by David Horowitz
If Black Lives Matter were a civil rights organization, one would reasonably expect its patron figure to be Martin Luther King, Jr., and its aspiration to be King’s vision of a race-free America where individuals are judged on their merits and not by their skin color. Instead, the revered figure and inspirational icon for Black Lives Matter activists is a designated terrorist and convicted cop killer: Assata Shakur.
In the 1970s Shakur was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a group that robbed banks and murdered police officers to achieve a Marxist revolution. Shakur is still wanted for the 1973 murder of Werner Foerster, a New Jersey state trooper who stopped her for a broken taillight on her car, whereupon she pulled out a gun and shot him. The 34-year-old officer and Vietnam vet was lying wounded on the pavement pleading for his life when Shakur walked over and finished him off, execution-style. Foerster left behind a wife and two young children. Shakur was convicted of the murder but escaped from prison in 1979 with the help of left-wing terrorists, including Susan Rosenberg. With the help of Rosenberg and others, Shakur fled to Communist Cuba, where she has lived as a fugitive for nearly 40 years. After being pardoned by Bill Clinton, Rosenberg went on to become board vice chair of Thousand Currents, the left-wing nonprofit organization that served as Black Lives Matter’s fiscal sponsor from 2016 to 2020.
The dedication page of Patrisse Cullors’s memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, contains these lines written by Shakur, which allude to the most famous incitement from Marx’s Communist Manifesto:
It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.
These four sentences are chanted in unison at every meeting and rally of Black Lives Matter, accompanied by a tribute to the revolutionary mother.
After fleeing the United States, Shakur was given sanctuary courtesy of Cuba’s sadistic dictator Fidel Castro, who is also a Black Lives Matter icon. When Castro died in 2016, the leaders of Black Lives Matter released a statement titled, “Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante.” The opening paragraph reads: “We are feeling many things as we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro. There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante. And there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel.”
The statement continues: “As a Black network committed to transformation, we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us. We are thankful that he provided a home for Brother Michael Finney, Ralph Goodwin, and Charles Hill [fugitive cop killers and airplane hijackers], asylum to Brother Huey P. Newton [former Black Panther Minister of Defense, drug addict, rapist, and killer], and sanctuary for so many other Black revolutionaries who were being persecuted by the American government during the Black Power era.”
The statement closes with this pledge: “As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!”
Black Lives Matter, Black Racists, and Anti-Semites
If Black Lives Matter were a civil rights organization, one might reasonably expect its leaders to condemn or at least distance themselves from well-known race haters like Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton. But Black Lives Matter leaders embrace both of those demagogues. Black Lives Matter joined Farrakhan’s “Justice or Else” march in Washington on October 10, 2015, and chose Sharpton to give the eulogy at George Floyd’s memorial service, where he accused white America of having pressed its knee on black America’s neck for 401 years.
In March 2018, Indiana Republican Congressman Todd Rokita introduced a resolution calling on the House of Representatives to condemn Farrakhan for a recent speech in which he had ranted, “White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.” A demonstration was organized to oppose the congressional resolution condemning Farrakhan. Black Lives Matter was part of the protests, along with the New Black Panther Party and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
If Black Lives Matter were a civil rights organization, one would expect it to respect all ethnic groups, particularly Jews, who have made major contributions to the movement for civil rights and are the targets of far more “hate crimes” than any other religious group. But over the Shavuot festival on May 30, 2020, the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter carried out a violent pogrom in Fairfax, a Los Angeles community largely populated by orthodox Jews. The activists not only vandalized five synagogues and three Jewish schools but also looted most of the Jewish businesses along the main avenue, while chanting “Fuck the police and kill the Jews.”
Melina Abdullah, the leader of Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles, helped organize the pogrom. She explained the attack on the Jews this way: “We’ve been very deliberate in saying that the violence and pain and hurt that’s experienced on a daily basis by black folks at the hands of a repressive system should also be visited upon, to a degree, those who think that they can just retreat to white affluence.”
