The positive impacts of the Black Lives Matter movement.February 13, 2021
While it is true that the vast majority of BLM protests were peaceful, as reported by The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), there was a significant occurrence of violence throughout 2020. As reported at Axios, the civil disorders represented by Black Lives Matter violence following the death of George Floyd left a wake of damage which “will cost the insurance industry more than any other violent demonstrations in recent history.”
The protests that took place in 140 U.S. cities this spring were mostly peaceful, but the arson, vandalism and looting that did occur will result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion of paid insurance claims — eclipsing the record set in Los Angeles in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King.
Yet a Web Search of “peaceful BLM protests” will still yield the magic number of “93% to 96%” referring to the overwhelming number of demonstrations that were held in accordance with 1st Amendment principle of “Peaceful Assembly.” Phrases like “overwhelmingly peaceful,” “nonviolent,” and “for the most part peaceful” fill the results search window.
So, yes the majority of people supporting this movement were performing an honest civic response to what they believed was a real injustice, however broadly that “injustice” was defined.
How BLM got started.
As Stacey Gordon, Founder/CEO at “Rework Work” (a diversity oriented corporate training and talent recruitment firm), states in this August, 2020 article, the BLM movement was launched following what she calls, the “murder” of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman in 2012…
Seven years ago, #BlackLivesMatter was founded in response to the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer. What initially started as a homegrown mission to eradicate anti-black racism and state-sanctioned violence has become a global movement that strives for freedom and justice for black people around the world.
Even the Liberal leaning Wikipedia doesn’t refer to Martin’s death as a murder…
Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Florida, who was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Hispanic American.
Zimmerman was injured during the altercation with Martin. He said he shot Martin in self-defense and was not charged at the time. The police said there was no evidence to refute his claim of self-defense, and Florida’s stand your ground law prohibited them from arresting or charging him. After national media focused on the incident, Zimmerman was eventually charged and tried, but a jury acquitted him of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July 2013.
My highlight in Ms Gordon’s post is to illustrate the gross error that exists in this author’s mind (and in the minds of many others) about the reason(s) that launched the movement. She says BLM, “started as a homegrown mission to eradicate anti-black racism and state-sanctioned violence.” Now I’m not a thinker on the order of Aristotle or Socrates, but equating the circumstances of the unfortunate death of Trayvon Martin to those two principles highlighted above requires some mental gymnastics far outside the realm of what we humans call “logic.”
Now let’s return to the post mentioned above by Stacy Gordon where she says…
The following articles are intended to showcase some of the progress that’s being made as a result of the BLM movement. In addition, if all you know about BLM is what you’ve heard in the news or seen on social media, we hope to also challenge you to learn more.
Onward with our web search for “positive results of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Much as I don’t like Google, I’m using their search engine in order to be as inclusive as possible for results (since they ARE the premier information provider for the Universe).
The 2nd link in our search yields an article from “Womens’s Health Magazine” entitled, “These Viral Instagram Graphics Explain The Impact Of The Black Lives Matter Protests So Far – A week of protest did more than 18 months of conversation.”
Role the tape – well, actually pull some quotes (I thought “role the tape” just sounded cool).
As the country begins its third week of protests in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade, the refrain among Black Lives Matter and anti-racists protesters is “don’t stop protesting.” Why? Because protests make a tangible difference—and fast. In the past two weeks, these protests have resulted in some major policy changes in cities around the United States, ones that hopefully will positively impact communities for many years to come.
In Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, a majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to vote to disband the police department.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to cut the NYPD budget.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he would be redirecting $250 million from the police budget into health care, jobs and “healing” programs.
Denver banned the use of chokeholds and said that officers will now be required “to alert supervisors any time they point a gun at someone.”
Dallas announced new measures to “formally ban chokeholds and any force intended to restrict a person’s airway.”
The protests have also led to progress in the George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery cases, plus a new commitment to justice around police brutality.
