The Democrats’ BLM Disaster
Once a source of energy in Democrat politics, Black Lives Matter has become a serious liability.
Yesterday, we examined the disappearance of the Democrat Party in rural America, in the places beyond the big cities and suburbs. Today, we’ll look at one of the causes of that disappearance. We’ll look at a self-inflicted wound that is without a doubt the single most alienating allegiance that the Democrats have developed in recent years — namely, the party’s embrace of the cop-hating, money-grubbing, family-wrecking Marxist pressure group known as Black Lives Matter.
As is often the case with political marriages, this one turned out to be a deal with the devil. What began as a partnership between a sclerotic post-Obama Democrat Party and a cool, charismatic, street-credible cause devolved into an off-putting, tent-shrinking public relations disaster for the Democrats.
While the three-word string of Black Lives Matter played on white guilt, captured the mainstream media’s imagination, and worked its fundraising magic all across corporate America to the tune of $90 million in 2020 alone, it was another three-word string that sowed the seeds not only of the group’s demise, but of the Democrat Party’s demise among independents and rural whites: Defund the Police.
How so? Safety and security are among the fundamental needs of a citizenry and the fundamental functions of a government. When a people aren’t secure in their property and possessions, they rightly blame those they elect: their congressmen and senators, their mayors, governors, and presidents. Without safety and security, nothing else much matters. And when an organization’s war cry is to defund the very institutions that ensure our safety and security, that organization begins to bleed support. After all, it’s one thing to be shaken by the plight of young black men and the everyday genocide they inflict upon themselves in our big cities and blighted neighborhoods, but it’s another thing entirely to buy into the slander, the lie, that the cops are to blame for it.
As researcher and author Heather Mac Donald points out, police officers fatally shot 1,004 people in 2019, most of them armed or otherwise dangerous. Blacks accounted for about a fourth of those killed, 235, a ratio that’s been stable since 2015. Further, as she notes, the police fatally shot just nine unarmed blacks in 2019. Nine. And given that more than 7,600 blacks were murdered in 2019, the math is irrefutable: For every unarmed black person shot and killed by a cop, more than 800 other blacks were murdered, mostly by other blacks.
Thus, Black Lives Matter has perpetrated the vilest of lies and done the deepest of disservices to the very lives it purports to value. By calling for the defunding of our law enforcement institutions, BLM called for the pulling back of the cops from the very neighborhoods where they’re needed most. As National Review’s Rich Lowry writes:
The BLM agenda on criminal justice — based on the idea fewer criminals should be arrested and held in jail — took hold in blue jurisdictions, and the slogan “defund the police” got traction despite its utter impracticality and obvious political destructiveness.
Now, it’s obvious how shortsighted and foolhardy all this was. The rise in violent crime is a clear and present danger to the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and progressive prosecutors allied with BLM who have pursued soft on crimes policies in the midst of a crime wave are under fire, facing either recalls or heavy criticism.
BLM has also become a racket, a grift. One of its founders, Patrisse Cullors, went on a real-estate buying spree last year before shuffling off with a sweet retirement package. More recently, no one seems to be accountable for the group’s $60 million bank roll, and its purported leaders have slipped quietly away. Even Amazon has seen enough. Last week, it took the extraordinary step of kicking BLM off of its charity platform. Better late than never, we suppose.
Also last week, a one-time rising star within BLM, 21-year-old Quintez Brown, was arrested and charged with shooting up the campaign office of a Louisville mayoral candidate, Craig Greenberg. So what did the Louisville chapter of BLM do? It posted Brown’s $100,000 bond, and he’s now a free man.
These are not the actions and activities of a healthy organization. And yet the Democrats are stuck with Black Lives Matter, because the party doesn’t have the guts to denounce or distance itself from the group’s radicalism and corruption. The Democrats will thus keep on shooting themselves in the foot — which should suit the Republican Party just fine.
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