To my black libertarian mind, the greatest tragedy of the Black Lives Matter movement has been a missed opportunity to foster constructive change in public policy. The year since the shooting death of Michael Brown has seen plenty of rabble-rousing about alleged problems and little to no meaningful discussion of proposed solutions. For many observers, it seems that Black Lives Matter exists more to agitate than to affect real progress.
That may be changing, however. An organization called We the Protesters has put out an actual policy agenda, calling for changes in law enforcement practices and policies. The overall goal of “reducing all police violence in the U.S. to zero” may prove absurd (a police force that doesn’t use force isn’t a police force). However, many of the specific ideas should appeal to limited-government conservatives and libertarians.
For instance, the group calls for a reduction in laws which create minor offenses providing law enforcement with the pretext to initiate stops. Recall that Eric Garner was essentially killed for evading sales tax.
Another point calls for nerfing police union contracts to make discipline easier. Imagine that, a radical leftist group calling for reining in public employee unions.
Bottom line: there’s plenty here upon which to build bipartisan coalition and affect real change. The question becomes whether the overall Black Lives Matter movement will mature enough to abandon divisive rhetoric and start cultivating relationships which can lead to actual achievement.