Evolution of Black Lives Matter

1.  BLM highlights a real problem and creates a pretty decent plan for addressing that problem


2.  BLM totally abandons their reasonable plan and concentrates on acting as a virtue signalling vehicle


3.  BLM completely loses their minds by antagonizing a natural ally and opposing important minority rights protections

A few days ago I said I did not understand this anti-free-speech position well enough to pass an ideological Touring test.  Several commenters took a pretty good shot at making the argument for it from the perspective of the oppressor-oppressed political axis.  Let me, though, explain why I think the BLM argument does not work on their own terms.

The key thing to understand is this:  Speech codes are written by and for the privileged.  They are written by the oppressor to shut up the oppressed.  George Wallace did not need the First Amendment, black kids trying to go to the University of Alabama needed it.  So the BLM opposition to free speech is either 1) completely misguided, as the oppressed need these protections the most or 2) an acknowledgement that they and their allies are now the privileged, they are the ones in power, and they wish to use speech codes as they have always been used, to shut up those not in power.  In broader society the situation is probably #1 but on University campuses we may have evolved to situation #2.


  1. The_Big_W:

    University campuses blazed past situation #2 and are effectively angling for purges of all who disagree with the Party....

    Those who engage in this do not deserve to be called Americans (either with or without using hyphens).

  2. Richard Harrington:

    I think a lot of the "discussion" has morphed from a desire for rights to a desire for revenge. It's all become a race to claim the most grievances as moral authority. Definitely a slippery slope that won't end well for those who don't understand history. Those dead white males who wrote the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights were informed by the realization that centuries of civil wars were caused by groups who simply could not allow other groups to exist, much less have freedom of speech.

  3. Mercury:

    "Several commenters took a pretty good shot at making the argument for it from the perspective of the oppressor-oppressed political axis....
    The key thing to understand is this: Speech codes are written by and for the privileged."

    From the perspective of Cultural Marxism (of which BLM is a branch), the government, local authority or dominant social orthodoxy is/must be leveraged or coerced into taking rights, privileges, resources etc. from "oppressor" groups and giving them to "oppressed" groups to correct unequal outcomes that are caused by and can only ever be attributed to unjust race/class/gender power dynamics.

    Engineering race/class/gender equality of outcomes before, during or after the fact is all that matters. There are no universal civil rights, no blind justice, no lines that should never be crossed or measures that should only be applied equally to everyone. There is NO EXISTING FRAMEWORK WITHIN WHICH THEY MUST OPERATE. I believe the popular term is: "By any means necessary".

    Ideally, a totalitarian authority (or microcosms such as universities, government agencies, cultural institutions) always weighing who needs lifting up and who needs pounding down, decides who shall be allowed the privilege of free speech (for instance) and who needs to be restricted by various codes, or whatever measures are necessary to achieve race/class/gender equality of outcomes.

    Not that hard to understand.

    Whatever genuine, well-meaning or inward-focused origins BLM may once have had are now completely subsumed by the Cultural Marxists although BLM is hardly unique in this regard.

  4. The_Big_W:

    Your commend should be filed in the "be careful what you wish for" pile.

    Revenge begets revenge.

  5. Arrian:

    I don't think Kaepernick is a good example of #2. BLM supporting climate protests would be a much better example.

    Kaepernick taking a knee was exceptionally reasonable by the standards of BLM. Instead of shutting down a city's busiest freeway during rush hour, he quietly and mildly kneeled down during a pregame event without impacting anything or anyone else. Getting his message out without inconveniencing anyone is a pretty effective protest (and maybe why so many conservatives are so aggressive about damning his actions. It's easy to say "look at those assholes shutting down the freeway," but you have to work at it to demonize someone for simply not standing up.)

    Really, how different is Kaepernick taking a knee and Tebow taking a knee? Both are using the media spotlight to highlight a personal value, and neither are interrupting anyone else while doing so.

  6. Chris Miles:

    I see more and more people using words on a ritual and spiritual level - protest chants are magical incantations. Whiteness is a spirit. White Supremacy is a psychic force.

    Trying to cast this conversation into an enlightenment framework where words have meaning and we use them to have discussions and find answers is the wrong approach.

