By Ben Pensant
I’m sure I wasn’t the only impartial observer who was green with envy last month as protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina vented their anger at the killing of yet another black man by looting shops, setting fire to cars and killing yet another black man. Of course, as 26 year old Justin Carr was shot during the second night of rioting by a fellow demonstrator his death provoked far less outrage than the police shooting of Keith Scott which inspired the peaceful protest in the first place. In fact, the courageous leaders of ant-racist/pro-segregation movement Black Lives Matter are so dedicated to saving the lives of young black men they have a policy of ignoring young black men who aren’t killed by the police. So much so that, despite these deaths happening far more frequently, they are disregarded with the same evasive skill deployed by the Stop The War Coalition when asked to condemn Russia for bombing the shit out of Aleppo.
Which is a shame. Not because the life of a young black man killed by another young black man is worth as much as the life of a young black criminal killed by a cop – that would be absurd. No, the reason Carr’s death is worth remembering has nothing whatsoever to do with the travesty of a 26 year old murdered while attending a supposedly peaceful protest. Because Carr took one for the team. Or, in the words of his own mother, ‘he died for a cause’. What this cause is or how it was furthered by another black man dying is irrelevant, as is the fact that the real reason he died is because BLM protests tend to attract people who carry guns and like shooting people. But only people who deserve it, obviously, as anyone whose heard those delightful ditties ‘Pigs In A Blanket’ and ‘What Do We Want? Dead Cops’ will agree.
No, recognition from BLM is exclusively reserved for that smaller group of unarmed law-abiding citizens killed by trigger-happy police officers. Or the larger number of young black men killed while committing a crime or in possession of a firearm. Luckily BLM are so opposed to labelling blacks as criminals they deliberately refuse to differentiate between black citizens and black criminals. The politics of identity has deemed them all the same and should a member of either demographic die at the hands of a police officer he or she is instantly labelled a victim of an overtly racist society that pays white cops to spend their evenings eating doughnuts, polishing their sirens and casually shooting black men during their coffee break. Of course, should any black man – criminal or otherwise – be shot by another black man the reaction is somewhat different; BLM simply pretend it didn’t happen, despite the fact it happens considerably more often. It’s highly impressive that a group so intrinsically tied to the horrors of the past are so adept at forgetting stuff that occurs with depressing regularity.
Indeed, it’s testament to how dedicated to stopping the tide of murder this movement is that they have no interest whatsoever in acknowledging the many socio-economic factors that lead to disproportionately large numbers of young black men turning to crime and killing each other. The only black lives that ‘matter’ are those snuffed out due to systemic racism and white privilege and should any black person be needlessly shot dead by another black person while attending a demo – such as Justin Carr – or taking an afternoon stroll with their baby – like Nykea Aldridge – then the silence from BLM and their supporters is deafening. Almost as deafening, in fact, as the silence from Jeremy Corbyn’s cheerleaders when asked how his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism squares up with his history of defending anti-Semitic clerics like Raed Salah and Stephen Sizer.
(The knowledgeable among you – ie the handful of Corbyn supporters who had heard of him before June 2015 – will have noticed that one of those is a Muslim while the other is an Anglican. Which proves that our Dear Leader is just as dedicated to fairness when enabling religious hate-preachers as he is when politely declining seats on ram-packed trains).
So when black policeman Officer Jay Stalien takes to Facebook to talk about his experiences working in Baltimore, and has the gall to use facts and evidence to point out that the tragedy of young black men turning to crime and killing each other in greater numbers than the police ever could is a much bigger issue than the much-publicised but statistically rare instances of unarmed black men getting killed by the police, we owe it to ourselves as liberals to ignore him. As most of the media in this country did, which is why the majority of people reading this won’t have a clue who he is. And quite right too. We can’t allow the narrative to be controlled by black people – black cops, no less – who’ve seen communities destroyed by crime and might just know what they’re talking about. Especially ones who see the world as it is rather than how middle-class liberals would like it to be.
Far better to let regressive feminists like Lindy West tell black people what they should think by utilising hysteria, ignorance and ominous phrases like ‘state sanctioned killings’. Indeed, after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for The Star Spangled Banner in August, West didn’t merely defend his protest; she went one better by slamming the pre-match tradition as ‘a ritual celebrating a government that summarily executes men like him in the streets’. She understandably provides no evidence that successful NFL players are being routinely shot dead without trial at the behest of The White House, which makes sense as there isn’t any. But it’s nice to see the respect West shows Kaepernick by referring to people who are invariably armed criminals as being ‘just like him’, a professional sportsman.
