Everyone has heard of the organization. And most everyone has heard about three or four different renditions of exactly what members and followers of the movement believe the organization believes politically, economically, and socially.
I suggest everyone who follows TruthNewsNetwork pays close attention to this story today. It’s about time we all stoke our minds with facts. The truth never hurts and certainly feeds our abilities to understand and therefore make educated decisions about things that happen around us. And, believe me, there are far too many versions of the definition of Black Lives Matter (BLM) to lead people into the truths of its purposes.
For a basic understanding of its principles, we turned to their very own writings. What follows are just two sections describing and explaining in detail the purposes for BLM and its goals and objectives.
Four years ago, what is now known as the Black Lives Matter Global Network began to organize. It started as a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission was to build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
In the years since, we’ve committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.
BLM began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state.
Enraged by the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, and inspired by the 31-day takeover of the Florida State Capitol by POWER U and the Dream Defenders, we took to the streets. A year later, we set out together on the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, in search of justice for Mike Brown and all of those who have been torn apart by state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Forever changed, we returned home and began building the infrastructure for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which, even in its infancy, has become a political home for many.
Ferguson helped to catalyze a movement to which we’ve all helped give life. Organizers who call this network home have ousted anti-Black politicians, won critical legislation to benefit Black lives, and changed the terms of the debate on Blackness around the world. Through movement and relationship building, we have also helped catalyze other movements and shifted culture with an eye toward the dangerous impacts of anti-Blackness.
These are the results of our collective efforts.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network is as powerful as it is because of our membership, our partners, our supporters, our staff, and you. Our continued commitment to liberation for all Black people means we are continuing the work of our ancestors and fighting for our collective freedom because it is our duty.
- Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family, a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.
- We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.
- We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.
- We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.
- We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.
- We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world.
- We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.
- We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.
- We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
- We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.
- We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
- We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
- We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
- We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
- We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.
- We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.
What Do BLM Members Believe and Support?
Our program is rooted in the experience of the working class and the oppressed. Genuine Marxism and internationalism will speak to the far-thinking elements in the movement. We must aim to win the best and brightest of the movement to our ranks. We have advanced demands for community control of the police and economic justice, for guaranteed quality jobs with a $15 an hour minimum wage. Issues around education, housing, prisons, the death penalty, the environment, women’s rights, and immigrant rights will also be a powerful way to broaden the movement out to the wider layers of the working class and poor.
The movement today is led by the youth of color, and socialists must continue to encourage that development while still actively engaging in the battle of ideas to take the struggle forward. Marxists advance the need for working-class unity that is multi-racial, democratic, accountable, and politicized, learning the lessons of the historic radical black freedom movement.
The BLM movement opens a new powerful chapter. The previous radical black freedom movement always had powerful anti-capitalist, socialist, and internationalist currents. Today black and Latino youth are increasingly open to the ideas of socialism and Marxism. Let’s engage this movement with confidence, armed with our ideas and the lessons of history. The struggle of the multiracial working class for socialist change is the beginning of overcoming racial division. Overthrowing capitalism cannot end all aspects of racism overnight, but it can do away with the exploitation that lays the basis for class society’s divide-and-rule approach. There is no other road. Black liberation can only be won through the socialist transformation of society.
Marxism and the Fight for Black Freedom
The oppression of black people has been a fundamental part of capitalism in North America since its inception. Along with nationalism, racial division has historically been the key ideological tool used by the ruling class to prevent the emergence of a powerful united working-class movement that could challenge its rule. Racism and the super-exploitation of the black population have also been the source of massive profits for the ruling class. But while this has remained a constant, the form of black oppression has changed enormously from the slave system to sharecropping under Jim Crow to the integration of a large section of the black population in industrial production starting in World War I and the mass migration of black people to the Northern cities in the 1930s.
The fight for black freedom has gone through a corresponding series of phases from slave rebellions to the abolitionist movement to the struggle of black workers alongside white workers to build industrial unions in the 1930s and 40s to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. The labor movement and socialists have been confronted from the beginning in this country with the strategic task of challenging racism as part of mobilizing working people in their class interests.
Karl Marx famously said that “Labor in the white skin can never free itself as long as labor in the black skin is branded.” Marx and his comrades in the International Workingmen’s Association (commonly known as the “First International”) saw the war to end the slave system as a revolutionary event of world-historic significance. Early American followers of Marx and other radical immigrants were active in the abolitionist movement and fought for the North. The most prominent of them, Joseph Weydemeyer, became a general in the Union army.
Of late we have seen and heard interviews with several of the co-founders of BLM. While their actions on the streets in recent days speak for themselves, trying to ascertain the purposes of BLM’s actions during demonstrations that often get out of hand have been vague and almost all misunderstood. There are several things that are certain, though:
- According to two of their co-founders, Marxism is a fundamental of the mindset for what BLM is and sets, in many cases, n which the purpose of their various operations are based. Marxism is a totalitarian social and governmental structure in which the People control every aspect of governing. It’s a utopia that has yet to be seen in the form that people are promised will result from this ideology. Nowhere on Earth has Marxism ever existed in that bottom-up structure.
- Economic Socialism is a fundamental demanded by BLM. For that structure to ever be realized in the U.S. will require the overthrow of every part of Capitalism. Though many (Like former Presidential candidate and current Senator Bernie Sanders) disguise the reality of true Socialism selling the idea of it as “Democratic” Socialism, it has nowhere in history achieved even marginal success.
- Many BLM followers envision the U.S. as a nation in which people of color assume systemic control of every aspect of life: government, economic, and social. Their vision to achieve that goal is to take from White America all control (either real or perceived) held by white elites.
- Total reform of criminal law, prisons, and the abolishment of the death penalty.
Black Lives Matter maintains an active website with reams of detailed historical and foundation information. If you take a look you’ll see a plethora of ideas of governing that really are mostly non-specific in structure but each adheres closely to the Marxist/Socialist mantra. The one consistency throughout the pages of explanation of the organization is this: people of color in the U.S. not only are repressed at the hands of the white privileged, but are committed to a top-down restructuring of every law, regulation, principle, and existing institutions of education. Throughout the writings of various leaders, there’s a common demand for a $15 minimum wage for laborers.
I caution every person reading this story to NOT dismiss BLM as nothing but a radical group with a racial cause. It is far more than that. BLM has the permanent objective of the destruction of most of the principles of the United States and replacing those with new rules and regulations that (they say) will tilt the control of the nation away from racist and privileged white Americans to people of color.
I believe they are serious AND committed. And this movement is far from a group of social justice wishers. I suggest we all research and listen. They have a large list of valid issues with life in the nation that was NOT created and have NOT been operated for the benefit of African Americans and other people of color. They point at the capitalistic system and even members of the Democratic Party (and certainly the Republican Party) as the people and organizations that must be shattered for BLM to last and succeed.