  7. Mike Powers:

    I think what we're seeing here is that the free speech advocacy of the 20th century's latter half wasn't so much about a free and meaningful exchange of ideas that challenged the dogmatic adherence to sclerotic tradition. It was more about Fuck You Dad I Don't Live In Your House Anymore. It was about Fuck You Mom I'll Kiss Boys If I Wanna. It was about Fuck You Old Lady Next Door Who Said I Couldn't Play In Her Yard. It was, in the end, not about useful philosophical development; it was about Fuck You.

  8. Mike Powers:

    " how different is Kaepernick taking a knee and Tebow taking a knee?"

    Yes, and just *look* at the responses. Kap kneels--"you're a racist if you say anything bad about him!" Tebow kneels--"he's a hypocrite who's just trying to manipulate the public and keep his job!"

  9. mckyj57:

    Are you really serious? Tebow taking a knee was not attacking the one piece of common ground that all sides of the American political spectrum are supposed to inhabit. Also, it outs you as a non-sports fan, because otherwise you know that athletes have been taking a knee to show faith in God for a very long time.

  10. Aunty Fah-Fah:

    We're all supremascists now.

  11. mlhouse:

    I think any support for the above agenda, such as "end broken window policies" and limit use of force are completely misguided and have no understanding of the reality of what our world has become.

    While overall crime has decreased, crime has become much more concentrated. Criminals have become much better armed and more combative to the police. A police officer with a "service revolver" would be seriously outgunned by most criminals, see the Las Vegas killer as an example. We should not expect police to overlook crimes and statutes, the "broken window" policing transformed a city like New York from being an unlivable cesspool to a nice place to live, and now that is in danger of going backwards. Criminals must be apprehended, convicted, and sentenced. And, while there have been some abuses of asset seizures, some mechanism must be used to prevent criminal drug lords, white collar criminals, and others like mobsters that accumulate fortunes from their crimes from transferring it away from the victims.

  12. GoneWithTheWind:

    Broken windows policing is what made New York City safe in the 90's and ending it has made NYC unsafe again.

    To understand BLM understand that they are funded and directed by Marxist communist organizations whose goal is to undermine the U.S. and to create enough havoc that we will become ungovernable. They don't give a fig about black lives.

  13. Duane Hershberger:

    BTW, I notice the first time wasn't a typo. It's "Turing," after Alan Turing.

  14. Arrian:

    I never said it wasn't a protest, I said it was a _high quality_ protest. I live in Minneapolis where BLM likes to walk down the middle of the most busy highway when they want attention, or tries to shut down the Mall of America on Black Friday. That's a protest, but it leaves them open to very solid arguments that they're just jerks who want to make everyone else miserable.

    Compare that to Kaepernick: Doesn't get in anybody's way, doesn't disrupt anything. Just makes one simple gesture. And he got the entire country talking about it, without harming or threatening to harm anyone. Now, that's an _effective_ protest, regardless of how you feel about his message.

  15. Variant:

    Chris Rock has had BLM's solution all along:


  16. mckyj57:

    It attacks not the problem, but which binds us together -- really high quality.

  17. artemis:

    "Criminals have become much better armed and more combative to the police" -- This is factually incorrect. Criminals are less well armed today than during prohibition. Criminals today are more likely to use knives and blunt implements than they are to use guns. Cops are using 2nd hand military gear. Criminals almost never have military grade equipment and cops are virtually never "outgunned". You need to watch fewer TV shows dramatizing gangs and "drug lords" and start reading some actual research.

  18. artemis:

    I do not agree that society is probably at stage 1. Look at what YouTube and Facebook are doing with censorship and the way they disproportionately censor non-leftist viewpoints via selective enforcement of their policies. News agencies have discarded the need to even try to appear non-biased. Even speeches and demonstrations off campus are being shut down by violence... unless they promote the "correct" viewpoint.

    No we're way past stage 1. I suspect we're at stage 4, the cancer is terminal, and I can only hope that what comes next isn't too bad for my kids.

  19. CapitalistRoader:

    Now, [Kaepernick's is] an _effective_ protest, regardless of how you feel about his message.

    Agreed, it was very effective. And when a player on my home town's team started emulating that protest I stopped watching them and all other NFL games. While I was never a football fanatic I did spend a couple of hours a week watching it. No more. And apparently I'm not alone.

