On my understanding of BLM

I don’t even know where to begin. I went to a lot of sites and weeded through a lot of stuff to learn about claims against Black Lives Matter. 

Not to call anyone out – but this was posted on my Facebook page last night in response to my last blog yesterday “On Facts vs Beliefs”, which by the way had nothing to to with BLM.

“have you actually visited their website? Do you know they admit that their goal is to eliminate the nuclear family? Do you think it’s racist & presumptuous that they admittedly and blatantly target affluent neighborhoods? As if they assume black people cant live there & also that all white people are racist. Do you know how much money they made last year? Do you know what they do with the money they receive? Do you think it’s a promotion of violence when their flyers portray the “fist of black power” with flames & fire in the background? Do you know that one of their leaders said that looting is fine because we as a nation owe black people because of years of slavery? Do you realize that they automatically hate and harass black people who do not support their cause or agree with them? These are the makings of a CULT. Can you recognize how the racial divide in this country has increased since the inception of BLM?”

Below is what I pulled out after scouring the site for the mission and what they claim to be about. I don’t see anything about anti-nuclear family unless you want to see it that way. https://blacklivesmatter.com/

·       We are expansive. We are a collective of liberators who believe in an inclusive and spacious movement. We also believe that in order to win and bring as many people with us along the way, we must move beyond the narrow nationalism that is all too prevalent in Black communities. We must ensure we are building a movement that brings all of us to the front.

·       We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.

·       We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.

·       We affirm our humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

·       The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.

·       The Black Lives Matter Global Network is as powerful as it is because of our membership, our partners, our supporters, our staff, and you. Our continued commitment to liberation for all Black people means we are continuing the work of our ancestors and fighting for our collective freedom because it is our duty.

·       Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.

·       We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.

·       We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.

·       We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.

·       We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.

·       We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world.

·       We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.

·       We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

·       We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

·       We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

·       We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

·       We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

·       We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

For me from reading their other bullet points above and below, and all throughout their site, I take that as:

§  Women and other traditionally silenced people can be on their own and not need to be in an abusive relationship to survive or raise a child because we support one another.

§  Other people will help to raise and watch your child in this ideal community so you can participate in social justice work. 

§  Anyone on the LGBT spectrum shouldn’t feel they need to prescribe to a traditional role or risk not getting the support from the community they need to thrive and raise a child. 

·       We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

·       We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.

·       We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.



I also learned a lot of people are upset about the Now we Transform slogan (below)  

I actually see as a powerful slogan. Transformation is what makes societies better. I see this and the nuclear family line almost like looking at one of the optical illusion pictures. Such as this one below of the old lady and young lady. Most people really do only see one thing until someone asks them to see the other side. Only then can you realize there is another way to look at it, and once you see it, it’s difficult to ‘unsee’ it.  I would have never looked at that Slogan or the line about the nuclear family as something bad. Pulled out on its own it looks one way. But in context it is something really supportive and inclusive of all people – IMHO.

Lastly the original 3 female founders who created the name did begin the movement over police brutality, but it was to take a stand about injustice against blacks in general- pointing to police brutality as one of the major symptoms. The founders have been associated with Marxism but if you read about why & how, it’s meant for a purpose of equality and not that they are pushing for communism. What I have understood it to mean from watching a few videos is that they are educated about another way to fund problematic social issues. They aren’t trying to make American socialist or communist.

This has lead to the defund the police portion that I think most people are associating with currently (although I could be wrong). I’ve said in other posts on other people’s pages many times that I don’t know anyone who thinks this is a good idea, BUT what I read today is that BLM and the police defunding movement are only talking about 5% of the money that goes to the police. 

Before drumming up all the reasons this won’t work and how much more they need – I’d like to bring up the Post Office. 

I actually feel the post office could do with a 5% cut. I am tempted to drive to my local post office and take a picture of the obvious and complete waste you see before even walking through the door, but the town is out of power and trees and lines are down everywhere at the moment. My favorite one to complain about are the two GIANT blue boxes that have a pick up FOUR times a day, alongside another giant box that does something slightly different. Two might do fine to help with sorting issues, but 3 and 2 for an old purpose of mail drop off that no one really uses anymore? So, we send someone out 4 times a day to pick this up? That seems a waste and who knows what I will find after walking behind the counter. Don’t even get me started about the waste of junk and 3rd class mail. All the sorting, delivering, recycling, trees burning…. It should be considered a sin (again IMHO). A lot of what I’ve done at work for years is Systems Redesign by getting behind the scenes and looking at the way places work to make recommendations for efficiencies without cutting out the main mission. SO many of our business and enterprise systems are full waste that discard precious time and money without even knowing it. When you are in the system it can be difficult to to see. But if someone points it out there is often no good answer anymore for why a lot of practices and things people do in the work day are done. After the initial huffing and puffing they nearly almost all agree that was is pointed out as waste is indeed waste.

For the government particularly, I think it’s a crime to have waste because it is directly tied to taxpayer dollars, and those really should be used carefully to best fund public services. I am no expert on the police, but I do know from minimal experience that there is a lot of paperwork that almost everyone believes police could do without. A lot of time wasted if a little more was spent on updated technology. A lot of people in jail or clogging up court systems and/or paper trails for petty crimes like marijuana or drunken conduct. And training and response to mental issues (I have personal experience in this one) where if we reallocated the money to public services that work alongside the police, someone like a social worker or trained mental health expert may be a better fit.  

It’s a different way of looking at it. It is nothing like the memes I myself have joked about with no one coming when a crime is happening because we defunded the police. This is the best article I could find (below) which describes what this 5%. cut would be. Unfortunately “defund” is a government term that doesn’t sound like it is (most government terms do not sound like what they are). In the same way white privilege doesn’t sound like what it is either. The terms incite people without even knowing what is behind it. And who has time to sit and research every last term?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/12/black-lives-matter-defund-police-is-country-ready/%3foutputType=amp

It makes me a bit sad and a bit angry that the media isn’t more straight up fact based and descriptive of all sides so people can make a rational, well informed decision. All we hear are incredulous claims that are far left or right.

Most people do not have the luxury of doing all this digging that I fortunately had the time to do this morning. The public looks to the media for their news and information. It’s all SO slanted. There is no one in the middle trying to get both sides to understand each other. 

I think we all want the same thing and assume the worst about others because we hear so much oppositional and radical information flying around. We are more isolated than ever due to social media and now COVID. Not looking a person in the eyes and reading things from one vantage point is a perfect combination of becoming more isolated to a certain set of beliefs and way of perceiving things. 

If someone were in the middle bringing us together, perhaps we wouldn’t be having these issues. It has to start with the media and leadership. We cannot be divided. If necessary when I have time and feel motivated, I’ll spend the rest of my days using the tools I know how in order to have people understand one another. I have NO agenda except for people to be able to work together toward common goals with collaborative solutions for the greater good.

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