There is a lot of angry noise right now but also a noticeable, disturbing, silence.
The noise is coming, of course, from Black Lives Matter activists and their supporters and enablers.
The silence is coming from people who are normally happy to share their views but who are keeping their heads down and their mouths shut.
That is where we are in Britain in 2020. Many people are afraid to express their opinions.
And not without reason.
Raise your voice against against riots, statue smashing, police acquiescence, political opportunism and the accompanying corporate virtue-signaling; express any kind of concern at all about the street activism and divisive identity politics that appears so potent, and you run the risk of being accused of racism.
And in many occupations, merely the accusation of racism, never mind proof of it, can be enough to cost you your job.
This chilling effect on free speech and debate is no accident.
As this article points out, BLM has been masterfully designed to, not only promote its agenda, but to silence and shame any opposition.
“BLM is a classic and effective piece of rhetorical blackmail. Either get on board or you’re a racist: that is the logic of it — a logic driven by fear.
“It’s the perfect slogan, as befitting the powerful alignment between progressive liberal-left politics and the PR, media and advertising industries across the Anglophone world. There’s an immediate and powerful social block on even questioning this movement just from its name.”
But no political movement should ever be above scrutiny and criticism, however cleverly it has been designed and marketed.
It needs to be said clearly — just because you find BLM’s politics and approach to politics, worrying, that doesn’t make you a racist.
All political organisations should be judged by both their actions and their words and there is no reason why that should not apply to BLM.
We have seen ample evidence of the actions of BLM supporters, their tactics, on the streets of America and now our own cities as well, particularly in London.
There has been violence, attacks on the police, targeted political vandalising of public buildings and monuments and a shrill aggression and threats. People can draw their own conclusions about such an approach to politics and make comparisons with movements of the past, but I want to focus on what BLM believes.
On the surface, BLM is presented by the media as being simply against police brutality and discrimination against black people.
You will struggle to find anyone who disagrees with this basic stance. You will not find any serious commentator or politician who supports or justifies the death of George Floyd or who believes black people should be discriminated against.
But BLM believes in much more than reasonable and disciplined policing and non-discrimination. And you don’t have to scratch this surface offer very hard to discover their real agenda.
BLM’s UK branch has posted their basic political beliefs on their GoFundMe page, which has so far raised £775,378 from 29,000 donors.
The second paragraph of their ‘Who We are’ statement reads like this:
“We’re guided by a commitment to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white-supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures that disproportionately harm black people in Britain and around the world.”
That is quite simply a Marxist, indeed Leninist, agenda. One that BLM’s profit-making corporate backers and supporting brands appear to have not noticed …
There is nothing novel or innovative about being in favour of dismantling capitalism. The 20th century gave us plenty of examples of what happens when capitalism is dismantled — it results in poverty, mass repression and huge death tolls. Which is why no anti-capitalist party ever wins elections in free societies. BLM of course, don’t have any plans to stand in elections, they are too smart to do that when they are winning the ‘culture war’.
‘Imperialism’ means the foreign policies of the United States and Britain. It is a Leninist concept and it never refers to the foreign policies of China, Iran, Russia or any other country that has engaged in expansionism or suppression of minorities.
Until recently ‘white supremacy’ referred to the ideology of ultra-far-right racists. But that is not what BLM mean by it. There are no shortage of articles and speeches where BLM supporters argue that the United States, which had a two-term black president and has numerous black millionaires and senior political figures, is a ‘system of white supremacy’. It is utter nonsense and just as ludicrous when applied to modern, multicultural Britain.
Many of those on the liberal or soft-left, expressing sympathy or support for BLM are either unaware of their real agenda or choose to ignore it, in the same way that they put aside the anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and antisemitic ideology of the Corbynistas they voted for last year.
Let’s be clear.
You are not a racist just for opposing this far-left ideology.
You are not a racist simply for being against rioting and violence.
You are not a racist if you are against the vandalising of Winton Churchill’s statue.
Nor are you a racist for merely thinking that public monuments and statues should only be removed by elected and representative bodies and not in order to bow to a mob.
And, just as importantly, you can think this while also being anti-racist, against prejudice and discrimination based on race, against police brutality and in favour of policies to improve the lives of black people and all minorities.
You can be anti-racist and want to live in a free, tolerant, democratic society with a successful market economy rather than a totalitarian Marxist nightmare.
And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.