  20. slocum:

    Yep, situation #2 does exist on campuses and has for some time. Politically, administrators and faculty generally agree with the activists and are loath to punish them. They're also afraid of them. But there's now fear in the other direction -- partly from red-state legislatures who control university funding but even more so of the possibility of high-profile unrest that hits enrollment as with Mizzou and Evergreen State.

  21. wreckinball:

    BLM is a racist Marxist organization. They are for all speech which they agree with. They work to suppress any speech they disagree with.
    Warren's love affair with BLM is misguided. I think its a classic case of bait and switch. Libertarians like those who question police authority and desire accountability.
    But what these same libertarians ignore is the overt racism this group applies to everything.

  22. cc:

    This. Once you assume that all inequality is due to oppression, and that the oppressors use some super top secret "white supremacy" and "patriarchy" to maintain their position, and that culture (such as getting married before having children and working hard etc) is irrelevant, then the only logical conclusion is that wealth must be forcibly redistributed. This line of reasoning leads inexorably to riots and violence and hatred that can never end. This line of reasoning justifies the fact that car theft is 30 times higher in Chicago than where I live--they are just taking what is rightfully theirs.
    It is interesting that taking unfair wealth from whites was done in Rhodesia and surprisingly poverty resulted because the white farmers had something more than just land, they had skills. It was tried in Venezuela until all the rich people were poor people and now collapse is happening. A zero sum game is never a proper model for reality.
    Blacks in sports and entertainment have become some of the richest people in the world, but the bulk of the population needs more mundane skills like how to read and how to start a painting business and how to show up for work. Blaming their condition on "oppression" is the worst move they could make.

  23. cc:

    Mizzou is so desperate for students that they plastered ads on every single sliding door on the train stops at O'Hare showing happy students and promising all sorts of life fulfillment (never mentioning getting a job...).

  24. davidcobb:

    You got plenty bro. Why so harsh. Your insurance will give you a new car.

  25. davidcobb:

    Has any criminal ever used military gear and survived? I can think of a bunch that went the other way (San Diego tank, North Hollywood shootout, and Chris Horner).

  26. CapitalistRoader:

    BLM and La Raza are unlikely to go away. I wish there were no need for it but a similar organization representing European-Americans should be be created in this country in order to protect their interests and to confront the blatant racism E-A's suffer on a daily basis, especially at at schools.

  27. Titan 28:

    You need to read up more on #BLM. Take the blinders off and the cotton out of your ears. And what do you mean by saying "speech codes are written by and for the privileged?" Every once in a while, when I drop in here, I come away understanding why libertarians have nothing to offer politically. The notion of white privilege is one of the most asinine concepts to come down the pike in centuries. It is pure left-wing poison, and it comes right out of the playbook that is driving the west off a cliff. I'm surprised at you.

  28. glenn.griffin3:

    Criticism you have much, but arguments you make not, hmm?

  29. JTW:

    Where you go wrong is in not considering that blacks and leftists are both the privileged writing the rules AND the supposed "oppressed" who benefit from those rules.

    That's the brilliance of the progressive big lie, they've convinced generations that they themselves are the oppressed when in reality they're the oppressors.

  30. Pave Low John:

    I see lots of people flapping their gums about their "rights" and almost no ones talking about their "responsibilities". Unless you talk about both of those aspects of citizenship, I really could care less about whatever political cause you feel the public needs to be increasingly aware of....

  31. mvetsel:

    So where exactly did your oh-so-reasonable libertarian fantasy version of the "original" BLM come from?

    BLM appeals to dorky libertarians and pointy-headed academics because it lets them feel cool and aligned with the left -- they just need to project some quasi-libertarian qualities onto the Marxist thugs, rioters and racial identitarians that make up the movement. That's way more fun than doing what someone who REALLY thought black lives matter would do, namely figure out a way to get young black males from killing people, the vast majority of whom are also black.

    That's laaame. No fun at all. Plus it could lead in uncomfortable directions like capital punishment or more aggressive policing. It's much more RAD to just ignore the black crime bloodbath and talk about how racist the "pigs" are and to seize on false media-pushed narratives like Ferguson and Trayvon.


  32. dwal11:

    Simple- read the BLM platform the 3 women created, open info.