While all of this signifies tangible progress, the 2020 protests also signify a shift in public opinion around racism and police brutality.
Before getting into more search results, let’s remind ourselves that BLM isn’t merely a “grassroots” collective – it is an actual “organization,” whose website was created on July 7, 2013. (Per GoDaddy’s WhoIs search. It remains a private registration, meaning it is unknown who the domain name belongs to). This date would correspond to a search of July events for 2013, showing the beginning of the #BlackLivesMatter movement occurring on July 13th of the same year. It was founded in 2013 by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi.
#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.
Casual observers might call that last line a “pretty strong indictment.” But we all get the exact meaning … right? It’s focused directly on the erroneous theory that Blacks are overwhelmingly “targeted” by police – exactly born out by the “positive impacts” that are listed by Ms Gordon above, most of which impact police departments across the country.
But what if the organizing purpose wasn’t true? What if the police, as a central “straw man” argument was built upon a false narrative?
James McCoy at Townhall.com has addressed this in his co-written piece with Loyd Pettegrew, entitled “Four Flaws in Logic of the Black Lives Matter Movement” (July 4, 2020)
Founded in 2013 by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. They met through “Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity,” a national organization that trains community organizers.
Garza wrote a Facebook post titled “A Love Note to Black People” in which she said: “Our Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter.” Cullors replied: “#BlackLivesMatter”.
Tometi then added her support, and Black Lives Matter was born as an online campaign movement. Many on the left consider BLM as a direct continuation of the Civil Rights Movement which achieved many of its stated goals with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing all forms of discrimination.
The four fallacies…
The movement’s justification is its reliance on logic fallacies to absolve its existence. Cognitive scientists have identified common fallacies in the way people reason that undermine the validity of their critical thought processes. It is important to note that the whole of the BLM Movement is solidly established upon four of the most common fallacies in logical reasoning.
Their first logic fallacy is Scapegoating. This fallacy occurs when an unfavorable person, organization, or group is blamed without adequate cause. In this case, the Movement’s premise is established on small numbers, insufficient support, and weak inductive generalizations.
A second logical flaw in the BLM Movement is the Straw Man Argument. In this deviation from sound reasoning, one individual or group takes another person’s position, grossly distorts or exaggerates it, and then attacks the extreme distortion that they created as if it was part of the original argument from the person being misrepresented.
A third BLM logic fallacy is known as Appeal to Ignorance. Here a position claims that a proposition must be true because there is no evidence against it. This fallacy is lacking in any sophistication. It accuses an individual or group of something, and if there is no convenient way to prove otherwise, then the assertion must be true.
A final logic fallacy in the BLM Movement is the Ad Hominen Fallacy. This fallacy occurs when instead of rationally addressing the positions or arguments of those with opposite points of view, or disagree with you, you vehemently and forcefully attack the individuals holding that opposite point of view. The implication by BLM and the mainstream media is that if you disagree with me that you are racist, this must mean you ARE racist.
Going back to what seems to be the central organizing theme of #BLM, let’s take a closer look at the real data that will either support or cast doubt on the idea that Blacks are “systematically targeted for demise” by the police.
We’ll start with an article from a rather interesting site called “Social Justice Survival Guide.” It appears to be quite an extensive resource, particularly aimed at young college students, for discerning fact from fiction in the “Social Justice” environment that has become common in American Universities.
One of the many resources is entitled, “Black Lives Matter: The Truth,” October 4, 2017. Excerpts presented without commentary…
No one could reasonably argue against the statement that black lives matter (although, oddly enough, some people argue against the statement that all lives matter). However, beyond that simple statement, there is much that comes out of the rhetoric of the BLM movement that has little to do with the truth.
The main claim of the Black Lives Matter movement is that blacks are killed by police disproportionately to the black share of the population, and this proves the police are racist.
Criminology is a field that is largely dominated by liberals, thus suffers from liberal bias. However, fortunately, it is still possible to get some glimpses of truth, thanks in large part to the work of criminologist Heather MacDonald.
