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September 22nd, 2020
L&T Opinions Page

earl watt mugL&T Publisher Earl Watt


I was surprised by the number of NFL teams who either did not come out of the locker room for the playing of both the Black National Anthem and the American National Anthem, and I was surprised by how many chose to stand rather than kneel. The most telling moment that has been mischaracterized was what happened at Arrowhead Stadium and the reason behind it.

The game between Kansas City and the Houston Texans began with no Texans on the field for the anthems and most of the Chiefs standing for both.

But the controversial moment came before kick-off when both teams decided to lock arm in arm, and the crowd started booing.

First, the fans weren’t booing the unity shown by the players. What was happening in the stadium at the same time was every monitor and screen showing the “BLM” logo.

For some, the phrase is a statement to combat racial injustice for Blacks.

For others, the phrase has become associated with the fascist BLM organization inciting violence, rioting and looting across the United States.

Much like the falsehood that ANTIFA stands for Anti-Fascist, the reality is the group opposes conservative political positions and has been associated with rioting and looting across the United States.

Some refer to ANTIFA as anarchists, but that, too, is inaccurate. Anarchists want no rules of any kind. ANTIFA and the BLM organization do have specific political policy goals.

Just to verify, type in, and you will be taken to Joe Biden’s campaign website. 

These people are not anarchists. They truly have goals.

According to Wikipedia, ANTIFA is a left-wing movement that is anti-capitalist and supports socialism, communism, Marxism and social democracy.

The group does not seek to make change through policy but through activism including violence.

While they claim to be anti-racist and against white supremacists, they have been involved in rioting and looting that has damaged and harmed businesses owned by Blacks and other minorities.

This leads to the problem with the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”

Almost every American supports the phrase and the mission of ending racism.

But the BLM organization is completely different. The BLM organization has been associated with violence and language that perpetuates hostile actions. 

Black leaders have even accused others of hijacking the message of Black Lives Matter, especially during the Seattle disruptions. 

Two members of the African American Council were booed for telling the crowd pushing issues like higher taxes and other demands, the group was hijacking Black Lives Matter.

Other leaders of the BLM organization have also offered incendiary statements that have made it more difficult for some to support the organization.

“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right?” Greater New York Black Lives Matter president Hawk Newsome said in an interview with Martha McCallum.

Both ANTIFA and the BLM organization have become exclusively associated as far left organizations that have been feeding the discontent rather than seeking understanding and policy change.

The problem is elevating anyone above another is wrong, and the phrase Black Lives Matter may sound good to those who have faced adversity, but for others, it sounds like their individual life just doesn’t matter at all.

Blacks have been mistreated, and we need to revisit our policies on how we insure their safety when they are involved in legal altercations as well as making sure they have the same access to the American Dream, but the BLM organization is seeking revenge, not fairness.

The answer could be as simple as simply adding to the phrase, Black Lives Matter, Too.

Instead of being exclusive, BLMT shares a message that Black lives shouldn’t be overlooked and should be treated the same as everyone else. BLM conveys only Black lives that matter. BLMT doesn’t have that issue.

BLMT also overcomes the problem of saying All Lives Matter, which can be offensive to Blacks because it does not recognize the unique struggle that Blacks have faced. There is a history, even if not as pronounced in our community, where Blacks have had more difficult interactions with law enforcement.

The answer is not to defund law enforcement but to invest more heavily in it with enhanced training, better education, and required video surveillance on all interactions.

BLMT would allow those concerned about the system to avoid the partisan issue associated with the BLM organization. Justice for all is not partisan. We all want a system that treats everyone with dignity, respect and fairness.

The purpose of law enforcement is to make sure our rights are protected from those who may choose to violate the law.

For those who truly care about all people but recognize we have an issue, the solution is to support policies that protect rights, not retribution or race hating. Because Black Lives Matter, Too.

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