I believe black lives matter. I also believe that to the Black Lives Matter movement, those black lives don’t matter. What the BLM wants are dead black bodies. What the movement requires are martyrs to keep its agenda rolling and the newly-found power of its leaders intact.
In thinking about the recent tragedy of Sandra Bland in Waller County, Texas, I see a pattern going back to the Ferguson incident with Michael Brown and continuing with the deaths of Eric Garner and Walter Scott. What did they have in common beside being black and dying after controversial encounters with law enforcement? Here’s what. They resisted. They failed to obey white policemen. And now they are dead. Obeying police, no matter how wrong the police are. That’s a part of the story that is lost on the media.
In the Bland case, just forget for a moment that she was found dead in her jail cell, apparently a victim of suicide by hanging. Just forget about the silly driving violation for which she was stopped. And forget about the disgusting and aggressive behavior of the police officer who stopped her. These are separate issues.
The bottom line is this. Ms. Bland would likely be alive today if she had cooperated with the officer when he asked her to put out her cigarette. She was smart. She knew blacks always lose when they confront police. She knew the law was being twisted, likely because her skin was not white. And, as it turned out, she was dead right.
I first became leery of this unfortunate evolution in civil rights protesting with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He was shot while resisting a police officer. Remember the lie that was told? “Hands up. Don’t shoot.” I don’t believe for a moment Brown’s hands were anything more than fists of hatred. As black deaths mounted in this and other celebrated cases the Black Lives Matter movement gathered steam.
BLM couldn’t have picked a worse example than Brown to push its agenda.
Not long before he was shot and killed, a video camera in a convenience store caught Brown stealing cigarillos. When confronted by the store’s clerk, Brown, a huge man, spun around and walked menacingly toward him. Brown was clearly someone with an attitude. When stopped by a policeman, Brown physically accosted the officer who was in his police car. Whatever the principle involved, Brown would probably be alive today if he had chosen to cooperate and take his medicine.
The same holds true with Garner in New York and Scott in South Carolina. In Scott’s case, he was shot down in cold-blood while fleeing on foot. Fleeing, to my mind, is stupid.
If black lives matter, I would hope BLM would be preaching a message to its constituents. Go out into the communities and beseech them: Obey the police when stopped no matter how racist you think the system is. Swallow your pride, eat your anger and live. That’s the message I would be sending.
None of the victims deserved to die for any “crime” they committed in these incidents.
But what matters to the BLM, it seems, is to ring up a steady river of black deaths to keep its agenda at the top of the news. To preach peaceful resistance these days is anathema to the cause.
I have this vision of the 1960s civil rights movement in The South under the nonviolent philosophy of the Rev. Martin Luther King. I remember news reels showing black protesters. They were arrested and carried over to police vans. None that I recall resisted. They simply allowed themselves to be sent to jail.
In the end, these protestors not only lived but changed the world at least in some small way. The BLM seems to have lost Dr. King’s message. Maybe they no longer see it as a viable alternative to the rampant racism that has emerged after the election of President Obama in 2008.
Still, I say, live to fight another day, in another way. But live. Life matters.