Here are a few facts that Ms. MacDonald has put together:
“Harvard economics professer Roland Fryer analyzed more than 1,000 officer-involved shootings across the country. He concluded that there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings.”
Is this really possible when BLM is so convinced that there is racial bias?
“An analysis of federal police crime statistics and the Washington Post police shooting database shows that fully 12% of all whites and hispanics who die of homicide are killed by cops.
“In contrast, only 4% of black homicide victims are killed by cops.”
What it all comes down to is this: Police officers are more likely to have tense interactions and feel threatened when they are investigating violent crimes, or interacting with violent criminals. So the numbers we need to look at are: what share of violent crimes do blacks commit? Back to Ms. MacDonald:
“According to the most recent study by the Dept. of Justice, although blacks were only about 15% of the population in the 75 largest counties in the U.S., they were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders, and 45% of assaults.”
So, one would expect about 50% of police shooting victims would be black, then, right? Actually, it’s about 36%.
“In fact, a police officer is more than 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male, than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”
I can agree with a sentiment that too many blacks are killed. However, blaming black police shooting deaths on police racism is simply not supported by the facts. It would be a plus if activists did some homework on these facts before alleging racism. In fact, accusing people of racism when there isn’t clear evidence to support it is, in itself, quite hateful.
The author continues with a variety of issues and statistics well worth review, but we’ll let the above quotes suffice for our purposes.
Let’s not let this rather unknown website be the only source we reference with regard to hard statistics that strike at the heart of the #BLM modus operandi. Next are a few quotes from a speech delivered by Heather MacDonald at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies – she is hardly an “unknown” from a random website. Heather is a Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in English from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
This is a well documented and lengthy article but well worth perusal to understand what actually undergirds #BLM. A few short excerpts from “The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter Movement,” April 27, 2016
For almost two years, a protest movement known as “Black Lives Matter” has convulsed the nation. Triggered by the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the Black Lives Matter movement holds that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today. This belief has triggered riots, “die-ins,” the murder and attempted murder of police officers, a campaign to eliminate traditional grand jury proceedings when police use lethal force, and a presidential task force on policing.
Even though the U.S. Justice Department has resoundingly disproven the lie that a pacific Michael Brown was shot in cold blood while trying to surrender, Brown is still venerated as a martyr.
The need is urgent, therefore, to examine the Black Lives Matter movement’s central thesis—that police pose the greatest threat to young black men.
The favorite conceit of the Black Lives Matter movement is, of course, the racist white officer gunning down a black man. According to available studies, it is a canard. A March 2015 Justice Department report on the Philadelphia Police Department found that black and Hispanic officers were much more likely than white officers to shoot blacks based on “threat misperception,” i.e., the incorrect belief that a civilian is armed. A study by University of Pennsylvania criminologist Greg Ridgeway, formerly acting director of the National Institute of Justice, has found that black officers in the NYPD were 3.3 times more likely to fire their weapons at shooting scenes than other officers present.
Well documented – well written. Worth your time.
So what about all that money?
Where do the dollars come from?
Let’s see if we can find out more about the “money,” millions upon millions of dollars of money – where does it come from and where does it go?
If this section were to have a Chapter title, it would likely by “This is merely the tip of the Iceberg.” And in my humble effort to keep this post from actually becoming a book, I can only present a limited number of sources from the hundreds found which focus on the funding sources of #BLM. Following are the article titles (web-linked) with related excerpts…
Business Insider/Australia, June 26, 2020: The story behind Thousand Currents, the charity that doles out the millions of dollars Black Lives Matter generates in donations.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is a non-profit organisation – but it is not tax exempt. But organisations can borrow another non-profit’s tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) status while raising money or building out its structure, better known as a fiscal sponsorship. So Black Lives Matter has a fiscal sponsorship set up with the 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation Thousand Currents.
Thousand Currents essentially acts as a quasi-manager for Black Lives Matter: It provides “administrative and back office support, including finance, accounting, grants management, insurance, human resources, legal and compliance.”