In August 2015, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors was one of more than a thousand black activists to sign a statement proclaiming “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.” Among the prominent signatories of the petition were communist apparatchik and Lenin Peace Prize winner Angela Davis, radical Hamas supporter Cornel West, and convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
For the record, the Palestinian “struggle” is a 70-year genocidal aggression against Israel by Islamic terrorists whose stated goal is the obliteration of the Jewish state and the ethnic cleansing of its Jews. The statement signed by Cullors repeated the lies of Hamas and the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization: that Israel “occupies” a country called “Palestine” and is guilty of colonialism. Since the Jews have lived continuously in the West Bank for 3,000 years and there has never been a Palestinian state, the claim is absurd on its face. Since Israel’s nearly 2 million Arab citizens have the same civil rights as Jews, and more rights than the Arabs of any Arab state, the accusation that Israel is an “apartheid” state is equally mendacious and malicious. The statement Cullors signed also “wholeheartedly endors[ed]” the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired campaign to strangle the Jewish nation. The BDS movement has been denounced as anti-Semitic by Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, as well as by the Trump Administration.
At a July 1, 2020, demonstration in Washington, D.C.—an event that was billed as a rally supporting the Palestinian Authority’s “Day of Rage” against Israel—protesters repeatedly claimed that the Palestinian movement is “intrinsically tied to Black Lives Matter.” Chants alternated between “Black Lives Matter!” and “Palestinian Lives Matter!” Another popular chant was “Israel, we know you, you murder children, too.”
That same day, at a separate Black Lives Matter rally in Brooklyn involving several hundred people, its organizer, Nerdeen Kiswani, said, “The land that Israel exists on is still stolen. The 1948 lands are still stolen—Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv . . . was stolen.” This is just more malevolent slander. Israel was created under the United Nations’ auspices on land that had previously been part of the Turkish empire for 400 years. The Turks are neither Arab nor Palestinian. In case the genocidal intentions of the Black Lives Matter demonstrators were missed, Kiswani said, “We don’t want to go just back to our homes in Gaza and the West Bank. We want all of it. We don’t want a fake Palestinian state that they give us while Israel still exists.”
In a document titled “What We Believe,” Black Lives Matter laid out a number of major principles for which it stands. Among the more noteworthy was this: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
Black Lives Matter’s Assault on the Nuclear Family
This is a profoundly significant facet of the Black Lives Matter agenda because by rejecting the nuclear family it rejects the single value that, if it were to be embraced, would offer black Americans the tools they most need in order to carve out for themselves a prosperous and fulfilling life. At present, the traditional two-parent family is a statistical rarity in the black community. Roughly 70 percent of black babies today are born to unmarried mothers in fatherless homes. This fact has a host of catastrophic implications for those youngsters.
For example, father-absent families—black and white alike—generally occupy the bottom rung of our society’s economic ladder. Unwed mothers, regardless of their race, are much more likely to live in poverty than the average American. As Heritage Foundation research fellow Robert Rector has explained: “Out-of-wedlock childbearing and single parenthood are the principal causes of child poverty and welfare dependence in the U.S. . . . Children born out-of-wedlock to never-married women are poor 50 percent of the time. By contrast children born within a marriage which remains intact are poor 7 percent of the time. Thus, the absence of marriage increases the frequency of child poverty 700 percent.”
Children in single-parent households are raised not only with economic but also social and psychological disadvantages. For instance, they are much more likely than children from intact families to be abused or neglected, to struggle academically, to drop out of school, to have behavioral problems, to experience emotional disorders, to have a weak sense of right and wrong, and to be unable to delay gratification of their violent or sexual impulses. Conversely, they are much likelier to be sexually active as teens, to conceive children out-of-wedlock when they are teens or young adults, and to be on welfare when they reach adulthood.
