Let me get right to the point: Has anyone else noticed similarities between the rhetoric of #BlackLivesMatter Movement and that of recent radicalized Islamist? Because to me the similarities seem to be startling, and ominous.
I think we’re all familiar here with the BLM movement and its focus on officers of the peace. But I wonder how many have paid attention to the streak in recent radicalized Islamists. I first noticed it with the ax-attacks on NYC police officers in October, 2014. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Then I noticed again with the martyr video released by Amedy Coulibaly after the deli attack in Paris, which was related to the Charlie Hebdo attack.
In the video Amedy Coulibaly admitted to killing a police officer in the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo in order to give cover to his friends, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, who were the jihadists who attacked Charlie Hebdo. Then, on Friday, the news broke briefly that five in a cell of terrorists were arrested in Belgium over plans to attack police. Today, two more involved in that cell were arrested in Greece. Their explicit design was an attack on police. According to Europol:
[It’s] hard for police to identify plans because suspects were “working in a self-radicalised way very often, not necessarily under any command and control structure”.
In addition to the ax-attacks in New York last October by a “self-radicalized” convert to Islam, we have Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who assassinated officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos in Brooklyn just before Christmas. He was also “self-radicalized” and there is some evidence that he had at least explored aspects of Islam, and may have converted to it. You won’t find reports of that in mainstream media, of course.
I’m not one to make easy accusations of false equivalence. And I’m not saying that there is any evidence of collaboration between protesters in the BLM movement and major jihadists groups such as ISIS or the myriad incarnations of Al Qaeda. I’m saying the similarities in rhetoric of late are notable and that the topic is worth exploring.
We know that there’s overlap with the BLM movement and the Occupy movement. We also know that Occupy was a thoroughly astroturfed movement. But did you know that one of the most prominent activists in the St. Louis arm of the BLM protest movement is actually a brown Palestinian named Bassem Masri who has spent time agitating in Jerusalem? He’s been a prominent live-streamer in St. Louis and much-interviewed front man since the early days of the Ferguson disruption. His face, along with his t-shirts with catchy anti-police messages, have oft been photographed and displayed prominently on front pages of major news outlets, including the WaPo and NYT. I don’t know else much about him except that his nexus with the BLM has me asking questions.
A lot of what’s gone down with BLM movement is an extension of arguments against a so-called police-state that were the trade of radicalized segments of the boomer population in the 1960s. And in that context, they makes sense given the left’s desperate attempts to recreate the 1950s and 1960s, with all the drama and re-emergent liberal ascendancy characteristic of that time. That’s been the point of a lot of the carpet-bombing of nostalgic rhetoric that defines the age of Obaman agitators. But there’s a dangerous aspect to their game that has become evident. Will it become pervasive and persuasive enough to de-legitimize even positive police interaction in the United States? What about nations beyond the US? Will it start or contribute to a juggernaut that could leave us all less safe?
Nobody wants a police that is too empowered. Actual police states are brutal on the entire populace; they don’t differentiate between the Michael Browns and the Noah McKennas of the citizenry. If you don’t believe me, just ask the families of the dead Tienanmen Square protesters, all of whom were college students. In an actual police state, Noah McKenna would have been steamrolled by a tank, concrete-buried arm and all. That’s how you know we don’t actually live in a police state. We live in a state that is policed, because crime is real and we need officers who will maintain the peace, protecting innocent people from the math and aftermath of criminals and their violence.
But the movement that is building with #BlackLivesMatters, and the agitators attracted by the idea that they are carrying on a fight begun in the face of actual injustice, are not self-aware enough to know that times have changed, or that outside agitators may be boring into their hollow rhetoric to infect it with a poisonous venom that will strike at the heart of what they say they want most: increased freedom & equality. That’s just what this new breed of jihadists are capable of doing. And that’s just the danger of astroturfed protests.
Effective policing in a free country is a delicate balance. It calls for a force of good people with effective training, balanced with laws & policies that allow for the protections of people and their rights. That’s actually what we have. Do bad things still happen to good people? Yes. Do innocent people still get caught up and crushed beneath the wheels of justice? Yes. That happens. But it happens far less often than it does in actual police states. Just ask Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam.
If there’s a concerted effort to prey on the uncritical mindset of the activist leftist beehive, it’s an effective plan. It won’t take much to reach and radicalized this generation of plugged in activists. Organizing through social media has become a mainstay of both the activist left and caliphate-oriented Islamic radicals. The danger is obvious once it comes into focus, but it’s not been noticed or discussed much. The problem then becomes how to address it, and effectively neutralize the danger.