The Black Lives Matter movement is a response to the numerous and ongoing assault and extermination of black men and women at the hands of law enforcement. It is a nonviolent push to acknowledge the worth of black lives being taken by police and the worth of black lives over all in a system that deems them worthless. There is no indication of any violence associated with the movement. But there are some who have used the recent murder of a cop at the hands of black man to the movement to push their racist agenda.
A few days ago, a police deputy veteran by the name of Darren Goforth was shot to death, execution style, by Shannon J. Miles. Although the motives are unclear, Sheriff Ron Rickman, during a press conference decided that the killer with a criminal past and history of mental illness was somehow a representative of the Black Lives Matter movement:
“We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a press conference following the shooting. “Well, cops’ lives matter, too. So how about we drop the qualifier and just say lives matter?”
Waiting in the wings was Fox News, or as my fellow writer Lavern Merriweather calls them ‘Fake Noise’. Elisabeth Hasslebeck concluded and asked why hasn’t the movement been declared a “hate group”. Bill O’Reilly went ahead and called it a hate group, comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan, and has announced that he will run them “out of business”.
When the Black Lives Matter movement marched to the Minnesota State Fair with members chanting, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”, that helped to justify Fox News’ assumptions with the conservative media leading the charge to demonize a much needed movement.
As a black man in this country, I am a part of a group that is often blamed for the problems society faces like violence, murders, rape and assault. We are the poster children for those problems, because society has not only allowed it happen, but it also pushes for those associations to be shown worldwide. There is no explanation as to why. The fabricated image suggests that black men (and women) have some built-in pathology that breeds a fucked up culture of deviancy and a malice against white people extreme enough to want to kill them. There is no reason given, and the only solutions society suggests are incarceration and death.
The Right’s noise machine knowingly decided to take down the image of a just movement and pin a known criminal on the movement’s motives they invented as a “murder movement”. The simple link they invented is that Miles is black who killed a white cop, and the movement is by blacks is against police brutality at the hands of mostly white cops. Before you know it, the campaign to dismantle Black Lives Matter strengthened.
Black lives are constantly under attack from all sides everyday. Scapegoating them as the source of society’s problems are why the Black Lives Matter movement matters. To do so is to promote a racist agenda to show that black lives do not matter, as it has always been in this nation. Black people have always marched and demanded to be treated with the same respect that white folks are treated. To some, that is racist in itself.
Fox News and other die-hard conservatives have no shame in trying to denounce a movement on behalf of black folks. Instead, they prefer to use an incident, usually an interracial crime where the black person is the perpetrator and the white person as a victim, and twist it into an example of reverse racism at its worst canceling out any and all claims that racism against blacks exist. To them, the only hate crimes out there are black-on-white.
Black Lives Matter is sorely needed during these times where police killings of unarmed black men and women far outweigh the killings of officers at the hands of black folks. The lives of black people are at risk due to the racial climate of hatred, and the Right is helping to make sure that black people pay for asking for justice and equality.