OK, Boomers: BLM Is Not Marxist, It’s Racist

If you listen carefully to how some conservatives, in particular, conservatives “of a certain age,” speak about Black Lives Matter, you’ll hear a lot of talk about how BLM is Marxist. At first glance, this is understandable, given that one of the founders of the movement referred to herself and her co-founders as “trained Marxists.”

And sure enough, a quick scan of the news will show that Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) referred to the BLM leadership as “trained Marxists,” as did Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

Radio host Mark Levin called BLM “Marxist and violent surrogates” of the Democratic Party, while former talk show host Neal Boortz said, “Black Lives Matter has been hijacked by Marxist revolutionaries.” Rudy Giuliani has called BLM a “Marxist” organization, as has former police chief Bernard Kerik, who referred to BLM as a group that “uses black lives to promote their Marxist and communist agenda.”

I don’t mean to pick on these individuals in particular; many of them are good patriots and conservatives who have explicitly denounced BLM’s racial politics. But at the same time, we must be clear: Marxism doesn’t define the Black Lives Matter movement—anti-white racism does

It is understandable that some conservatives—in particular, older conservatives—are more comfortable speaking the language of anti-Marxism than anti-white racism. Marxism is a traditional enemy for all conservatives, while many conservatives, particularly older ones, have been relentlessly trained by our left-wing media to parrot the canard that any mention of the Left’s anti-white racism is a sign of “white identity politics” or even worse, “white nationalism.”

But there are two problems with accepting this dubious formulation.

Race, Not Class

First, BLM is fundamentally driven by racism and not Marxism. Second, the structural dynamics of BLM are diametrically opposed to a Marxist analysis of class struggle.

To understand why BLM’s racism is a much greater threat to America than its Marxism, we should remember that even among our miseducated American youth, there is precious little desire in the United States for actual Marxism.By a generous count, anything resembling a true Communist Party took far less than 1 percent in the 2016 presidential election. 

But while Marxism thankfully still has a very small market share in the United States, anti-white racism unfortunately has a significant and growing one. 

Black Lives Matter grew directly out of the dubious prosecution of George Zimmerman who was correctly acquitted by an actual jury that heard the evidence, despite his prior public “conviction” in a fake news media show trial. (In their rush to condemn him and play up the anti-white racial angle, the media also “convicted” Zimmerman of being white despite his being a Hispanic with Afro-Latino heritage.)

Black Lives Matter seeks to create the false impression there is a racist police war against African Americans and to further extend that analysis to a racial slander of white people, assigning them collective guilt they do not deserve. The America of 2020, less than four years removed from having an African American president, is a long way, both chronologically and culturally, from the dark days of slavery and Jim Crow. 

If Black America were a country, its per capita purchasing power parity income would rank approximately 30-40th richest in the world, ahead of many “well-off” European countries and far, far ahead of any country in Sub-Saharan Africa. While racism and discrimination certainly continue to exist in America among all races and groups, the America of 2020 is not a land of slavery but a land of limitless opportunity. 

That opportunity is precisely why tens of millions have migrated to America, including 10 percent of African Americans, who are immigrants from Africa or other parts of the African Diaspora

The Left and Black Lives Matter insist that America is a land of unstinting racism, even as tens of millions of immigrants of every background and color desperately have struggled to come here. And America continues to be the No. 1 desired destination for the one-third of Africans who would like to migrate. Indeed, one of the three founders of Black Lives Matter is the daughter of two Nigerian immigrants.

Ginning Up Fake Hate

A symbol of both America’s progress and pathology on race is perhaps best demonstrated by the hundreds of fake hate crimes we have seen over the past several years. African American scholar Wilfred Riley has documented hundreds of these incidents over the past decade and determined that more than two out of three were hoaxes. Just this week, a Black Lives Matter leader at Texas A&M was caught faking a hate crime against himself in an incident that went viral before being exposed. In America, the demand for minority-directed racism thankfully continues to exceed the supply.

So while it is not true that America is oppressive to people of color, it is true that our minority population is growing rapidly. America is now just 60 percent white non-Hispanic and a majority of those under the age of 16 are now ethnic minorities. 

And while America’s white population is wealthier than the black population,  Asian-Americans—who constitute a much smaller percentage of the overall population—now earn far more money than whites. The sad and ugly truth that the “BLM is Marxist” crowd ignores is that Black Lives Matter is a movement about dispossession and disinheritance—dispossession of America’s cultural heritage through attacks on statues of American heroes such as Washington, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, and dispossession of material inheritance through unwarranted demands for financial reparations. 

In other words, it’s a shakedown operation based in hatred.

This overt call for dispossession and disinheritance makes the rapidly declining white majority uncomfortable—particularly older people who grew up in 1960s and 1970s America where 85 percent or more Americans were white and non-Hispanic. It’s much easier for them to talk about “Marxism,” than to face reality.

And that reality is that the Black Lives Matter’s reparations scam is just an updated version of the old Al Sharpton shakedown operations of the 1980s—but it is now part of a much larger and more powerful coalition that can make more onerous demands without the crudity and overtness that characterized the work of Sharpton or fellow race hustler Jesse Jackson. 

An Assault on America’s Heritage

We must confront Black Lives Matter and the threat it possesses to America’s culture, heritage, and the proposition that all men are created equal unashamedly—we cannot pretend it isn’t there by telling fairy tales about Marxists under the bed.

Given the actual nature and goals of BLM, perhaps it is unsurprising that Spiked (a magazine that grew out of Britain’s Revolutionary Communist Party, and the bankruptcy of its predecessor magazine, Living Marxism) has been the entity that most clearly has articulated the ways in which BLM is not a Marxist organization. 

In an article titled “There’s Nothing Marxist about Black Lives Matter,” Paddy Hannam notes that actual black Marxists have been marginalized by BLM for suggesting the problems it addresses are about class rather than race. 

The constant focus on “white privilege,” for instance, has come at the expense of any recognition that lots of poor white people suffer from deprivations, . . . Modern identity politics wrongly views society as a split between a white ruling class and a non-white mass proletariat. It refuses to engage with the reality that Marx identified—that workers can be equally exploited regardless of their origins, and that the key to progressive change lies in building bridges between hitherto distinct communities rather than in setting them apart. In this regard, Black Lives Matter clearly stands in opposition to Marxism.

Correctly calling BLM “more reactionary than revolutionary” Hannam notes that, “We have only to look at how quick multinational corporations have been to endorse the woke worldview to see how utterly un-radical it is.”

Black Lives Matter is not, in any meaningful historical sense, a Marxist group, and conservatives need to stop saying that it is. Indeed, it is a movement that is supported overwhelmingly by corporate America, one that just this week announced hundreds of millions of dollars of support from billionaire vulture capitalist George Soros.

It is a group of race-slanderers that seeks to dispossess millions of Americans of all backgrounds who value America’s heritage of their history, but is particularly keen to focus on white Americans as targets. It is run by a cynical rainbow coalition of “community activists” and corporate overlords who hope that the tiger they have unleashed eats them last, or even better, that it will be so sated by feeding on the desperation of America’s beleaguered middle class that it will not even bother to notice them.

We need to be clear on what Black Lives Matter is if we are going to win in our struggle against the group. They’re not Marxists, they’re racists.

If we can’t even correctly define our enemy, how can we defeat them?

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About Jeremy Carl

Jeremy Carl is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. He served as deputy assistant secretary of the interior under President Trump and lives with his family in Montana. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeremycarl4.

Photo: Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via Getty Images

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