‘Black Lives Matter is a Communist Movement’ — or so we hear! Trump and the Right’s Alarming Tactic
From Australia to the United States, we are hearing echoes of the statement ‘Black Lives Matter is a Communist Movement.’ This article dissects right-wing media portrayal of Liberals and Democrats as Communists.
“This belief in a broad liberal conspiracy is standard in the highest echelons of the conservative establishment and right-wing media.”DAVID A. WALSH, HOW THE RIGHT CONVINCES ITSELF THAT LIBERALS ARE EVIL, JULY/AUGUST 2018
The information right-wing media sources have provided in the past week regarding BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors is not particularly revelatory since it dates back to five years ago. This is part of an issue with right-wing media in America, which spread beliefs like: racism does not exist today, Liberals are responsible for racism, the creation of the Ku Klux Klan and slavery. They do this, all the while absolving themselves from any wrong, by convincing themselves that Liberals are evil. The statement, ‘Black Lives Matter a Communist Movement’ has sent Conservatives into hysterical sharing-frenzy to portray the Black Lives Matter slogan and protesters in the same manner President Trump wants to declare Antifa a terrorist group. This is apart of the Conservative playbook (Here’s the Conservative Playbook for Tearing Down Black Lives Matter).
I must first say to first time viewers, I am not a Socialist or Marxist, nor do I belong to the “Black Left” or “Black cultural front.” Although, as said several times, I have in the past spent time among Socialists and Communists out of curiosity and invitation; and to learn of repressed history and forgotten conversations, concerning the history and roots of the radical Black Left and its civil rights activist campaigns. These missing pieces in our historical perspective are merely treated by the Conservative understanding’s of history, as a means to convince the American public of the belief in a broad liberal conspiracy (see David A. Walsh, How the Right Wing Convinces Itself That Liberals Are Evil). We are told that a third position on the civil rights movement within Conservatism is that it was a communist plot (Conservatism and Civil Rights). It no longer seems to be a third position, but the main tactic of the Trump Republicans. Though the argument is in regards to the BLM co-founders communist leanings a fact, the ulterior motives for resorting to this tactic is typical and as dangerous as the violent looters.
As Can Conservatives Write Good U.S. History explains:
“Conservative scholars who try to make sense of U.S. history face two daunting challenges. The first is their marginality in the profession itself. They want to persuade readers that the nation’s past supports their convictions about the present. But liberal and left-wing scholars have dominated the field for decades; they write nearly all the respected monographs (…). Then there is the Trump factor. The racist would-be tyrant with the adoring right-wing base clearly knows little and cares less about what actually happened in the America he imagines was so great. Meanwhile, the hard-right, pro-Trump writers of history who attract a mass audience peddle crude propaganda riddled with falsehoods.”
The Left, Mary Helen Washington argued in her book The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s, was “the most racially integrated movement of the period,” and the Communist Party was the only political party to take a formal position “against racial discrimination and to devote itself to anti-discrimination campaigns” (The Communist Roots of the “Black Cultural Front,” Issue no. 104). Many Blacks in America gravitated to Marxism as a means; but for some however, it became the means and the end. This is the time I would separate our situation from the material and oppressed conditions of the people in the hypothetical world of The Man in the High Castle. Although, it is precisely that hypothetical world, the revolutionaries’ believe is to come, and are so focused on preventing with great urgency.
John Sandeman on reactions to Black Lives Matter protests in Australia stated, that “many traditional Marxists, or former Marxists, found ways to link their old dogmas about the working class and revolution with wider ideas of freedom (…) in particular sexual freedom. Some also could link in with new social movements such as feminism’s second wave. And more recently, causes such as Black Lives Matter.”
The term “Cultural Marxism” and “critical theory” have become used again in visceral rejection of the Black Lives Matter movement, and is seen as a badge of conservatism. Rod Dreher, in his book The Benedict Option describes our time as heading into a coming dark age, and urges Christians to prepare and develop a thicker culture. Rod Dreher, borrowing from a Marxist sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman, the term “liquid modernity,” similarly describes critical theory as unstable, with the nature of this outlook and movement to rapidly change, and exclude once overlapping or allied movements and identities.
Martyn Iles of the Australian Christian Lobby in response to criticisms that his Facebook comments about Black Lives Matter discounted the experiences of racial injustice, rebutted that he had been committed in his life to racial equality. In a similar denunciation as Matt Gaetz in the U.S., Martyn Iles wrote: “I condemn Black Lives Matter because they are a Marxist movement” (June 8). “Marxism is anti-Christ. They substitute sin with power. They substitute the individual with the tribe, imputing guilt, innocence, and judgement to collective groups, not responsible people.”
