Thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds took to the streets last year in Frisco, Texas — the most suburban of suburbs — to march in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter slogan. Although some people worried the protests would transform into rioting, thankfully, the march remained peaceful. Unfortunately, it also proved to be rather pointless.
Less than a year later, Black Lives Matter activists took to the streets in a neighboring suburb of Plano, Texas to protest the death of Marvin David Scott III, a black man in his mid-20s who recently died in police custody. This time, however, there wasn’t nearly the same level of support from the community. Instead, Plano police were thrust into a tense scene of protesters blocking traffic at a busy intersection.
So, who was Scott? What happened? Nearly two months ago, police took Scott into custody after he was allegedly smoking marijuana behind the outlet mall in Allen, Texas. While detained, officers restrained and pepper-sprayed him, and placed a spit hood over his head. Hours later, he died. According to the medical examiner, the cause of death was a “fatal acute stress response in an individual with previously diagnosed schizophrenia during restraint struggle with law enforcement.”
As with most instances of purported injustice called out by Black Lives Matter activists, the details of Scott’s death provoke several questions. Did he have a criminal record? Did someone report him, or did police merely happen to find him while out on patrol? To what degree did Scott cooperate with the police? Why was he restrained and pepper-sprayed? What do the officers accused of murdering Scott have to say?
Whatever the answers to these questions might be, it should be clear by now that the involvement of Black Lives Matter activists will only exacerbate the problem. After a year of protests and so much media coverage, the official organization Black Lives Matter has mostly succeeded in enriching its highest-ranking members while spreading division and hate in the communities where they organize. The residents of Plano and other communities should take heed and stop enabling them in any way.
Some will object, saying that Black Lives Matter has brought much-needed awareness to the problem of racist law enforcement policies. If it wasn’t for the Black Lives Matter movement, the story goes, most Americans wouldn’t know how so many police departments and other public institutions systematically target and murder poor black Americans, routinely depriving them of justice. Except this isn’t true.
As writers like Heather Mac Donald have repeatedly demonstrated, “This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today.” While there might be individual instances of racism in law enforcement, it cannot justifiably be classified as “systemic” or even “widespread.”
This is why organizations like Black Lives Matter and its supportive activists and writers have to rely on specific, individual examples of what they can construe as racism instead of real statistics. Even in these cases, the charges of wrongdoing and bigotry are often debatable. Nevertheless, media outlets will do their utmost to present one side and not the other, turning each tragedy into the next political controversy.
True to their Marxist training, the Black Lives Matter organization has effectively applied Vladimir Lenin’s wisdom that “a lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Far from spreading awareness and informing Americans about the criminal justice system, Black Lives Matter’s messaging has done the opposite.
In too many cases, Americans are told to fear police and white supremacists more than actual criminals and terrorists. To make matters worse, contradicting this absurdity will automatically lead to accusations of racism and white privilege.
Black Lives Matter’s activism has brought little in the way of reform and has mostly hurt the communities they purport to defend. Many protests have turned into riots that have precipitated mass looting and arson, resulting in billions of dollars in damages. Additionally, police have been so hamstrung and vilified that they refrain from making arrests, and many police departments now face a shortage of personnel. Consequently, nearly every major American city has seen a surge in crime.
To top it off, Black Lives Matter has collected billions of dollars in donations, little of which has gone to the people or communities in need. From the little that’s known, at least some of their money goes to finance more mansions for founder Patrisse Cullors. As for those neighborhoods and businesses that have been torched by “peaceful protest,” they will have to find another way to pay for repairing the damage.
Fortunately, the protests for Scott have not erupted into an outbreak of mob violence. Yet, a heated confrontation between an angry driver and Black Lives Matter activists — one of whom drew a gun on the driver — should signal to Plano police to stop supporting these demonstrations.
That driver could have easily been shot dead for a grievance that had nothing to do with him or any of the other drivers. It should also be noted that apparently nothing has happened to the activist who threatened to shoot him. Enabling these thug tactics from protesters only emboldens them to become even more disruptive and increases the chance of serious chaos breaking out.
Americans seeking justice for men like Scott should stop depending on corrupt groups like the Black Lives Matter organization. Instead, they should acquaint themselves with the groups that do genuinely good work and with the numerous scholars who give much more accurate accounts of the social ills affecting American cities.
Ultimately, what those who seek answers will find is that much of the ills that plague our society are rooted in culture. This, in turn, suggests the most effective reforms will, likewise, be cultural in nature rather than economic or political.
If we’re to see real, positive change, Americans must stop listening to leftist demagogues and corrupt organizations like Black Lives Matter. Instead, they should focus on giving back to their community, volunteering in local charities, and taking ownership for the well-being of where they call home. It may not be as easy as staging a protest or posting a meme on social media, but it’s much more rewarding.