Why the Black Lives Matter Movement has Failed
It's not too early to call BLM a failure
As someone who attended Tea Party rallies, spoke at them and did some work for one of the national Tea Party groups, it is PAINFUL to note that the movement failed. Of course, many people might deny that. After all, it certainly brought a lot of new people into the Republican Party, helped elect more grassroots conservatives, and it’s even fair to say that the populist shift it created in the GOP helped lead to Donald Trump’s presidency.
However, what was the ultimate goal of the Tea Party groups? Since it was a leaderless group, there was never an explicit one offered, but the closest thing to it would have to be something like, “We need small government, fiscal responsibility, and to adhere to the Constitution.” So, how did that work out? Not so well, right? If anything, we’ve gotten much worse as a nation in all of those areas, and even Trump, who was clearly the candidate most die-hard Tea Partiers supported, did pretty much nothing of significance to reel the country back on those fronts. In other words, the Tea Party made a big splash, but other than helping a handful of people at the top of the national groups get rich, it didn’t make a lasting impact.
When I look at the Black Lives Matter movement, I see many of the same failures of the Tea Party boiling up in different forms. Since I had an unusually clear view of the Tea Party’s death, it’s easy enough to identify another failed movement when I see it. In fact, if anything, you could make a case that Black Lives Matter is turning out to be EVEN LESS successful than the Tea Party.
At first glance, that might seem ludicrous. After all, the mainstream media and social media monopolies are 100% on their side. BLM inspired athletes across America to disrespect the flag. Democrats still don’t want to be seen as defying them. Corporations have funneled massive amounts of money into their coffers.
Doesn’t that mean they’re winning?
The first question to ask on that front is, “What does BLM want?” Like the Tea Party, they’re a leaderless group, but the closest thing to a demand we’ve seen from people affiliated with Black Lives Matter is, “defund the police.” Since a number of liberal cities acceded to that demand and cut funding to the cops, some people might call that a win for BLM, but is it? After all, that policy has failed disastrously everywhere it has been tried and most of those same cities that bowed to BLM in 2020 are now going in the opposite direction:
Social justice movements swept through the U.S. in 2020 and calls for defunding police came along with them. Leaders of the country's largest cities listened, and police budgets were cut in many places.
A year later, however, those budgets have inched back up, and early indications are that 2022 could see even more funding for police departments across the country.
"I think some civic leaders were surprised at the number of people who weren't really on board with that plan," Wesley Skogan said of the movement to defund police. Skogan holds joint appointments in Northwestern University's Political Science Department and the University's Institute for Policy Research. He's also on an advisory panel for the Chicago Police Department's community policing program.
Skogan noted to Newsweek how a "huge violent crime spike" hit soon after many people called for police reform that included talk of laying off law enforcement officers. Skogan said such factors "made it a really tough political environment to talk about cutting back the number of police."
When you consider that the record-breaking riots that followed Black Lives Matter all over the country did 2 billion dollars worth of damage to liberal cities that largely SUPPORTED BLM, the whole movement looks like even more of a disaster. Ultimately, the Tea Party movement may have come up short, but at least it didn’t actually decimate the very people it was trying to represent.
However, you may say, “What about BLM’s disrespect of the flag? That got a lot of attention, right?” Unquestionably it did. In one sense, it was one of the most brilliant protest tactics of all time, not just because it created so much buzz, but because the right people loved it and the right people hated it. The very fact that conservatives got so angry at people like Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe made them rock stars on the Left.
On the other hand, if the goal was actually to accomplish anything, kneeling was one of the stupidest protest tactics of all time because it turned half the country against the group and created a years-long battle over the TACTIC, not the cause. After all, there is literally (to the best of my knowledge anyway) no one saying black lives don’t matter and there were large numbers of conservatives and independents that could have conceivably been won over to more moderate reforms. Instead, BLM turned all those people off and went all the way to crazy town by essentially trying to force everyone to choose between them and the police. Sure, there are still narcissistic athletes kneeling, but are they trying to accomplish anything (if so, what is it supposed to be?) or just trying to shine a spotlight on themselves? If the tactic had been literally flashing their asses at the crowd, the exact same athletes would have been doing it for the exact same reason, none of which have anything at all to do with “black lives.” In some cases, black bank accounts maybe, but not “black lives.”
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