When it first started in America, Black Lives Matter had the potential to be a good cause that championed equality and would help to relieve any repugnant racial tensions left over from the past. However, it came to pass that Black Lives Matter was going to exist to provide deeper justification for racial prejudices in the minds of many and has instead been seemingly counter-productive to their original aims and even contradictory to their name in itself. If you follow the politics of protest in the US then you’d probably agree that racial divisions are at a 21st century high; arguably because of the violent and disruptive actions of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Here in Britain, we don’t have any of the issues that Black Lives Matter claims to stand against. We don’t have disproportionate levels of inequality between black people and white people, we don’t have an issue with police targeting black people because of the colour of their skin and we certainly don’t have an issue with black people being systematically oppressed by ‘the white establishment’. So when a handful of protestors blocked off the roads into Heathrow and Birmingham airport on Friday the 5th August, held signs with phrases like ‘White silence is violence’ and received praise from the National Union of Students for ‘bravely’ blocking the M4, you have to wonder if there is actually more to it than meets the eye.
Malia Bouattia, the president of the National Union of Students at least attempted to explain why Black Lives Matter wants to extend its ugly hatred into Britain. “As long as Black communities aren’t free to live, breathe and move, without the fear of intimidation, violence, or death at the hands of the state, we will continue to disrupt the status quo and ensure our voices are heard”, she claimed on that same Friday after coming out in support of the protestors. Just what she means by this however, is completely unsolvable with logic as no sane person would agree that black communities in modern Britain are intimidated and threatened systematically by the state.
What we’ve seen from the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US has allowed us in Britain to observe from an epistemic distance and see the problems BLM has caused for relationships between; A) White communities and black communities, B) Black communities and law enforcement.
Had Black Lives Matter not existed in America, it’s hard to imagine that racial tensions would have escalated at the rate they have done over the past few years. No one would have expected a wedge to be driven between the black community and the rest of America had Black Lives Matter not insisted for there to be one. In my view they have single-handedly caused the biggest divide in racial beliefs since the original Black Panthers or the Ku-Klux-Klan in earlier years. White supremacists unfortunately may now feel they’re justified in their beliefs when they see events like the Ferguson Unrest or the violent protests in Baltimore caused by Black Lives Matter driving white and black communities apart. In turn black supremacists like the New Black Panther Party may also attempt to believe that they’re justified when they see the wedge driven between law enforcement and black communities by the Black Lives Matter movement.
This divide in America might not have been so prominent before, but it certainly exists now and although it wasn’t Black Lives Matter who laid the foundations for this mess; they have definitely made it worse. Ironically they’re also the ones who benefit the most from it by fuelling the divisions which they need to justify their existence. This is what I imagine they hope to achieve in the UK. Where we don’t have a divide in race, they want to create one. Where we don’t have a need for Black Lives Matter to exist in the UK, they need to create one to justify their own existence.
It might seem an almost pointless exercise but the people who head these movements want to create divide, perhaps to fill their own ideological goals or just to feed their egos. Whatever the reason for them wanting to bring their division to our country, it can’t be allowed to happen. I imagine it won’t pick up in quite the same way it did in the US but if it does give enough alienated individuals a voice then we could see race and skin colour becoming a mainstream topic again which will only end in disaster.