• Patrick Taylor

    Beyond the obvious racism and devaluing of black lives, I think part of the challenge with BLM is that a, it is targeting law enforcement, and b, it’s platform was much more diffuse and broad than the march for our lives. BLM’s platform includes defunding police, reparations, and essentially ending white supremacy at home and abroad. The march for our lives is asking for higher age limits on gun purchases, universal background checks, banning certain kinds of guns/ammunition, funding mental health, etc. It’s way easier to be down with high school kids not being shot than with abolishing the police (who, at the end of the day, are still needed in some form or other). It’s way easier to support some (relatively minor) reigning in of the extreme liberalization of gun laws than to support a movement that is calling out the entire system, one in which you may benefit from, and a movement which was conflicted at best about the involvement of white people.

    • Third Sector Radio USA

      I read your reply to the story (setting aside–as my white privilege too often allows me–the “blame the victim” argument) to suggest that incrementalism is easier to support than changing the system. I think this supports Cyndi Suarez’s point that the privileged movements may not work for all people. Incrementalism without vision is ultimately meaningless for social justice. While March for our Lives attempts to counterbalance the extremist position on guns that affects school safety, other movements oppose extremism as well, such as the persistently extremist behavior racism. All these activities deserve acknowledgement and support, because nonprofits are keepers of values.

  • Richard Clarke

    Maybe the difference in popular relation has to do with the BLM marchers chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon”, while the cops were actively protecting them along the route of the march…..

  • Denise Moorehead

    Your article is spot on on its indictment of our national culture to value whiteness over black and brown people amd institutions. For generations POC have innovated new ideas, ways of doing things and even new ways of being in right relationship with each other. And then their innovations have languished outside of their community until someone from the dominant cultural “discovers” (appropriates) this “new thing.” Just think of the use of #MeToo, created by a black women for poor women of color who had been sexually abused and violated. It was considered an innovation and defined a movement when a famous white actress used it.

    In addition to race, you also speak to the issue of privilege at play. I would like to name it outright: social class. Even POC like Winfrey — for all of the good that she has done and will continue to do — are not immune from class bias. When coupled with racism, classism, including internalized classism, keeps people from empathizing with poor or working-class young black men who are being shot by trigger-happy police, community watch people and anyone else with a gun.

    This double dose of oppression muffles the voices of BLM supporters. And the double dose of privilege that the Parkland, Fla., youth enjoy amplifies theirs.

    One tool at everyone’s disposal that can be used to address this toxic mix of racism and classism is to do what you do here in this article: Call out racism. Call out classism. And do this every time you see or experience them. Make others aware of their biases and their willingness to be complicit in devaluing African American people and movements.