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BLM Organization Vs BLM Movement: A Semantic Trap



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To the Editor:

An overwhelming majority of Americans agree with the truism that Black lives matter, myself included. Black lives do matter. Police brutality is abhorrent and we should always strive to see that everyone has the opportunity to realize the American Dream as MLK called for.

Conflating that sentiment with the organization of the same name (BLM) is a tactic frequently used to dismiss legitimate discussion of said organization and its policy positions. This is a semantic trap used by those who fluidly pivot between the broader movement and the BLM organization, which stifles dialogue and avoids discussion of contentious positions of the organization BLM that warrant deliberation. I believe Bee readers can see through it. Dialogue is important.

BLM the organization has called for and supported extensive, and at times total, defunding the police, a policy polling shows is not supported by a majority of Americans, myself included, who agree that Black lives do matter and recognize that low crime rates save lives.

On their website, BLM the organization advocates to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” while studies have shown the importance of fatherhood on raising children. I strongly disagree with this position and would encourage people to read Obama’s June 2008 speech on the importance of fatherhood.

Through chapters BLM the organization has advocated far-left policies. For example, BLM DC openly dedicates itself to the abolition of capitalism.

These positions and more warrant a broad discussion. Like others, I volunteered to get involved locally because I care and wanted to be a part of the dialogue on important issues. Mr Zakur is incorrect in his statement that I did not lead with recognition; I always have. Despite his claims otherwise, BLM the organization and its chapters do openly seek to achieve some of their objectives “by dismantling our American principals and structures.” This is concerning. Nothing of what I have said is “imagined” and I can provide sources should one wish to read them, many from the website of BLM and its chapters.

Just as I may consider myself a patriot, yet disagree with aspects of the Patriot Act, in the same respect we should be able to have objective conversations about these specific policies without chastising those raising concerns as though they broadly do not think Black lives matter.

Perhaps some do not realize there is more to BLM the organization than the title, or that it and the movement are not one and the same. Sadly though, others clearly capitalize on this as a bullying tactic to silence dissent by misrepresenting those who may raise concerns, often personally. I hope The Bee readers will look at how many letters address concerns directly, versus persecuting an author and suggesting questioning policies is the same as dismissing the broader movement.

My comments are my own as an individual and not on behalf of the Legislative Council, of which I am a member.


Ryan Knapp

11 Jeremiah Road, Sandy Hook August 18, 2020

Comments are open. Be civil.

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