BLM: A Movement and Its Critics
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/11/2015
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21291
Recent studies, once again, show that being Black makes life more difficult than for those with white skin. It is more difficult to get good paying jobs, education and housing (even for those with equal or better qualifications than whites). Blacks pay more for loans than whites, even if they have higher incomes.
Black conservatives, like the Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, follow a long tradition of Blacks who blame Blacks themselves for their problems. It is the old "pull up your own bootstraps" ideology. Carson, who grew up in Detroit, said his working-class mother taught him to not to rely on handouts and government aid.
Carson's view represents mainstream right wing/Republican ideology. Jeb Bush said as much in a South Carolina campaign speech when asked what he offers Black people. "It isn't one of division and get in line and we'll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting - that says you can achieve earned success."
Carson, Black conservatives, Bush and the right wing have little influence among mainstream African Americans precisely because Carson's success as a neurosurgeon is not possible for most. Yet Carson himself is a product of African Americans before him who built the country with free labor as slaves and victims of discrimination.
BLM activists and leaders don't consider Carson and the right wing as true supporters of equality. The BLM does expect more from antiracist liberals and progressives, especially those who fought in earlier civil rights battles. Unfortunately, some of these longtime civil rights figures are the most critical of the new generation of militants.