Analyzing BLM – Examining a Civil Rights Movement

Out-of-Control Cops – What the Police Force Actually Does

Filtered Beauty – Technology Masking Imperfections

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Perhaps we should start by taking a step backward to clarify our title. It’s accurate in both scope and desire, but I’m frankly a bit concerned about precisely who this could attract. Analyzing BLM, a sweeping civil rights movement, could very well upset many. There is absolutely nothing in this universe, however, that is ‘protected’ from criticism.

This is not a criticism of race, nor the defense of uncontrolled police forces in the United States, but more so an opportunity to analyze the Black Lives Matter movement. I expect, perhaps erroneously, that the average reader capable of chewing through long-form copy holds an IQ above room temperature. 

We attack ideas, not people.

What is Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter movement, colloquially referred to as BLM, began when Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman 😠. Gaining steam on social media under the hashtag ‘#BlackLivesMatter’, it has since become an international movement that spearheaded multiple protests, notably including the murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin.

A Note On Framing

It is vital to exhibit critical thought on everything that is reported from all news sources. Take absolutely nothing at face value, explore and research on your own terms, and identify where the truth actually lies. In the case of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, multiple outlets noted George Zimmerman as a white male,1 ostensibly to fuel racial tensions.

George Zimmerman is Hispanic.

It seems that there is a consistent need for media outlets to herald a white-versus-black spin. This doesn’t seem to work both ways, however – many black-on-white crimes pay little attention to race3, if they are even noted. This consistently exhibited desire, to fuel race tensions, should be in the back of one’s mind any time the media tries to bring up race.

Always remember that many outlets, if not most, are attempting to sell you something. This could be fury, fear, or desperation, but there is an attempted sale with every uttered word. Shit, even in the case of Mad Scribbler, I’m trying to sell you the idea that the application of critical thought is vital to existence, and that we (as a blog) won’t shy away from controversy for the sake of sponsorship.

Since BLM was founded in 2013, which Harvard credits to three individuals2 – Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garz, and Opal Tometi – it has become a focal point for outlets, politicians, talking heads, and water-cooler conversation for any race-centric discussions. The BLM website,, offers forth a coherent message as to why it exists as a decentralized organization, which Harvard’s included in its information aggregation on Civil Rights History.

‘Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.’2

Within this offered text, there’s little to discredit. White supremacy hasn’t, as far as I can tell, done jack shit for humanity aside from offering an opportunity for those with less than ten teeth to congregate. Typically seen, or at least publicly referenced by outlets, with literal Nazi flags and dressed in white bedroom sheets, it’s difficult to take anything they offer seriously.

Outside of these absurd antics, however, many of them can hold power that could undermine minorities in the workplace and community, based on race, gender, age, or sexual preference. We talked yesterday about how police officers and prosecutors tend to have a quid-pro-quo relationship that sweeps many killings under the rug. White supremacists can offer very much the same, using less visible powers to ensure that those who are ‘different’ are kept at bay.

Analyzing BLM further does offer some unique aspects.

A Misplaced Catalyst

The first issue with analyzing BLM as a movement is the very catalyst of its generation, being the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin accredited to Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. Being that George Zimmerman is provably Hispanic, from his father’s own admittance, the standing of an organization against white supremacy seems a bit bizarre.

If the organization is, as noted, stood up for the incident of Trayvon Martin, then it seems far more rational to be against neighborhood watches, or Hispanic men cruising neighborhoods with a gun and a penchant for murder. Not to say that white supremacists have a leg to stand on, whatsoever, but the two do frankly seem to be at odds.

The second part of the clause does permit a bit more logic, however, with an intent to ‘intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.’ This secondary clause appears to directly confront the seemingly murderous intent of George Zimmerman, but does invite speculation as to why white supremacy is the primary target when it does not match the catalyst of the organization.

The Black Lives Matter movement, however, is decentralized. The mission statement that is offered does not reflect everyone that has marched or campaigned for the civil rights movement. This brings up an interesting facet for the movement in the modern era.

What’s In a Name?

Perhaps, the greatest frustration of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement is that of their name. In either a case of brash foolery or in a strategically brilliant maneuver, the selection of the name ‘Black Lives Matter’ is interesting.

Statistically speaking, no lives matter to the police or the legal avenues for citizens – they murder indiscriminately, and the methods in place to ensure citizens receive justice is fundamentally flawed. The underlying current of the movement isn’t, from what the website notes and what Harvard has recorded, that black lives matter. It’s a silly case, mind you, to posit that a life matters – it’s akin to stating that the sun rises, or the sky is blue. It’s a fundamental fact that only clowns would attempt to argue.

It makes it difficult to say ‘I disagree with the Black Lives Matter movement’ as it can at once be perverted into ‘black lives don’t matter’ which are two separate discussions entirely. One is of sanity, and one is bat-shit crazy. It also makes the movement rather easy to get behind, presuming that the organization’s label stands for what it tries to invoke. This can bring about a massive decentralization that fundamentally wounds whatever the original founders were attempting to rectify.

This opens the metaphorical door for the ‘All Lives Matter’ crowd to stomp about. This pugnacious group is likely turned off to the title of the civil rights movement as though identifying a specified race that is attacked implies a lack of compassion for others. Clearly, it isn’t the case, but it invokes a turning-off for many that find themselves sitting on the fence.

Amusingly, many of these individuals that aren’t directly affected (and thus could easily be turned into allies for BLM) are grouped up with others that question the veracity of the movement with racist intent. This is an event that members of the black community are familiar with – where the actions of one individual member somehow reflects on every member of that race. Swaying allies that do not immediately leap into action is a vital aspect of many vital movements.

