Skip to comments.A Black Lives Matter founder on its evolution, future — and Trump
Posted on 08/11/2017 12:36:01 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In four years, Black Lives Matter went from a hashtag about social injustice to a full-fledged global civil rights movement.
Metro spoke with Patrisse Cullors, who cofounded Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013, about its evolution, fighting racism in the age of Trump, her upcoming memoir and what saying all lives matter really means.
What is the biggest misconception you find people have about Black Lives Matter?
Patrisse Cullors: That we just started a hashtag. That it isnt a sophisticated set of ideas that would lead to a larger strategy to build out, a powerful network. That Black Lives Matter is every black organization we are one of many black-led organizations across the country. That Black Lives Matter only cares about black people in America.
How do you feel when someone counters black lives matter with all lives matter?
You definitely dont care about black folks if you say all lives matter. We all know that all lives matter, thats a very obvious take, but what people are missing when they refuse to say black lives matter is that black folks have the shortest end of the stick they have historically, and they do currently. Until we address and end black racism, we are not going to see the freedom of all human beings.
Do you think America will ever be racism-free?
I do if we remember that the popular vote did not get Trump in office. Thats a great sign. Will it be in my generation or my childs? I dont think so, but many people didnt think wed see a black president, and we did.
We are living in a country that will elect one of the most progressive people in the history of America, and then elect one of the most regressive racists, so anything is possible (laughs). Only in America.
What are your thoughts on President Trump?
What weve seen in the last few months with this administration thats dubbed the law and order administration, they privilege police and law enforcement over the lives of the people most vulnerable, which are black folks and other marginalized groups. Where he encouraged law enforcement to brutalize individuals that they take, I think they have made it clear that Black Lives Matter isnt a friend to this administration, and they see it as a foe.
How has BLM adapted to his administration?
One thing is the deep desire to build coalitions with other groups of marginalized people. We were the first ones to show up when the Muslim ban happened to airports in New York and L.A. to stand up for the Muslim community. Theres support for the Affordable Care Act, and weve been on the front lines fighting for Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights and maternal justice.
What, to you, is the most important BLM focus?
Theyre all of equal importance, but because so much of the focus of the media is on the Trump administration, were not seeing much of the conversation around the killing of black people by law enforcement. I think thats deeply unfortunate because we havent seen law enforcement be accountable.
Youll publish a joint memoir with Asha Bandele in January. What can you tell me about When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir?
This is the story of what it looks like to grow up in the 80s and 90s from a young black girls perspective in Los Angeles.
Youre going to hear about me living in a community that was over-policed and over-incarcerated. Youre going to hear about my coming-out story and what it meant and what it means to be a person who had to live a lot of my life visiting people inside jails and prisons and how all of that really brings me to helping create the start of Black Lives Matter.
For many people, they only know me for Black Lives Matter, but Ive been doing movement-building work, advocacy work and grassroots work since I was 17, and Im 34. Black Lives Matter was a moment and a hashtag and now a global movement that I helped start, but it isnt the beginning of the end for my work.
Were there passages that were difficult to write?
I think the passage and the chapter that was most difficult for me to write was on my brother, Monte, who is my hero and who has also been really demoralized by the police state and spent a lot of time in prison and suffers from schizoaffective disorder.
I wrote about his imprisonment and the impact it had on me and the work I did and the work my community did to help get him out of prison and keep him from getting a life sentence and, once he came home, supporting his stability. That chapter was a lot of tears and feelings about this country.
Like so many at that age, you left home at 16 because of your sexuality. What kept you going?
My friends, my community, all the other queer kids that I was with. For young, queer kids and trans kids who are often isolated in their towns, communities and their own homes, this is a book to remind folks that the power is in our community and building a community who really can and will take care of us.
What is the future of Black Lives Matter?
I see a continuation of what weve been doing the past four years and a continued evolution. I think thats what makes our movement really powerful. Were willing to evolve, so I think continued evolution, continued work and a very dedicated presence around fighting and winning against the current administration of the right and conservative party.
No matter how you write it, the BLM is still anti-capitalist, anti-police, anti-white middle/working class, racial supremacist, neo-Marxist, and a set-up organization for mob violence (i.e. Ferguson, Baltimore though the communists did a lot to throw gasoline on the fire there), DC, St. Louis area, Philadelphia, etc.
Apparently the concept of self-responsibility is not in the BLM playbook. Need I say more?
So, as a dreaded white person, I call it “Black Like me”.
It's the best I can do.
Until BLM addresses black on black crime, there is nothing they can say that I will listen to.
Black Lives Matters only is here for one thing: To acquire money and power for its founders. If Black lives really mattered, they would scream every time a black kills a black, but of course they only scream when it will benefit themselves.
So they openly admit to wanting to enslave humanity unless their demands are met. Sounds a lot like the moooslimes!
Paid for thugs on-call to destroy the republic.
And we shall name it Teatsberg.
Prostitution and an EBT card?
Blah blah blah. Do whites have these 'civil rights'? So called civil rights is a lie.
Wonder who is funding the books?
LOL. He can start by looking in the mirror!
It sure isn’t a “sophisticated set of ideas”. It isn’t even a coherent set of ideas.
Once again, I have come to the inevitable conclusion that there are far worse things in the world than racism.
Until we address and end black racism, we are not going to see the freedom of all human beings.
I agree with this statement but I don't think Cletus thought it out before speaking it. It dispels the myth that blacks can't be racist. Black racism is one of our many problems today.
They are revolutionary communist and their stated goal since the 60’s is the violent overthrow of the US. They put it on their pre-printed protest signs. Just Google images of BLM RevCom.US
To me it sounds like they are holding up a militant fist with one hand against “whites” while holding out the other hand for a handout. Not using their hands to pull themselves up or to work towards self-reliance.
You can not end racism by continually pushing racism. In fact, you tend to make racism become more of a reality to a larger percentage of people.
When did that happen? Did I miss it?
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