Similarly, Rebecca Carroll is another Guardian columnist who refuses to let busy-bodies like Stalien derail the narrative with inconvenient truths. Referencing Claudia Rankine – the well-respected academic and recent recipient of the Macarthur Fellowship ‘Genius Grant’ – she wrote of black Americans last month: ‘We matter enough to sell out concert stadiums and win prestigious awards touting our intellectual prowess…But we don’t matter enough to keep us from being murdered by police’. Much like West, Carroll strikes a blow against those who generalise all blacks as criminals by using the blanket terms ‘we’ and ‘us’ to inadvertently generalise all blacks as criminals. She then quotes Rankine’s words about ‘trying to change the discourse of black people being equated with criminality and murder’ despite the fact that in the same article Carroll equates black people with criminality and murder. Indeed, neither she nor Lindy West ever refer to criminals from other US demographics who also have a habit of being shot by the police, such as young white men, twice as many of whom were shot by police than blacks in 2015. They wisely swerve statistics such as this in the same manner they avoid the sad fact that young black men commit a disproportionately high number of violent crimes in the US. So disproportionately high that the number of black men shot by police is actually remarkably low under the circumstances, certainly in comparison to their criminal counterparts in the white community. Because as we all know, the ideology espoused by Carroll, West and Black Lives Matter is not intended to help black communities by tackling these problems head on. The left lost interest in empowerment and self-determination years ago; nowadays it’s entitlement and victimhood all the way, and addressing the real issues is to be discouraged at all costs.
Drugs, poverty, unemployment, gun culture, lack of education & role models; these are issues that can only be solved if you ignore them and look for someone else to blame. Preferably someone with a badge, a gun and a car with a flashy light on top. Even discussing the very real effects of historical injustices inflicted upon black people over hundreds of years is to be discouraged, as is the damage done to their communities by Democrats and Republicans at all levels of government. Because the last thing us liberals want to do is to offer clues or hard evidence as to why many black communities are blighted with crime. The agenda has decreed that racist cops are going around randomly killing black people of all walks of life because Washington, the CIA, the Zionists and the Illuminati told them to and we’re bloody well sticking to it.
No, it’s far easier for journalists, activists, rich pop stars and deluded actors to spin an official line no matter how counterproductive and harmful it is to the communities they’re supposed to be protecting. Because the day social justice warriors start treating black people as an autonomous group of diverse individuals with their own minds – as opposed to a homogenous bloc defined entirely by their skin colour – is the day we might as well give up and vote for Trump. So god bless Hillary Clinton for her dedication to peace, equality and securing black votes by cynically indulging and enabling Black Lives Matter and their quasi-Stalinist agenda at every turn. I’m sure every American is proud as punch to know that voting for such an honest, down-to-earth individual with a flawless record for truth and transparency is the only way they can ensure that the 45th President of the USA isn’t a deranged, tax-avoiding bully with a penchant for lying, praising dictators and Tweeting about sex tapes at four o’clock in the morning.
And I’m certain every black American is thrilled that Hillary sees them as so pivotal to her campaign she’ll even utilise an illiberal militant movement she would ordinarily avoid like the plague in order to win their support in November. My, it’s almost as if she senses that the neglect and disdain with which her party, the GOP and the rest of the political establishment have treated huge swathes of the American public is about to bite them on the arse. An arse which will be bruised and bloodied beyond recognition should a politically illiterate, ageing playboy with a mouth like an orange balloon knot be allowed to sink his teeth into it.
But this is of little interest to BLM. Hillary’s endorsement keeps the useful idiots on side and should Trump win no-one is going to complain about a free pass to object to the violence poisoning America by waving banners, assaulting journalists and shooting innocent people. Indeed, Hillary is so keen to go to the wall for BLM she’s made a clear choice to forgo the two minutes of mouse-clicking needed to access the reams of hard evidence that casts serious doubt on BLM’s claims and ideology. Because as all good regressive leftists know, to show solidarity with a group you have to ignore all the bad stuff. Then when the bad stuff becomes too big to ignore you simply claim it’s not true. Then when it’s proven to be demonstrably factual you decide that actually the bad stuff isn’t that bad after all, accuse your opponent of racism then abandon the debate to wallow in the smug glow of victory. It’s a tactic that works a treat for Corbyn supporters commenting below Guardian articles on his proven support for Hamas. And the lovely thing is it requires little to no knowledge on any given topic, which is handy for all those die-hard Momentum members who think Hezbollah are social workers and Israel invented Sharia Law.
