Three popular groups seeking political and societal change have found themselves in the news lately. I am referring to three groups that are, as a general rule, being seen in a positive light. For the record, and it saddens me that it must be said, I am not, nor do I support any sort of white nationalist movements, which are inherently racist, nor do I support any type of nationalist movement of the political variety. No, not all nationalism is racist, yes all racists are nationalistic. I do not support either type.
I will begin with the Antifa movement. They oppose several things, including fascism. I myself oppose fascism. I can not support antifa movements however. They are anti-capitalist movements with historic roots in communism. Their current expressed goals include anarchist communism. I do not in anyway support this. They also condone, endorse, and engage in political violence to achieve their goals and to suppress speech that they do not care for. Think Berkeley, the inauguration property damage, and the cancelled rose parade in Oregon. I can not support political violence of any type, nor can I condone the use of explosives, Molotov cocktails, or threats to achieve goals. While I share their opposition to fascism, that opposition does not condone the methodology or their end goal. How we oppose a thing, is just as vital to what it is that we oppose. If it isn’t, then we are the monster we fight against. Daryle Jenkins is the founder of One People’s Project, one of the most popular and well known antifa type groups. Their preferred tactic is doxing, which is, no matter how you cut it, malicious in intent and result. If you explore thier site, you will find numerous “far right” individuals that they oppose. Some are worth opposing, others are surprising, such as Alan Combs who is anything but “far right”. They refer to people of color who happen to have a conservative political leaning to be sell outs and count them as the opposition. Groups like this, and other antifa movements, ruin people’s lives. Is that really a goal that we should be involved in? I have no truck with such groups or people. I seek for those who hate to know Christ and be regenerated, not to have their lives destroyed. The forgiveness taught through Christ does not in any way condone destroying lives. To be as blunt as I can be, fascist are indeed the enemy, but the enemy of my enemy, in this case antifa groups, is still my enemy.
The New Black Panther Party has gotten a fair amount of positive press lately as well. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed them as a hate group. Let that sink in for just a moment. The SPLC is hardly a bastion of the right wing. Just as I have no truck with white nationalists due to their racism and political ideology, I have no truck with the New Black Panther party for the same reason. I know that it may seem odd to call a group of African Americans racist, but take the time to read the SPLC page that I linked. Look into them. Read some quotes by their leaders such as King Samir Shabazz who said “I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate it. We didn’t come out here to play today. There’s too much serious business going on in the black community to be out here sliding through South Street with white, dirty, cracker whore bitches on our arms, and we call ourselves black men. … What the hell is wrong with you black man? You at a doomsday with a white girl on your damn arm. We keep begging white people for freedom! No wonder we not free! Your enemy cannot make you free, fool! You want freedom? You going to have to kill some crackers! You going to have to kill some of their babies!” Research the close relationship with the Nation of Islam, another racist hate group. I have no truck with hate of any form. Just as with antifa, the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.
Black Lives Matter is complicated for me. I know people personally involved in the movement and know of small groups that are working for change. I share a great many of their concerns. The number of unarmed African American men shot by police is staggering and a cause for great concern. The disproportionate sentencing for equal crimes seemingly based upon race is atrocious. Lest you think this is just left wing talk, there are Republican senators trying to work on this and it has been reported on by both liberal and conservative leaning sources. It is a real problem and needs to be addressed. The ACLU prepared a well cited paper on this. Take a look at it and follow up on what it says. We need to work on poverty in general, but especially poverty among people of color as again, the disproportionate numbers are staggering. These are just a few issues where BLM and I share concerns and that some groups that I personally know of, and I assume many groups that I do not know of, are working on within their communities with the political, spiritual, community, and other leadership. Some of the things listed on their national site I have concerns about, but I think that overall, it is a group that I could support, and did support. Then the “Movement for Black Lives” issued a platform that had BLM as a member of the “United Front” and had other organizations endorsing. Their section has the following language. “**Endorsement of the platform reflects support of the forty policy demands listed but not necessarily an endorsement of the accompanying policy briefs or campaigns listed under the “Take Action” section of this website” It can be found here.
The platform of this group advocates for several things that I do not support. I do not support their notion of community control. It sounds entirely to close to the things said by separatist movements. Further more, statements like “We demand full and independent black political power and black self determination in all areas of society” are extremely troubling as well as they also echo demands made by separatist movements. It sounds entirely to close to segregation and that should be a concern, even if it is voluntary. Reparations are also called for and really are likely to be a non-starter. We can talk about if there should be or not, but it is not likely to come to pass. The movement is further hurt by things written by their organizers such as this. No, a group can not be defined by what one individual in it says, but this is not the first time that something like this has been put out by organizers of the movement, and their frequency is increasing. It does not help it hurts.
So BLM is complicated for me. I share many of the same concerns, and know several in the movement that are making progress in their communities. On the flip side, there is what the national organization stands for and what their goals are that I can not support. Can I support the movement as a whole? I don’t think so. Separatist actions are not a solution, they are just a bigger problem. While BLM is not racist in their intents, I do disagree with their end goals. I share their concerns, but do not share their end goals, so no I can not support the movement as a whole, but can, and do, support those individuals who are working within their communities for solutions that seem to differ from the stated goals.
The problem with all of this is that we have crafted a world where opposition to a certain group means that you automatically support something else. We have allowed emotion to cloud reason and judgement and instead have a world where if someone is Leary of antifa, they must be a Nazi. If you do not support BLM, you are a racist. If you support free speech as defined by the Constitution, you are a sympathizer. I am sure that there are similar things on the other end of the spectrum, but I can only write about what I have experienced. All of this is causing more division, not less. All of this prevents the conversation that everyone seems to agree that we need. I’m pretty sure that somewhere and somehow this will result in more hate my way, but really, someone has to say it. You can have principled opposition to a wide variety of things, and it not be motivated by anything other than you personal convictions about the best way to go forward together. Until we all start realizing this, it only gets worse, not better.