Is Black Lives Matter Really Left-Wing?

Black Lives Matter is now more powerful than it has ever been, and it’s just getting started. But will the rise of black nationalism conflict with the rise of other radical factions of the modern Left?

Tucker Carlson said back in 2020 that the Black Lives Matter movement had become so powerful that it was now essentially operating as a political party, and held just as much influence. If the recent verdict in the Derek Chauvin case is any indication, then BLM has already become more than a party; it is now its own institution. From the nationwide race riots of last summer through today to directly intimidating defense witnesses, there is no question that BLM made this verdict happen; even the jurors will (indirectly) admit to this.

With BLM on the rise and only getting stronger, a closer look will clearly illustrate that this movement may not even actually be left-wing, at least not in terms of its greatest methods and final goals. If anything, BLM’s goals are likely to come into direct conflict with others who are also seeking to take over the Democratic Party.

The BLM-Big Business Alliance

The first thing that must be made clear about Black Lives Matter is that it is perhaps one of the most pro-capitalist movements in recent memory.

While various figureheads in the movement have given lip service to the idea of “tearing down the capitalist system,” and naturally have jumped into bed with such fellow travelers as the remnants of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is beyond doubt that this movement not only needs capitalism in order to thrive, but that it is striving to become a capitalist enterprise in and of itself.

Think back to the summer of 2020, shortly after George Floyd’s death by a fentanyl overdose in May. Alongside the mainstream media and the Democratic Party, what was the biggest enabler of the Black Lives Matter movement’s latest crusade? The big corporations.

The list is nearly endless, with culprits ranging from Nike and Citigroup, to HBO and TBS, from Ben and Jerry’s and Nordstrom, to YouTube and TikTok. Retailers, fast food chains, big banks, entertainment platforms, Big Tech giants, sports industries, and just about any other major company and industry imaginable, at some point, posted a virtue-signaling message online featuring either the BLM hashtag, the black power fist, the black square, or some other symbol of “solidarity.” It was calculated that over two-thirds of companies listed on the S&P 500 issued a statement expressing some level of agreement with Black Lives Matter last year.

Black Lives Matter, Inc.

And the capitalist bug has long since bitten the heart of the movement itself. It has been well-documented, to much glee on the Left, that the formal Black Lives Matter organization has received millions of dollars in donations, raking in over $90 million in 2020. Although the leaders of the organization claimed that this money would be put to “charitable” use on behalf of black people, it was soon uncovered that the millionaire’s lifestyle may have been what they had on their mind all along.

As has since been widely reported, one of the three co-founders of the organization, Patrisse Cullors, now has four homes across the country on her balance sheet: Three in California, and one in Georgia, representing a spending spree of nearly $3 million over the course of four years. In yet another example of big business rushing to BLM’s defense, Facebook has already forbidden users from sharing the link to the original New York Post article that first revealed the purchases. With this signal that she is free to do as she pleases with no accountability from the media, Cullors has continued to go on extravagant spending sprees, including a stay at a luxurious Malibu beach club, using organization funds to pay for it.

Admittedly, some of the movement’s “true believers” did call her out, including Hawk Newsome of the Black Lives Matter of Greater New York City. But even then, Newsome’s response betrayed another clear aspect of the movement’s true goals. Did Newsome call for Cullors’ removal? Did he demand the organization itself be broken up, and the funds redistributed in true socialist fashion?

In a word, no. Newsome instead called for a very particular kind of investigation; one to be carried out exclusively by “black firms and black accountants,” to “go in there and find out where the money is going.” For someone who came out against Cullors in an effort to portray himself as the true revolutionary, openly calling for the intervention of capitalist forces such as “firms and accountants,” even if they are exclusively black, it doesn’t exactly sound like he’s offering a Marxist solution.

White on the Left, Black on the Right

Despite what some conservative pundits may say in an effort to stoke up the fears of former but more familiar boogeymen against this new enemy, Black Lives Matter is not really a Marxist movement. It is first and foremost a black nationalist movement.

It should go without saying, but ethnonationalism of any kind is not inherently left- or right-wing, despite the mainstream media’s declarations that white nationalism is an exclusively “far-Right” ideology. Look no further than perhaps the most infamous white supremacist of our time, Richard Spencer, openly aligning himself with Woodrow Wilson, one of the most far-Left presidents in American history. And Spencer certainly made no secret of the fact that he vigorously endorsed and voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

And the reverse can be true for black nationalism in the United States, both today and in the past. History provides examples that may indicate the black nationalism of old had its fair share of right-wing tendencies, from Malcolm X’s unwavering support for the Second Amendment to the rise of “Black Wall Street,” with the latter’s imagery being resurrected by some Black Lives Matter proponents today.

Black Nationalism vs. Socialism

But the true intentions of the modern Black Lives Matter movement betray what their ideology really is. As discussed in a recent episode of my new podcast, The Right Take, theirs is not a socialist revolution determined to finish what Occupy Wall Street started. As Newsome’s call for investigations to be run entirely by black financial institutions indicates, they do not want to destroy the capitalist system; they want to take over that system for themselves and become the new capitalist class.

And thus far, they have been achieving exactly that through aggressive, large-scale affirmative action across the corporate world. From United Airlines announcing its intentions to make half of its pilots be black or women by the year 2030, to Target declaring that it would increase its number of black employees by 20 percent, Black Lives Matter has been making its corporatist intentions known from the beginning. They seek domination under the guise of representation, and there would not be much to dominate if the system were burned to the ground.

Naturally, this is at direct odds with those who consider themselves “true” socialists. Black Lives Matter needs corporations, not only to fuel their rise into the mainstream, but to guarantee jobs to their adherents in the name of racial justice. Today, the corporations promise them a share of the workforce; tomorrow, they’ll be promising them chairmanships and CEO seats. But if the socialists like Bernie Sanders had their way, there would be no more corporations in the United States at all.

It’s no wonder, then, that Black Lives Matter has, for the most part, never liked Sanders very much. (Cullors’ public support notwithstanding.) From storming the stage at one of his rallies back in 2015, to kneecapping his seemingly unstoppable march to the 2020 nomination by breaking heavily for Joe Biden in the South Carolina primary, even Sanders’ best efforts at pandering to this group were not enough to bridge the gap between their two vastly different objectives.

It could even be said that a true socialist does not care much for racial differences, since their utopia sees everyone united by shared economic status. Sanders certainly was not afraid to buck the Democratic Party’s increasing emphasis on putting minorities first, such as his famous declaration after the 2016 election that the party no longer speaks to “the white working class.” While many would see this as a genuine attempt at unifying the country or addressing the problems that truly matter the most, daring to speak positively of white people, especially the salt of the earth white working class, is tantamount to blasphemy in the eyes of Black Lives Matter.

Even if Black Lives Matter is not an explicitly left-wing movement, it is still one of the gravest threats to American national stability in recent memory. It is a different beast from the bleeding-heart socialists, and one that will most likely be even more difficult to deal with. And as Sun-Tzu said, “if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” The sooner we begin to truly understand that Black Lives Matter is not just another “socialist” boogeyman to be addressed with empty platitudes, the sooner we can determine how or if it is even possible to heal from the damage it has already caused.

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors (Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

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