Black Lives Matter just another racket

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It often takes time to recognize a racket. Think of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. For years, they preyed on decent, praying Americans, defrauding them while presenting themselves as people of faith. Or remember Peter Popoff? He was constantly exposed for selling fraudulent products that were meant to “cure” people. They did no such thing. But he preyed on people’s goodness and hopes all the same. 

These over-surgeried televangelists claim they can only build their spanking new church if you hand over your hard-earned dollars. Or buy their magical healing water. All the time, they stock up their personal empires or splash it out on overpriced hookers. 

Now we have new religions, and a whole new religious caste. Like the worst hucksters of old, they prey on our new vulnerabilities. In our time, few groups are as guilty of this as the people who run the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Like the most fraudulent pastors, the heads of BLM take advantage of good people. They present an undeniably good cause. They prey on people’s hopes and fears. After all, who in America does not believe that black lives matter? Who wouldn’t have sympathy with, or support, a group that claims to want to help people fight injustice? But BLM operates like all rackets do. 

Distorting reality 

Firstly, they lie about reality. In the case of BLM, they pretend that black people in the United States in 2022 can be killed at any time by the police. They pretend that racism is a pandemic in this country and that everything and anything must be done to tackle it. 

Dallas police officer
A Dallas police officer stops and gets out of his car to talk and take photos with a group of demonstrators gathered at Lake Cliff Park.
AP/Smiley N. Pool

The effects of this work is there for all to see. The American public has been misled about the real state of race in this country. A poll in 2020 asked Americans how many unarmed black men they think are killed by the police in America the previous year. More than a fifth of people who described themselves as “very liberal” said they thought it was over 10,000 unarmed black people in America killed by police every year. Among self-described “liberals,” around 40% said they thought that the figure was somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000. The actual figure was around 10. Meaning that liberals in America were off by several orders of magnitude. They had a completely wrongheaded idea of what America is actually like. 

But no wonder. For they had spent years hearing BLM pretend that black people are killed with impunity in this country. And that rather than us knowing the names of almost every single one of the most controversial police interactions we are somehow all covering them up. “Say their names,” they chant. But everyone in America knows the name of George Floyd. As we do the name of the policeman sent to life in prison for killing him. 

Yet like the huckster pastors, BLM pretends otherwise. They present a false reality and then present a false solution. How convenient for them that the solution just happens to enrich themselves. 

BLM Protest
Murray believes BLM pretends that racism is a pandemic in this country.
AP/Alex Brandon

So, just as Peter Popoff pretended that he could wash away all your ills with his magical spiritual water, so BLM pretended that if you sent in the checks, then they could address the illness of America. They presented America as irredeemably racist and then said only they could redeem this country. How the money rolled in. 

And it wasn’t just credulous individuals, but huge corporations, companies and the super-rich who paid up. Like guilds paying off the church of old, large financial institutions made vast payments to BLM. In part like some kind of protection racket. “Our company can’t be racist because we support BLM,” they said. “So make sure that next time there are riots the mob moves right on by us and burns the place next door. For we are the chosen ones.” 

The high priestess 

Meantime, good people were misled into parting with their money to pay for a cause that has no accountability and seems to have used its funds solely to enrich its leaders. 

What a racket it turns out to have been. It is now a year since the New York Post revealed the real-estate empire of BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors. The 38-year-old once famously claimed to be a “trained Marxist.” As though that is a real discipline. But it turned out that the only thing she’d really learned about Marxism was some Marxists are more equal than others. 

Now the rest of the media is catching up with the story. This week, New York magazine detailed BLM’s purchase of a swanky new $5.8 million mansion in Southern California. 

How did Cullors, the high priestess of BLM, respond? Why with accusations that the story was “racist and sexist,” of course. She tried to shut it down, just as she had earlier worked with the social-media companies to try to subdue the reports in The Post’s revelations about her grand lifestyle. 

If Cullors was a corrupt televangelist, she would be claiming that her critics were sinning against God. In today’s racial religion, Cullors claims that her critics are sinning against BLM. It is a clever way of operating. But it is also very familiar. 

Both Cullors and the organization she runs are now at a critical juncture. The American people can now see through them. We can see that they may have started something in a good cause. But they turned the cause into a business. And then swiftly into a racket. A racket from which they seem to be the ones to have benefited. America has a long list of snake-oil salesmen who claimed to be people of faith. Let the “trained Marxist” heads of BLM join that ugly and shameful list. 

“The War on the West” by Douglas Murray will be published on April 26. 

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