I had the pleasure of interviewing Todd Gramnez, a representative of Black Lives Matter, on my show on Saturday.
To which one of the groups adherents might reply “yeah, he’s not the real Black Live Matter”; Gramnez was the one who took up the Minnesota State Fair on their offer for a booth inside the fairgrounds, when other BLM group that carried out the march on the state fair, led by Rashaad Turner, turned them down.
It was a good discussion. And, by the way, I’d be more than happy to invite Rashad Turner on my show – provided that he does all of his race baiting on social media before the show, rather than after, as he did after his generally cordial interview with Jack Tomczak on the lesser talk station. I’d love to have a discussion with all of that on the table, rather than passive-aggressively held off for later.
Takeaways from the weekend:
Agreement: Of course I agree with several of BLM’s points; anyone who cares about civil liberty, the Fourth Amendment, and limited state power should. We have too many no knock raids; the police are too militarized. Anytime the police, for whatever reason, adopt an “us against them” attitude about the population they police, society fails (not that that is even necessarily always the police’s fault – it takes two to tango.
So, long story short: I agree with many of BLM’s stated goals. Not all of them – and neither do a fair number of African-Americans; BLM’s desire to end “broken windows” policing flies in the face of most inner-city residents of all skin colors, who have to live with the consequences of unchecked petty crime. And I think some of their local leadership – Rashad Taylor and Nekima Levy-Pounds – do their cause more harm than good. But of course, my approval is not what they’re after. And that’s just fine.
But there is common ground on many of the stated goals. And I emphasize stated for a reason.
Motives: Last Saturday was a gorgeous morning – and as I frequently do I’m gorgeous mornings, I walked from my house to the state fairgrounds to do the show. Since the BLM March was assembling just a few blocks from my house, I thought I would stop by.
There was a major police presence in the Midway, naturally:
And when I got to Midway Park? I can’t say I was surprised to note that the crowd, probably an hour before the rally got underway, was easily 2/3 Caucasian – most of them giving off the usual visual signs of being one variety of Minnesota Liberal or another:
Including many, many union members, acting as traffic marshals. One observer noted that they were wearing AFL-CIO vests, turned inside out.
And yep, there they are:
White Highland Park Liberals will certainly turn out, just for the fun of it, to march in any old parade. No argument there.
But why are the unions turning out people and money – including, reportedly, busing protesters in from other parts of the city – for of an event like BLM?
To paraphrase Fred Thompson in Hunt for Red October, “The unions don’t take a dump without a policy directive from the Democrats”. And vice versa.
They’re there for the same reason that there protests happened in heavily African-American neighborhoods, rather than in front of the capital or the governors mansion. Because there’s a presidential election coming up in another year, and for the first time in eight years, the slate of septuagenarian white people is on the Democratic side, and the Dems don’t have a charismatic black man on the ballot, and the Democrat party knows it needs to keep the African-American vote whipped up or it is doomed.
Question: So I agree with some of Black Live Matters agenda; I also think they are in the process of being co-opted into a Democrat campaign effort, to the extent that they weren’t to begin with.
But let’s forget about the politics and the personalities. Let’s talk about Black Lives.
Freedom is something with which we are endowed by our Creator. It can’t be taken away (short of some major offense against other people). It can’t even be given away. It’s not a zero sum equation; the freedom I have, I don’t have because I got it from someone else. In the same way a right cannot interfere with another person’s right, one person’s freedom cannot take away from another person’s freedom.
If freedom, equality and respect or what BLM is after, then I’m with you.
But some BLM activists – I’m not naming names, here – refer to freedom and equality in the same way Bernie Sanders refers to earned income; like it is a finite quantity, that they wish to redistribute. As if some people get freedom, equality and respect by taking it away from other people.
Is it the imprecise phrasing of people driven by emotion?
Or is it a slopover from the organization’s political backgdrop, a natural response from a group – progressivism, not BLM – that regards “equality” as the end result of redistribution, whether it’s money or equality.
And there, they’re wrong – and any American, whatever the color of their skin, needs to tell them so.