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The Long Ugly History Behind Smearing Black Lives Matter

Just a brief history from my own lifetime.
The Long Ugly History Behind Smearing Black Lives Matter
Image from: Facebook via Huffington Post

It is so disappointing to see in 2016 that much of the news media feels it's necessary to explain the Black Lives Matter is not responsible for the cop killings in Dallas.

Or is it more disappointing how much of "news" media is hell-bent on blaming the cop killings in Dallas on Barack Obama and Black Lives Matter?

Sheriff Clarke,

Rudy Giuliani

A Fox News employee

A Fox News employee

A Fox News employee

Some more Fox News employees

I could go on.

One cannot say what the civil rights movement in the 1960's would have been like if every protester had a private cell phone camera with access to the internet.

What we do know is that once white people were murdered by racist law enforcement, the nation's cameras were turned to the South and its systemic denial of rights for Black citizens.

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But that was not the end of government institutional white supremacy smearing the civil rights movement. The FBI director J. Edgar Hoover spied on Martin Luther King under the claim that he and his movement were Communists.

J. Edgar Hoover's FBI considered Martin Luther King to be a threat to white America (terming him "the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation") and spent years trying to dig up and manufacture derogatory information about him in order to publicly discredit him and thereby neutralize his effectiveness as a civil rights leader. The FBI asserted that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organization which King headed was controlled and funded by the Communist party and spent years trying to prove it, making King the target of an extensive surveillance program intended to gather evidence documenting ties between the SCLC and communists.

Today it is occasionally less politic to go after African Americans, especially when there are Mexicans and Muslims to provide a target for White supremacists.

But Black Lives Matter has returned White supremacists to a belief that somehow any movement that calls for equality in how the police use force between Blacks and Whites, is somehow preventing police work all together. Which begs the question, what is the work of the police for White supremacy? Hmm.


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That brings us to the Right's favorite lie about the Black Lives Matter movement, "The Ferguson Effect":

The idea of the Ferguson effect was popularized last May in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article by the conservative scholar Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute. Her article, which provides the theoretical underpinning of the police backlash, contended that unless the police are free from surveillance they will, in effect, be unable to do their jobs. Efforts by citizens to ensure that police officers abide by the law and the Constitution, the argument contends, put all Americans in danger and allow the real criminals to run rampant.

The conclusion, though never stated explicitly, is that in order to fight crime effectively and keep everyone safe, the police must sometimes ignore the law and the Constitution. This also serves to shift the focus from any police use of excessive force to the public danger of law enforcement’s use of insufficient force.

Chauncey Devega has written a must-read piece on how the smearing of Black Lives Matter falls in historical and psychological context:

White anxieties about an anti-white “race war” in America are an act of extreme psychological projection. Historically, it is not white people who should be afraid of African-Americans, but rather, African-Americans and other people of color who should be in terror of white folks.

Racial violence and terrorism in the United States has almost exclusively been waged by white people as a group against people of color. ...To move forward after the Dallas shootings and the video-recorded killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile requires that the American people reject the lies and obsessions that are being spun out of whole cloth by a right-wing media that is more interested in ginning up racial animosity and violence for profits and attention than it is in acting responsibly.

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Finally, here's some comic relief from Louie Gohmert (or was it Steve King?): GOP congressmen have suggested it is "racist" to put a Black person on money when arguing against Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill.

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