This is far more difficult than one would think, primarily due to how BLM is organized. Or…not organized.

The Headless Hydra

Black Lives Matter is a decentralized movement, meaning anyone can leap forward and claim to speak for the organization and seem credible. This discredits the organization consistently, although is also arguably vital in an era where the government can suddenly decide that your free speech isn’t as free as you’d like. Which, notably, they did to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In August of 2015, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was attempting to give a speech in Seattle about social security, when two protestors speaking on behalf of Black Lives Matter wrested control and refused to give it up5. The admittedly fascinating train wreck lasted for a while until Bernie Sanders just opted to leave while the activists screamed on the stage about how racist everyone was.

It was decidedly not a good look for the burgeoning movement. The decentralization of the movement hurts, in this aspect. When we look towards the movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where a centralized figurehead was able to guide the movement as a whole (and disparage bad actors) as a means of public relations. The central figurehead could uplift positive messages while tutoring those new to the movement.

BLM has no such centralization.

A non-profit organization called the Black Lives Matter Foundation has been slammed for receiving funds8 believed to be helping the BLM movement, which it isn’t a part of. The non-profit Black Lives Matter Foundation has offered almost all funds towards homeless services, but notably isn’t part of the overarching Black Lives Matter Global Network. They are two parts both fighting for money.

Multiple ‘Black Lives Matter’ organizations all sprung into existence once it was clear that there was money to be made, and they all vied for the hand-outs of corporations eager to appease demographics with a simple contribution or two (which we should all be familiar with after Corporate Pride Month). Chief among them is the self-crowned over-arching Black Lives Matter Global Network, which is registered specifically as a for-profit organization6, because what are equal rights without someone, somewhere, making bank from the consistent tragedies.

The tendrils of the civil rights movement all stem from a non-corporeal entity with its head in the right place, this much is irrefutable. Yet there are absolutely tendrils of the civil rights movement that offer more cautionary precedence. I believe, from my research into the BLM movement and corporate entity, that there are two sides to the civil rights position.

One is composed of the citizens, tired of being stepped upon and receiving the proverbial shorter end of the stick.

On the other side is one eagerly trying to use the tragedies of the black community as a stepping stone towards profit.

Discerning which is which seems nigh-on impossible, even after analyzing BLM in-depth.

Disproportionate Murder of Blacks by Police

One aspect brought up by self-proclaimed members of Black Lives Matter is the disproportionate number of killings by police force of members of the black community. The US Census places a population estimate of Blacks at 13.4% within the United States4 in 2019. For it to be proportional, we should then see police murdering blacks at a rate well below 25%.

This is not the case. Statista shows that blacks are murdered slightly above 50% of whites7, year after year. Statistically speaking, the data shows that there is a far greater correlation between race and likelihood of being murdered by the police force than there should be. This may be putting the cart before the horse, however.

I find it…crass, perhaps, that we’re noting that there is a disproportionate number of killings by the police of those within the black community. To place such a narrow scope over the far larger problem of policing within the United States seems disingenuous. How is it acceptable for any level of murder by the police force of unarmed civilians? How does one quantify an appropriate level of murder?

Like railing an anthropomorphic dog in the ass, it’s fucking Goofy.

In this area, there’s no denying that police forces, their training, and a stupid amount of corruption are to blame. To quantify that as only being a problem towards black communities is perilous, and attempts to only treat the symptoms of inadequate policing rather than the illness itself, which is a lack of training, oversight, and punitive assessments.

It is rather clear that blacks suffer from racism stemming from the police force. This would be the symptom of over-aggressive policing. Blacks ostensibly have a higher chance of being killed than other races by police forces – no level of murder should be considered acceptable.

The scope, mantra, and name of BLM stops this from becoming an actual discussion, however, making analyzing BLM a difficult prospect. Instead of focusing on the problematic existence of police forces as they stand today, they narrow the scope to a level where the original illness is eclipsed.

The Road Ahead

It’s all well and good to hem and haw at how a movement is progressing from the relative comfort and safety of our PCs and mobile devices. Analyzing BLM, as with everything, can reveal unique strengths, weaknesses, and general paradigms. Examining the roads currently taken by this civil rights movement will likely be well-trodden for the next civil rights movements, of which there are many ostensibly pending.

The underlying message of Black Lives Matter, that the unpenalized murder of black individuals has gone on long enough, is clear and accurate. However, the decentralized movement with no clear figurehead can result in many segments of the overall movement fighting symptoms of a broken system rather than the illness itself. Which ultimately could result in the movement spinning its wheels.

  1. Martin, M. (2012, April 5). In Trayvon Martin Case, Who’s Considered White? NPR.
  2. A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States: The Black Lives Matter Movement. HUSL Library. (n.d.).
  3. Baker, G. (2020, May 15). The Often Distorted Reality of Hate Crime in America. The Wall Street Journal.
  4. U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.) Quick Facts – United States
  5. Helsel, P. (2015, August 9). ‘Black Lives Matter’ Activists Disrupt Bernie Sanders Speech.
  6. Vincent, I. (2020, August 15). Black Lives Matter groups are multiplying – and competing for donations. New York Post.
  7. People shot to death by U.S. police, by race 2021. Statista. (2021, June 1).
  8. NBC New York. (2020, July 7). NY Attorney General Orders Black Lives Matter Foundation to Stop Soliciting Donations. NBC New York.
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