By Max Newman
On the heels of Martin Luther King Day and with Black History Month approaching, a grim realization has dawned on me. No, it’s not the realization that Jada Pinkett Smith is serious about boycotting the Oscars for being “too White” for the second year in a row. No, it’s not the realization that Stephen Colbert continues to pander to the left by recently admitting he has “White privilege”. It is the realization that fifty three years after Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech, his dream is slowly but surely dying. King’s dream is being killed off not by far right conservatives, police officers, or Donald J. Trump. His dream is being killed by the most passionate elements of Black Lives Matter. If events in 2015 are to be repeated in 2016 and the years ahead, then I fear King’s dream of ending prejudice and hatred will be beyond saving.
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered one of the greatest speeches in American history to hundreds of thousands of civil rights supporters in Washington DC. The civil rights activist passionately laid out what his “dream” was. He called for an end to racial hatred in the United States, for civil rights supporters to solely use nonviolent action to achieve justice, and for Blacks and Whites to embrace one another and to become unified against racial hatred. Dr.King’s speech is one of my favorites. In many ways, King’s “dream” became a reality. African Americans were granted civil rights, Blacks and Whites can marry, schools are no longer segregated and America has elected its first African American President. All of these accomplishments are ones to be immensely proud of, as even the election of an African American president is extraordinary (even though I wish it was Allen West or Thomas Sewell instead). However, decades of progress since the days of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement are at risk of being destroyed by a core group of far left activists who elected our first African American president in the first place. The most extreme elements of Black Lives Matter (BLM), are not just angering people who want to go about their daily business (remember the protestors who interrupted “White spaces” in NYC). Fringe elements of Black Lives Matter have made headlines in 2015 by interrupting presidential candidates, shutting down shopping malls and worst of all, using intimidation tactics to achieve their goals. Whether it’s gung ho activists from the group #ConcernedStudent1950 harassing and cursing out White students in a Dartmouth library or the disturbing chant of “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” aimed at police officers, the most extreme fringes of BLM are hell bent on intimidating anyone who does not agree with them aren’t exactly advancing Dr. King’s dream.
My criticism of Black Lives Matter is not criticism against the organization itself, but against the intimidation tactics that extreme members use to advance their political agenda. I respect their continuous effort to keep protests for the most part peaceful, as Dr. King would have wanted. What I cannot support, however, are the disgusting tactics that far left activists, particularly on college campuses, use to accomplish their goal of so called “equality.” Over the course of 2015, the country watched as gung ho, far left student activists from the group #ConcernedStudent1950 intimidated their opposition on campuses such as Mizzou and Yale. Their goals were to oust University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe for allowing racism on campus, and to end racism against non White students. However, the goals of #ConcernedStudent1950 student activists is not to have equality, civil discourse or freedom of speech at all. The goals of groups such as #ConcernedStudent1950, which works in lock step with Black Lives Matter, is to shut down any form of opposition, silence any dissenting views and blame “the system” for the struggles of Black students on college campuses, all while whining and moaning about being oppressed in the process.
Two of King’s dreams of using nonviolent action to achieve goals and for Blacks and Whites to embrace one another are slowly but surely being undone by the far left. The far left, particularly fringe elements of Black Lives Matter, are turning back the clock to the days of the 1960s. Only this time, it is arguable that the oppressed have become the oppressors, particularly on college campuses across the country. The far left is undoing the progress that Martin Luther King strived for, as the tactics that they have used in 2015 would leave Dr. King rolling over in his grave. When Dr. King called for an end to racism in the United States by organizing through nonviolent action, I’m pretty sure his hope was not for hundreds of young African Americans to loot liquor stores, burn cars, and raze pharmacies in Ferguson and Baltimore. When King expressed his hope for Blacks and Whites to “join hands as sisters and brothers” fifty three years ago, I’m pretty sure King wouldn’t have wanted hypersensitive college students demanding “Black safe spaces” to separate themselves on campus. These absurd demands were made recently at colleges such as UCLA, UC Berkeley and NYU, as students at all three colleges have demanded separate housing for Black students and other students of color who feel marginalized. Additionally, the students from #ConcernedStudent1950 who invaded the Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth haven’t received King’s memo either, as they screamed epithets such as “‘F*** you, you filthy White f***s!”, “f*** your White tears” and “filthy White b****” at White students studying in the Dartmouth library. Many of the tactics that Black Lives Matter have used both in malls and on college campuses to silence the “oppressors” and fight back against “the system” have intimidated, silenced, ostracized, and worst of all, divided people. If Black Lives truly matter, the most ardent members of the movement should focus on improving their own communities first, instead of blocking traffic on the San Francisco Bay Bridge and calling students studying ‘filthy White f***s’. If Black Lives Matter truly cared about King’s dream and his legacy, they would focus on improving relations with White allies and focus on improving the school’s, wages, employment opportunities in tandem with White people as King would have wanted, as opposed to alienating and silencing them.
I understand how slammed I may get for this piece from the politically correct left. Yes, the left may see this piece and become infuriated, as they would charge how I as a heterosexual, cisgendered caucasian male from the suburbs could write such an abominable and blasphemous article. They can call me every term in the book, whether it be “privileged this” or “Whitesplaining” that, but the intimidation tactics from the far left will not silence my views, just as they did not silence the courageousness of cameraman Tim Tai at Mizzou. This article criticizing BLM’s tactics isn’t exactly made to make the coddled snowflake students on college campuses feel comfortable. This article was made to express my opinion on how the intimidation tactics of Black Lives Matter is the reason why King’s dream is dying. This article was made to convey the facts that BLM tactics are intimidation tactics that silence, ostracize, isolate and divide certain groups of people, and as the great Ben Shapiro says, “facts don’t care about feelings.”
More importantly, I am writing this as a call to action to save King’s legacy and preserve it for future generations. King’s dream of exclusively nonviolent action and all races coming together in unity to achieve justice is in fact under threat. We must acknowledge that the intimidation tactics that BLM uses is a core reason why the dream is dying. BLM’s tactics as seen at Dartmouth and Mizzou alienate, intimidate, and divide people. King would be ashamed. It is time that we follow in King’s path to achieve liberty and justice for all. We can only do this together, not separate. It is time for Black Lives Matter and the far left in general to stop judging people based on their “diversity identifiers”, which include race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status, and start judging people by the content of their character, as King wanted. The left’s continuous obsession over diversity does nothing but set us apart. Their focus on diversity does not bring different groups of people together. It is time that the far left stops silencing the voices of conservatives like Ben Carson, Allen West, Mia Love and Thomas Sewell, and stop labeling them “traitors” just because they don’t believe in the failed ideology of left wing progressivism. It is time that the far left stops alienating and dividing this country by having student activists curse out students in libraries and on college quads, and it is important that we never give up in fighting against those who want to silence unpopular opinions. We must do this, and as Dr. King incredibly once said, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back.”