Thus, the main argument we have seen of the Conservative against the protests in general, is centered on violence and looting, the sponsors (or donors), and connections of Marxist ideologues to the Black Lives Matter movement. John Sandeman in his article, argues, that Christians ought to avoid dividing into political tribes, explaining that the very term Black Lives Matter originated on Twitter (2013) as a hashtag, created by three black women in response to the acquittal of the shooter who killed Trayvon Martin.
“Ask a family protesting the death in custody of a relative whether they subscribe to a complex leftist manifesto – and they are likely to say they just want police to stop killing black people. When a social movement goes mainstream – and Christians joining it is often a sign of this – then the “vanguard” movements lose control. The first large BLM demonstration in Sydney this year was actually initiated by a grouplet called the Australian Communist Party, which probably rents telephone boxes for their AGM. They were quickly outnumbered by a broader movement. So, yes, there is a left. It brings with it some unpleasant characteristics – for example a “cancel culture” that is just a bit, well, Stalinist. For example, the term “Cultural Marxism” was banned from Wikipedia in 2014. It also brings with it insight into real injustices in this world. But it does not own those causes” (John Sandeman, Why People Talk of “Cultural Marxism,” when Discussing Black Lives Matter, June 11, 2020).
Perhaps, saying Black Lives Matter is a Communist movement is fallacious, as it is said to deliberately misguide and de-legitimize all protest activity, as is often done from the comforting position of the reactionary. Congressman Matt Gaetz know exactly what he is doing when equating Black Lives Matter with Communism.
Although, Matt Gaetz may be in a sense correct, I had to be critical of it as well, because there is another ulterior motive to equating Black Lives Matter with Communism and Anarchism, which is to draw a link to domestic terrorism as they are doing with Antifa. This is dangerous, given the fact, the protesters have been all defined as un-American violent looters and radical Leftists trying to seize control of the country, or destroy it. This has led Conservatives to defend the militarized law enforcement and authoritarian policies that were being first advocated to deal with the protesters and looters.
This is the main strategy of Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, as was admitted last year to cement in the minds of the American public the synonymy of Democrats to Communism.
As we have gotten into the article keep in mind, the limitations of Blacks for early civil rights action. The tactic as stated in Classic Red-Scare American Propaganda 1960s: “Revolution Underway” (Black Communist Revolutionaries), of equating the civil rights movement to Communism is old, as they tried this with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All revolutionary action was equated with Communist infiltration and insurrection. As this picture demonstrates the old tactic:
In regards to this though, I have unlike others, favored Democratic nominee, Joe Biden’s choice to remain more silent, patient and observant than rushed in the weeks leading up to his first press conference in 89 days yesterday (July 1, 2020). As I will be voting for him, I still feel I must remain that lone voice at the time, bringing attention to things that I am concerned about. As I regard the left-progressives as uncontrollable and incredibly dogmatic. I never criticize the Left and the Right to appear in a middle-position. If one is honest in their investigation, they’d be concerned about things said and done by both sides. In this way, The American Minervan serves a different function from that of a representative or advocacy group of a political party.
However, let us continue with the objective to explain why many are echoing the statement, ‘Black Lives Matter is a Communist Movement.’
“Those in positions of authority are scrambling to show they are addressing endemic racism, and in the commercial sphere, not ending up on the wrong side of the debate and risking Twitter storms and boycotts.”ALEXANDRA PHILLIPS, MAKE NO MISTAKE — BLM IS A RADICAL NEO-MARXIST POLITICAL MOVEMENT
To the dismay of John Sandeman, Black Lives Matter is no more a mere hashtag. It is an organization. For example, Hawk Newsome, President of Greater New York Black Lives Matter said, that if the Black Lives Matter movement fails to achieve meaningful change during the nationwide protests over George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police officers, it will “burn down this system” (Mark Moore, BLM leader: If change doesn’t happen, then ‘we will burn down this system’). “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation,” Hawk Newsome said during a Fox News interview Wednesday evening on “The Story” with Martha MacCallum.
Referring to BLM co-founder Alicia Garza, in 2015, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors who is a protégé of Eric Mann, former agitator of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization stated in a video, that “The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers.” “We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk.”