Of course, in this multi-media world it’s important to remember video evidence of something does not necessarily mean that what is on the video actually happened. Unless of course that video appears to show an unarmed black man being shot by police purely because he was black in which case that is ALWAYS what happened. Even in those cases where it looks suspiciously like the unfortunate black man was actually shot because he was in the process of committing a crime, resisting arrest or waving a gun around. Because as all intelligent liberals know the full story is often far more complex than what we see before our eyes.
Take the recent video of a teenage boy in Romford being assaulted by a gang of bullies. Like most decent people my initial reaction was one of horror, anger and sadness. Yet on further inspection I noticed that one of the assailants was black which immediately set my liberal alarm bells ringing; how quick had I been to condemn these thugs without looking at the bigger picture? For all I knew this young black boy could have been the victim of racist abuse. At this point I realised the supposed victim was also clad in a hoodie and holding a mobile phone. So as well as potential racist abuse it became disturbingly clear that something much darker was also at play; white privilege and cultural appropriation. Shudder.
While no-one deserves to be punched in the face twice and kicked while lying on the ground concussed, you have to wonder if this would have happened at all if the ‘victim’ hadn’t flaunted his white privilege by brandishing a Samsung. And as for wearing a fashion item which everyone knows is historically associated with black youths? Well, is it any wonder this lad ended up in hospital? As principled liberals like George Galloway and Laurie Penny implied at the time of the Charlie Hebdo massacre: if you keep kicking the hornet’s nest you can’t complain when you get stung. And lo and behold, the ‘bullies’ have now been arrested though needless to say the white victim managed to avoid being charged with a hate crime. Surprise, surprise. So a young man from an oppressed minority ends up in jail and for what? So the parents of a child assaulted for no reason can get their pound of flesh despite the fact it was their little cherub’s micro-aggressions that provoked the ‘crime’ in the first place. Sickening.
Ditto the similar recent video of an elderly homeless man knocked to the ground by a flying kick from a young gentleman on a London street. As soon as I noticed the young man was black I knew there was more to this than met the eye. And sure enough, the ‘innocent’ homeless man can clearly be seen laughing just before his malnourished frame is booted out of shot to much off-camera hilarity. Who’s to say he wasn’t chuckling at fond memories of Love Thy Neighbour and The Black & White Minstrel Show? How do we know his mirth wasn’t inspired by casually reminiscing about the Stephen Lawrence murder? What if the presence of these law-abiding young black men had stirred ‘hilarious’ recollections of the slave trade and Apartheid-era South Africa? The truth is we don’t know. But these explanations are easily more convincing than the MSM narrative that a nasty little thug who thinks it’s funny to assault people older, weaker and poorer than him is a nasty little thug no matter what colour he is. Yeah, right.
Because anyone can see that if this tramp hadn’t shoved his white privilege in this oppressed young man’s face none of this would have happened. He could have gone by quietly and spent the night sleeping in a bin with a belly full of pigeon feet rather than lying in a heap on the pavement with shattered ribs. We have no way of knowing he wasn’t asking for it and frankly, it’s not our job to treat people of colour as equals and hold them to the same standard as everyone else. As middle-class BLM activist and YouTube sensation Tre Melvin brilliantly put it last month: ‘A homeless, poor white male still has more privilege than I will ever have, regardless of the money that I make’. Couldn’t agree more Tre, and the sad fact is that once this flea-ridden tramp recovers from his ‘ordeal’ he’ll be free to return to his imperialist ways, no doubt getting his beard woven into dreadlocks just to rub it in. Meanwhile the poor sod who nearly killed him to amuse his friends spends his golden years in jail; another victim of the systemic racism that infests this nightmarish post-Brexit Britain we have the nerve to call ‘Great’.
All of which begs the question: where is our spirit of protest? Where is our principled opposition to the neo-liberal nightmare? Where is our insanely entitled hate group whose recently published List Of Demands is an uncompromising plea for segregation and special treatment that reads like a Marxist manifesto written by a toddler who’s just dropped a Cornetto? Well, I may just have some answers. For there are encouraging signs that the UK may have got its protest mojo back too, inspired by BLM demos across the pond and the principled scenes of violence and looting that accompany them. For while it would be fantastic if more black men were shot dead by police in Britain, the sad fact is due to there being much less crime and far fewer guns over here we don’t have quite as many excuses to riot and smash up property. However, that hasn’t stopped some exciting new movements taking the agit-bull by the horns. Trust me, something is stirring on the British left and in the coming weeks I will explore this bold new future.
Buckle up, comrades.