Letter: Of course black lives matter — but that doesn’t mean I have to support Black Lives Matter

Posted 6/18/20

Apparently, to disagree with the Black Lives Matter movement is to be a racist. So, at the risk of being labeled a racist, which I am not, permit me to express my First Amendment rights to disagree …

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Letter: Of course black lives matter — but that doesn’t mean I have to support Black Lives Matter

Posted

Apparently, to disagree with the Black Lives Matter movement is to be a racist. So, at the risk of being labeled a racist, which I am not, permit me to express my First Amendment rights to disagree with an organization I believe is radical with Marxist leanings and aligned too closely for my comfort with Antifa anarchists.

Black lives matter as a statement of fact is absolutely true. No person of common sense and reason would or could credibly disagree. But the truth of the statement does not lie in the fact of their blackness. It lies in the broader truth that all lives matter. Black lives matter no more and no less than every other human life.

The same can certainly be said for the tragic circumstances surrounding the deaths of George Floyd and all other victims, of every race, of unreasonable excessive force by rogue law enforcement officers.

The solution for such abuses does not lie in defunding or disestablishing police departments.

However, Black Lives Matter (BLM) as a political movement and organization is another matter entirely.  Too often, BLM protests quickly devolve into mobs of rock and bottle throwing, lootings and acts of arson that destroy minority businesses and hurt black families. Mobs lose their constitutional right to peaceably assemble.

And it matters little if the peaceful intent of the protesters is undermined by agitators and provocateurs who initiate the violence if the protesters persist and by their continued presence become part of the protest turned mob. My wise father more than once reminded me as a boy that when the fights break out in a bar or the rocks and bricks start flying at an otherwise peaceful demonstration, the innocent participants and onlookers remove themselves post haste from the scene.

There are no innocent bystanders after the trouble starts and the police are summoned. The police do not have the luxury politely trying to sort the innocent from the guilty in a mob when all refuse to comply.

Opposing racists and racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry are worthy and noble causes. Eliminating racism entirely is unlikely ever to be achieved, but that should not discourage good men and women from trying.

Supporters of black lives matter claim to be advocates for unity, racial equality and equal justice. Limiting protests and flying flags over town halls to promote only black lives versus all lives seems to me to be inappropriate and counter-productive to the stated goal of advancing the cause of unity, equality and justice for all.

Instead, perhaps earnest supporters of making black lives better should focus their attention and efforts more on promoting the importance of the nuclear family and school choice to ensure every child a quality education. Rather than accenting the negatives in our society, promote more positive means for every child to achieve success and prosperity.

Peter Hewett
Bristol

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