Talbert Swan tweeted, “[Never Forget] when white mobs of attacked Black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District (Black Wall St) in Tulsa, the worst incident of racial violence in American history. Hundreds of Black people were killed and 35 square blocks were destroyed. #AllBuildingsMatter.”
Americans should remember the Tulsa race massacre, but September 11 was a tragedy on an entirely different scale. The Tulsa race massacre took place during a period known as the nadir of race relations in America, not long after President Woodrow Wilson (a Progressive Democrat) re-segregated the federal workforce and screened the pro-KKK film Birth of a Nation in the White House. America has progressed since the Tulsa race massacre, most notably with the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On September 11, 2001, a foreign enemy attacked Americans on U.S. soil, inspired by a hateful ideology that advocates terrorism across the world. Radical Islamic terrorists organized by Al Qaeda smashed airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, smashed a plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and commandeered yet another aircraft that might have been headed for the White House or the U.S. Capitol building. The September 11 attacks claimed 2,977 lives and caused 25,000 injuries, causing an estimated $10 billion in property damage.
The September 11 attacks also jolted America out of its complacency after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the widely-proclaimed “End of History” mindset of the 1990s. September 11 reminded Americans that the world will always be a dangerous place and that the threat of radical Islam is real — even though many patriotic American Muslims and Muslims across the world reject radical Islam in favor of Western and American values.
Americans of all stripes died in the September 11 attacks. Contrary to the suggestions of Black Lives Matter activists, “Never Forget” is not a white phenomenon — it’s an American phenomenon.
Outrage over the September 11 attacks was rightly bipartisan, and both parties voted to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan (though Americans grew to consider the Iraq War a mistake). Democrats soured on the war early, however, and started demonizing President George W. Bush for it. Unfortunately, “Never Forget” became a partisan echo as Republicans rightly warn against the threat of radical Islam while Democrats downplay that threat.
For this reason, Michael Che’s bit may have been clever — although still rather offensive — in 2016. Things have changed since then, however.
The irony of All Buildings Matter
After the horrific video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, looters, vandals, and arsonists inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement ransacked American cities like Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, New York City, Chicago, and Kenosha. Rioters damaged, burned, or destroyed roughly 700 buildings in Minneapolis. In the much smaller city of Kenosha, looters and arsonists damaged or destroyed at least 56 businesses and carried out an estimated $50 million in damage.
Drew Hernandez, host of Lives Matter Show and a witness of the destruction in Kenosha, described the Black Lives Matter-inspired arson as “a scene out of hell.”
Like a scene out of hell, this is what BLM rioters have produced in Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/WjskzyRH5b
— Drew Hernandez (@livesmattershow) August 24, 2020
In Minneapolis, Kenosha, and Chicago, the riots disproportionately hit the black community. The riots have destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black. For these and other reasons, many black leaders have denounced the official Black Lives Matter movement, the founders of which have described themselves as “trained Marxists.” Over 100 black pastors recently condemned the Black Lives Matter movement and urged Nike to distance itself from it.
It seems Black Lives Matter supporters might not want to be tweeting that “All Buildings Matter.” This hashtag will only remind Americans of all the buildings burned down and destroyed by looters and arsonists motivated by the Black Lives Matter message.
“If [All Buildings Matter] does that include the thousands that BLM has looted & burned down, you anti-American people posting that hashtag?” U.S. House candidate Buzz Patterson asked on Twitter.
“Hilarious part of the [All Buildings Matter] trend is it is being tweeted by people who are burning buildings daily,” conservative Christian commentator and PJ Media contributor Carmine Sabia tweeted.
The Black Lives Matter movement cannot mock All Lives Matter and Never Forget by tweeting “All Buildings Matter” while at the same time excusing or downplaying the rioters who burn down buildings while trapping people inside.
Antifa rioters in Portland actually trapped police officers in a building as they attempted to set it on fire. As Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Portland) said last month, “When you commit arson with an accelerant, in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people that you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating. You are attempting to commit murder.”
Americans should Never Forget September 11, but it is also true that All Buildings Matter, including the 700 buildings destroyed in Minneapolis, the 56 businesses damaged in Kenosha, and the federal courthouse and police buildings antifa rioters have targeted for arson in Portland.
Perhaps Black Lives Matter supporters should think about that before they try to mock the Americans who remember September 11.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.