For example, when you donate to the Black Lives Matter movement, you are directed to its fundraising partner ActBlue (Editorial note: ActBlue is organized as a political action committee, serving as a conduit for individual contributions made through their platform.) Then, ActBlue distributes the money raised to Thousand Currents, which is then granted to Black Lives Matter.
Because Black Lives Matter does not have its own tax-exempt status, donations filter through various channels before resources are dispensed across BLM’s 16 chapters. And where and how that money is allocated, is up to Thousand Currents, and likely agreed upon beforehand.
It’s unclear how much money Black Lives Matter has received in the last four weeks, but it’s likely in the multi-millions (for example, they announced a $US12 million grant fund last week).
Thousand Currents’ 2019 financials show that the organisation brought in $US6.8 million, which included the money earned through the fiscal sponsorship of Black Lives Matter.
From The Daily Signal, July 7, 2020: These 18 Corporations Gave Money to Radical Black Lives Matter Group.
Some of America’s largest corporations have pledged or donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the main Black Lives Matter organization, founded by “trained Marxists,” that calls for replacing the nuclear family with a “village.”
Prominent brands giving money include Amazon, Microsoft, Nabisco, Gatorade, Airbnb, and the Atlantic and Warner record labels.
DoorDash Inc., which delivers prepared food, gave $500,000 to the organization.
The clothing company, Deckers reported giving seven organizations, including “Black Lives Matter Foundation,” a total of $500,000.
Amazon linked to the BLM Global Network Foundation in a press release June 9, identifying it as among 12 groups that would get a total of $10 million from the online retail giant. (It was not reported how much was allocated to #BLM).
Gatorade, the sports drink maker, identified the BLM Global Network Foundation as being among groups benefiting from a $500,000 donation.
Microsoft Corp. announced June 5 that it would donate $250,000 to the “Black Lives Matter Foundation.”
Glossier, a skin care and makeup company, said in a May 30 press release that it would divide $500,000 among five organizations, including “Black Lives Matter.”
Airbnb Inc. announced on Twitter that the short-term lodging company was splitting a $500,000 donation between the NAACP and BLM.
Two of London-based Unilever’s personal hygiene brands, Axe and Degree, pledged a total of $350,000 to the BLM Global Network Foundation.
Ritz, the cracker brand from snack manufacturer Nabisco, announced June 4 that it and sister brands were donating $500,000 to the NAACP and to the BLM Global Network Foundation.
Dropbox Inc. founder and CEO Drew Houston announced June 3 that he was giving $500,000 to the BLM Global Network Foundation.
Individual employees of Devolver Digital Inc. donated $65,000 to the BLM Global Network Foundation.
Square Enix, a game developer, announced that it was giving $250,000 to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter.
The California-based tech firm Cisco identifies @Blklivesmatter, the Twitter handle for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, as among recipients of $5 million in donations.
POLITIFACT, June 17, 2020: How the Black Lives Matter Global Network is set up.
As of June 2019, Thousand Currents held $3.35 million in assets representing restricted donations for the Black Lives Matter Global Network. The same audit shows that $1.8 million in restricted donations were released to Black Lives Matter in the year ended June 30, 2019.
Referred to simply as the “fiscal project” on Thousand Currents’ audit, Black Lives Matter spent much of that money on salaries, consultants and travel.
In a June 11 statement, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation announced the creation of a $6.5 million fund for grassroots organizing efforts. The fund is available to all chapters affiliated with the network and will give unrestricted grants of up to $500,000.
The Hill.com, June 10, 2020: Here are the celebrities donating to Black Lives Matter.
Celebrities have donated more than $1.25 million and raised even more for Black Lives Matter, raising the stature of a group that just years ago was seen as too controversial for mainstream stars.
The K-pop group BTS donated $1 million and called on fans to match the donation.