In light of the information, that Black Lives Matter fundraising was handled by group with convicted terrorist on its board, similar strong arguments against John Sandeman’s defense is made by Alexandra Phillip in her article, “Make no mistake – BLM is a radical neo-Marxist political movement” (June 12, 2020).
“In a world where nothing is exempt from moral judgment, being on trend means signing up to radical political movements.
That is what Black Lives Matter is. Don’t take my word for it. Take theirs. The form of words that appears on most online posts connected to the group riffs on ‘the black radical tradition’ which counts among its past contributors the Black Panther Movement and Malcolm X. BLM happily self-identifies as a neo-Marxist movement with various far left objectives, including defunding the police (an evolution of the Panther position of public open-carry to control the police), to dismantling capitalism and the patriarchal system, disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure, seeking reparations from slavery to redistribute wealth and via various offshoot appeals, to raise money to bail black prisoners awaiting trial. The notion of seizing control of the apportionment of capital, dismantling the frameworks of society and neutralising and undermining law enforcement are not just Marxist, but anarchic. (….)
With enormous sums of money flooding in – BLM had already received over $100 million from the Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy among others – and many written aims straight from the Communist copybook, there is surely reason for concern. Black Lives Matter is a somewhat amorphous and decentralised movement, allowing international chapters to set up under their banner. Not having a structure, a figurehead or centralised financial control means there is absolutely no accountability. Nobody to call for an end to violence, while providing a moral shield behind which perpetrators of crime can feel emboldened.
But decentralisation does not mean disorganisation. Even with a captive audience under lockdown filled with frustration, sparking a range of parallel protests across the West still demands highly skilled choreography. The sort of operation that requires thousands of avatars to flood social media platforms with calls to action, that can target and penetrate entire demographics simultaneously across a range of countries. That is simply not possible by a group of well meaning activists, however romantic about a cause you may wish to be. It can be achieved using extremely high level, sensitive intelligence equipment of the kind deep state operatives have access to” (Alexandra Phillip’s article, “Make no mistake – BLM is a radical neo-Marxist political movement,” June 12, 2020).
Like what Alexandra Phillip points to in the article, former FBI Counterterrorism Director Terry Turchie says the Black Lives Matter movement “is all too familiar” to the Weather Underground and the Black Panther Party groups of the 1960s and 1970s. Terry Turchie in an interview titled Black Lives Matter wants to light the US ‘on fire’ on Sky News Australia (June 13, 2020) stated, that “No one has read what Black Lives Matter has written as far as their plan, but it bears a great similarity to what the Black Panther Party was saying back then.” “The Black Panther Party was a Marxist Maoist Leninist organisation and that came from Huey Newton, one of the co-founders, who said we’re standing for nothing more than the total transformation of the United States government.” He went on to explain that “they wanted to take the tension that already existed in black communities and exacerbate it where they can (…) To take those situations where there is a tinderbox and light the country on fire.” “Today we’re seeing the third revolution and they think they can make this happen. (…) The only thing that is different are the names of the groups.”
What do I make of all this? With such information at hand, this further complicates the genuine need for civil justice advocacy about the current issues with so many people with varying agendas. It has also sadly, become another opportunity for Conservatives to avoid self-reflection, since they are busy with hammering the point across social media. In the meantime, Conservatives are claiming the hill, by portraying themselves as protectors of the nation.
In the meantime, rather than nudge us toward hysteria and authoritarian undertones like the right-wing media and our President, I urge others to read more articles and papers explaining the relationship of the NAACP and Black movements to Communism, like When the Harlem Renaissance (and Claude McKay) went to Communist Moscow or this paper of Fred Carroll of Kennesaw State University, From Communism to Black Power: The Atlanta Daily World’s Conservative Framing of Civil Rights Radicalism.
This history reflects what lacks in those who were unwilling or too slow to fight for and aid the cause of Blacks for liberation, anti-racism, justice and civil rights. This history reflects what lacks in the expression and inability of the Republicans so-called or Conservatives to win over Blacks. Instead, they accuse us collectively of being incapacitated by a ‘victim mentality,’ and so ignorant as to be merely manipulated or not intelligent enough to see, that in Conservatism alone lies the hope for Blacks in America to realize their dreams and potential. History shows us differently the many journeys we have taken in America in those hopes, and have embraced them all almost as apart of our story, as opposed to this disingenuous effort on the part of the Right and Trump Republicans to use Blacks to condescend to other Blacks through their tired old propaganda. That the co-founders of BLM are socialists, or communists thus matters not to us.
This article has been edited from its original.