[guest post by JVW]
Black Lives Matter, a movement which sprung up in the wake of some high-profile deaths of young black men at the hands of police officers and other security personnel, has long been criticized for lacking both a unified front and any concrete agenda items that they want to see implemented. Yesterday they attempted to address this problem by releasing a list of demands on their website which they intend to use as a policy platform going forward.
The demands themselves consist of six overarching themes:
1. End the war on black people.
2. Reparations for past and continuing harms.
3. Divestment from the institutions that criminalize, cage and harm black people; and investment in the education, health and safety of black people.
4. Economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure our communities have collective ownership, not merely access.
5. Community control of the laws, institutions and policies that most impact us.
6. Independent black political power and black self-determination in all areas of society.
But lest you think that these six items — broad and overarching though they may be — makes up their entire demand list, you should know that each of these six themes contains between three and ten sub-demands, and that even some of the sub-demands can be broken out into further sub-sub demands so that the entire effect is a manifesto that is as long as witless as a spoiled child’s letter to Santa.
You will note that reparations is naturally on the list. The whole document is a recitation of Marxist cant leavened with a dollop of whiny grievance-mongering and subtle racism (the adjective “black” is spelled with a capital letter as in “Black people” while the adjective “white” always remains lower-case). It curiously contains a great deal of special pleading on behalf of the LGBTQ movement and a few overtures to other supposedly maligned groups, most prominently Latinos. The entire compendium reeks of radical academic claptrap, and indeed, it would appear that by and large the authors of the manifesto come from the world of higher education or from the various nonprofits which house the even less-accomplished subset of the racial/ethnic/sexual studies credential holders. For what it is worth, too, the vast majority of them have women’s names (though, to be fair, I haven’t asked any of them for their preferred gender identification), suggesting that the more rancid ideas of angry hard-left feminism have worked their way into the document as well.
The drafters and supporters of this list of demands acknowledge that their chief aim is to influence the 2016 elections, but I don’t see why any Republican candidate would read this litany of self-involved griping and feel any need to address it, nor does it seem that anyone who would support this misguided mess could ever be persuaded to vote GOP. Instead, this seems to be a marker thrown down at Hillary! and her Democrats, to see how far left they are willing to drift in order to keep their huge share of the black vote. It will be interesting to see if the Clinton Machine is forced to take these petitioners seriously. The ball is now in her court.