Wrestler and actor John Cena participated in BTS’s match program. He tweeted on Monday that he was “very happy to join #BTSARMY” in the effort to match the group’s $1 million donation.
Singer Lady Gaga announced on Instagram last week that she was donating to multiple organizations, including Black Lives Matter, and didn’t specify the amount.
Singer Abel Tesfaye, who goes by the Weeknd, announced on Instagram that he donated $200,000 to Black Lives Matter.
Basketball star Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand pledged to give $100 million over the next 10 years to “organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”
Conservative DailyNews, June 19, 2020: Only 6% of Black Lives Matter Funds go to Local Chapters.
The national arm of Black Lives Matter spent millions on consultants, travel and compensation for its own staff between July 2017 and June 2019, according to audited financial statements prepared by its fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents.
BLM Global Network spent $899,000 on travel, $1.6 million on consulting and $2.1 million on personnel costs during its 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, the financial statements show, together comprising 83.3% of its total spending during the three year period. BLM Global Network granted $328,000 to outside organizations, which include local BLM chapters, during that same time frame, a figure that represents about 6% of its total spending.
Former BLM activist Ashley Yates has publicly criticized BLM Global Network since as early as 2018 for what she says is a lack of transparency and has accused the organization of squandering money on excessive travel and compensation for its top staffers while giving little to its affiliated chapters.
Black Lives Matter Cincinnati announced in March 2018 it was changing its name because the national group had “perverted” the Black Lives Matter brand.
“BLMC has never been a chapter of that organization or a partisan of its politics because, even at the onset of us establishing our name as BLMC, we recognized that our idea of the type of movement necessary to win black liberation was at odds with that national body and it’s [sic] directive,” BLM Cincinnati wrote in its statement announcing it was changing its name to the Mass Action for Black Liberation.
“BLM did not create or build this new grassroots movement against police brutality and racism; they capitalized off a nameless groundswell of resistance sweeping the nation, branded it as their own, and profited from the deaths of Black men and women around the country without seriously engaging, as a national formation, in getting justice for fighting families,” BLM Cincinnati wrote.
“All the while raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from high-end speaking engagements and donations from foundations that support the Black struggle.”
Although the Internet is flush with stories about celebrity and corporate donations TO Black Lives Matter, there is surprisingly little about where those dollars actually find a home.
One story from Fox News offers a clue about the BLM finances that others in the mainstream media seem to conveniently ignore. Their news release from November 30, 2020: “BLM faces revolt as local chapters allege power grab, murky finance.”
Some Black Lives Matter chapters are revolting against the organized movement’s national arm, accusing leaders of providing little financial transparency and not much in the way of financial support.
Ten local chapters issued a statement Monday outlining concerns regarding financial disclosure, decision making, and accountability since the establishment of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
The local chapters signed onto the statement include those in Washington, Chicago, San Diego, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Hudson Valley in New York, Indianapolis, Denver, Vancouver, Wash., and New Jersey.
In June, the Daily Caller reported that the BLM Global Network spent millions between July 2017 and June 2019 on consultants and staff compensation. Specifically, it spent nearly $900,000 on travel, $1.6 million on consulting and $2.1 million on staff during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.
The figures don’t show other types of financial support given to local BLM chapters, BLM Global Network Managing Director Kailee Scales told the news outlet.
But if you want to talk about REAL money, take a look at this quote from the page dedicated to Black Lives Matter at Wikipedia…
According to The Economist, between May 2020 and December 2020, donations to Black Lives Matter related causes amounted to 10.6 billion dollars.
Obviously this post has to end somewhere and this is as good a place as any. Let’s summarize … BLM has certainly been built around a few principles that most people can agree on. But I believe we have debunked the main premise as it relates to excessive police use of force on Blacks. Second, the outpouring of financial support for the movement is admirable, but it is done with a misplaced emotional investment from every one of the contributing participants. Third, the lack of financial transparency that overshadows the organization leads any thinking individual to be concerned about the overall ethical nature of the mission.