Black Lives Matter Is A Disgrace
A few weeks ago the city of Toronto celebrate Gay Pride week, an annual event made ever more poignant this year given the still viscerally recent horror of Orlando. I will be honest and admit this is not my favorite celebration of the many my home city holds. Nothing against gay people or gay rights, but I personally have a strict limit to the number of naked men I need to see every day, and that number is zero (a situation only made worse by the fact that those who choose to take it all off are always the ones who really should keep it all on).
Unjustified self-confidence in the nude male form aside, apparently the showing this year at the parade was quite a good one. The Prime Minister took a break from posting selfies to show up as did a good number of people from the Canadian Conservative Party, including several contenders for the party leadership. Sadly, the occasion also included a number of unwelcome guests in the form of a contingent from the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter. This delightful group of individuals chose to blockade the parade, halting its progression until the organizers of Toronto Pride agreed to sign their list of demands, the most central of which being that the Toronto police would be barred from all future Toronto Pride events; shamefully this thinly veiled blackmail was caved into by the leadership of Toronto Pride, though they somewhat redeemed themselves by later saying they had only agreed to the demands to get the parade moving again and would not in fact comply with them in the future.
This ugly and trite little episode neatly emphasizes everything that is wrong with the Black Lives Matter movement, a group that I will fully admit has been born from justifiable outrage at a long ignored and legitimate number of grievances against the African American community of our southern neighbour. Putting aside the nauseating vileness of such divisive tactics at an event that is meant to be all about promoting inclusiveness and unity, it also goes almost without saying that whatever problems exist between the black community and the police force in America here in Canada we thankfully are largely spared of such troubles.
While some of the incidents involving police shootings in the States are far more complicated than they are made out to be, it is indisputable that there have also been numerous instances that are beyond any reasonable justification. Canada, thankfully, has been largely immune from this. The closest we have come here is the regrettable but understandable Sammy Yatin incident where a mentally unbalanced young man was shot on a streetcar when he became violent and began terrorizing its occupants with a knife. While policing in Canada is far from perfect, to draw any meaningful comparison between ourselves and the States is insulting to us and belittling towards what has occurred there.
Of course, none of this is of any relevance to Black Lives Matter because as an organization they are uninterested in facts and genuinely advancing police/community relations. Instead what they desire is simple confrontation and stoking divisions to draw attention and stature to themselves as an organization. Acquainting themselves with the facts would require actual constructive dialogue, which clashes with Black Lives Matter’s standard tactic of simply yelling until the other person goes away and then seizing on this response as validation of the “systemic racism” that they are fighting against.
I have tremendous respect for the original Civil Rights movement. Equality of all before the law is a principle I hold very dear. Furthermore, I am a true believer in the importance of unity (one of the great sins of modernity being its willingness to foster divisions and the segregation of peoples all in the name of diversity and multiculturalism). Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of an America where blacks and whites would stand together as equals. Sadly his dream is not shared by the modern day Black Lives Matter movement, who instead seem devoted only to ensuring that these communities stand divided in mutual antagonism towards one another.
Look no further than the tactics employed by Black Lives Matter. From bullying and shutting down speakers and events they dislike, to chanting “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now” at their rallies and marches, to advocating for black only dorms in college campuses, its activists simply feeds into the problem without promoting anything that could lead to a meaningful solution. Not only is this a betrayal of the aforementioned vision of the Civil Rights’ movement, it also contributes to the ugliness that lead to the most aggregious incidents we saw in Dallas and Baton Rogue, which serve only to further poison the waters between America’s white and black communities.
None of this dismisses or ignores the very real plight of African Americans say, which demands both our sympathy and our attention. It does however recognize the only way forward that leads to any genuine resolution is one that promotes unity and inclusion, not further division and antagonism. So long as Black Lives Matter promotes the latter at the expense of then former, they undermine the very thing their organizational name claims to prize.