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Movements – Religion and Politics

The tendency for movements to move away from their first love, towards things that often are totally unrelated to their initial purpose and charter is why, but for a few notable exceptions, I do not support the concept of “movements.” This is also why so many people (who would not be otherwise), are so hesitant to say things that ought to be simple like “Black lives matter.”

“Black” lives matter!

Yes, that was a statement. Yes I meant it. Yes it was unqualified.

I’m sure you noticed the quotes around “black.” The reason for that is pretty simple, I’m not a fan of the descriptor. I think I have a pretty good understanding what people that adjective is being applied to, and you’ll forgive me for saying so, but it’s not accurate. The folks in question are a variety of “colors” and “hues;” each of them having beautiful folks, in between folks, and not so beautiful (which is strictly a matter of opinion—yours will very likely be different than mine).

So to be clear, black lives matter. That includes presidential black lives, police black lives, scientist black lives, doctor black lives, nurse black lives, assault victim black lives, assaulter black lives, killer black lives, other criminal black lives, totally innocent black lives and any other type of black life you can imagine.

Having said that, allow me to say a few other things.

Firstly, let me indicate that, as others have said, I don’t see “black” lives to be more at risk in most scenarios than those of any other “people group.”

The one exception that immediately comes to mind, would be what is termed “black on black crime.” This is a major problem here in the United States. Huge numbers of Americans of African heritage are being killed, maimed, and otherwise hurt by others of the same cultural group.

Don’t get me wrong, where it’s occurring, things like police brutality affecting “black lives” needs to be dealt with—just as such activity should be taken for all people. The numbers for “black people” though, are at most on par with other cultural groups. In reality, they’re less than they are for most other groups—particularly considering the number of interactions between law enforcement entities and “black” folks. Don’t believe me? Put up, or as they say, shut up! You can easily do the research and if I’m wrong bring the numbers to me.

Even this is not the “primary issue” most folks have with the expression, “Black lives matter.” The problem folks have, is that it’s associated with a “movement.”

You see, when most folks talk about “Black Lives Matter,” they’re not making a simple, undeniable statement as I did. Rather, they’re talking about a movement that has co-opted the expression. How have they done this? By making the expression the name of their movement.

A simple look at their website (http://www.blacklivesmatter.com) reveals four important facts:

  1. Looking at what they claim to believe involves zero statistical data (all “information” presented is anecdotal—and at least the most prominent “data” is errant). Any honest person, would ask him or her self one simple question, “Why?” I contend the reason is simple. The statistics do not bear out what they claim to be true. Put simply, where there are instances where “black” folks have been “done wrong”—sometimes in downright heinous ways, a few that literally resulted in their wrongful deaths—the numbers (especially by law enforcement) are exceptionally small. They need dealt with, and the “punishment” should fit the proven and convicted crime (just like for anyone else).
  2. The two primary anecdotes resulted in no findings of wrongdoing on the parts of the individuals they vilify for being guilty of wrongdoing. Both were either acquitted or exonerated fully. At least one of the two and probably both were further investigated on a federal level by various entities themselves often run by “black” people under the presidency of the “first black leader of the U.S.” The investigations revealed no improper behavior on the part of the persons having behaved wrongly according to “Black Lives Matter.” Nobody is arguing that either individual stands blameless or “pure.” Folks are simply saying that, in the situations being discussed, they were not considered to have been at fault, or to blame.
  3. One of the two who shot and killed a “black” person was not an “official of” any municipality. He was literally a security guard who was attacked by an individual he was pursuing (correctly or incorrectly). Arguing systemic racism as a result of such an interaction is pure hokum.
  4. Both of the two “black men” were almost certainly guilty of wrongdoing on some level. Granted, for Trayvon Martin, it was only provable, that he appears to have attacked Mr Zimmerman with no direct provocation. With Mr Brown though, he was a suspect in a “strong-arm” robbery of a local convenience store before he refused a police order, and attempted to gain access to the officer’s sidearm.

I would hope what I’ve said to this point, makes it clear that where I support the statement that, “Black lives matter,” I don’t support the movement, “Black Lives Matter”—and with very good reason.

This leads to the point of this piece. As a rule, I find “movements” to not be worthy of my support.

Let’s take a second and examine why that’s true.

Imagine for a moment that there’s a movement that starts up. The apparent core beliefs of the entity in question seem good (which in itself is an issue, since often what seems true, actually isn’t). As the group in question continues along its path, it is highly likely, their focus will change. This will be brought on by a number of factors, among them, the desire of the majority of members, the desire of leadership to support other causes, and frankly, “loud” folks, who push things into directions they value (whether or not those directions are consistent with the movement’s “initial charter”).

The result? If you look at various movements from times past, you’ll see that many of them look not a thing like they did when they were formed. Often, the best “time in the life of” such an entity, is their formation (and it’s all down hill from there).

You can be assured there are those who will argue that movements improve as they mature by and large, and from their perspectives, that might even be a valid thing to say. In my experience though, it is not the case—in fact, it’s virtually always exactly the opposite of what occurs.

The tendency for movements to move away from their first love, towards things that often are totally unrelated to their initial purpose and charter is why, but for a few notable exceptions, I do not support the concept of “movements.” This is also why so many people (who would not be otherwise), are so hesitant to say things that ought to be simple like “Black lives matter.”

As usual, thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

3 replies on “Movements – Religion and Politics”

So… here is an example of the syndrome that you mention (from the ‘Black Lives Matter’ site:

https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”

I saw some of this when I went to their site for “research.” I didn’t see this particular part. I got to this part, and had pretty much seen enough (same page):

We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.

We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

That having been said, your example is a good one as well.

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