In addition, growing up without a father is a far better forecaster of a boy’s future criminality than either race or poverty. Regardless of race, a large percentage of all rapists, adolescent murderers, young people in state reform institutions, and long-term adult prison inmates were raised in fatherless homes. As Rector notes, “Illegitimacy is a major factor in America’s crime problem. Lack of married parents, rather than race or poverty, is the principal factor in the crime rate.”
And yet, in spite of all this, Black Lives Matter holds the nuclear family in contempt. Why? Because Marxist ideology demands it. As California State University professor Richard Weikart has explained, Marx and Engels “usually wrote about the destruction, dissolution, and abolition of the family” as a natural outgrowth of “the abolition of private property and the introduction of socialism.” The goal is to replace all voluntary associations and non-governmental authorities with an all-powerful state. In late September 2020, in a propaganda effort to defuse the growing criticism it had been receiving for its hostility to the nuclear family—Black Lives Matter quietly, and without explanation, removed from its website all references to its anti-family creed.
Black Lives Matter: A Revolutionary Insurrection
Abolishing the nuclear family and supporting Islamic imperialism are not civil rights causes, and Black Lives Matter is not a civil rights organization. It is a revolutionary criminal movement whose goals are openly Marxist and communist. “We are trained Marxists,” Patrisse Cullors has proudly proclaimed, “We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza], in particular, are trained organizers; we are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think what we really try to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folks.” Similarly, Alicia Garza describes herself as a “queer social justice activist and Marxist.” The fact that Marx was a well-known racist and anti-Semite who once called the socialist Ferdinand LaSalle a “Jewish nigger” seems not to have registered on either woman’s radar.
With approximately 40 chapters of its own in the United States and abroad, Black Lives Matter is also the face of a coalition of radical groups that include the violent militia Antifa and numerous fronts for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Freedom Road is a Marxist-Leninist coalition whose name is taken from the title of a famous novel by the American communist author Howard Fast. Other revolutionary groups in the coalition include the Advancement Project, the Movement Strategy Center, the Black Left Unity Network, Black Workers for Justice, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Hands Up United, Intelligent Mischief, the Organization for Black Struggle, the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education, and the Labor/Community Strategy Center. The Labor/Community Strategy Center is headed by former Weather Underground terrorist Eric Mann. Mann was Patrisse Cullors’s ideological mentor.
Despite its embrace of black racists like Sharpton and Farrakhan, its support for Islamic terrorists abroad and violent anarchists at home, its criminal attacks on police, and its lack of respect for anyone who doesn’t agree with its extremist agenda, Black Lives Matter has been able to engage in a successful campaign, courtesy of the left-wing teachers’ unions, to indoctrinate k–12 schoolchildren to advance its revolutionary goals.
Indoctrinating American Schoolchildren
In October 2016, teachers in Seattle organized a “Black Lives Matter at School Day.” When the National Education Association subsequently adopted a resolution endorsing that program, “Black Lives Matter at School Day” was expanded into a “Black Lives Matter at School National Week of Action.” That “Week of Action” was scheduled to be held annually in early February as part of Black History Month activities. In 2018, school districts in more than 20 major cities incorporated “Black Lives Matter at School Week” into their curricula.
A key resource for these indoctrination sessions is a textbook titled Teaching for Black Lives, which opens with this sentence: “Black students’ minds and bodies are under attack.” It features stories on subjects such as “the continuing police murders of black people,” whose “lives are meaningless to the American Empire.” Its essays include “Rethinking Islamophobia: Combating Bigotry by Raising the Voices of Black Muslims”; “Plotting Inequalities, Building Resistance”; and “Racial Justice Is Not a Choice: White Supremacy, High-Stakes Testing, and the Punishment of Black and Brown Students.”
Even very young schoolchildren are targeted with Black Lives Matter gender propaganda in classrooms. An early childhood teacher’s guide emphasizes the importance of using “age-appropriate language” to help youngsters understand various concepts that are central to Black Lives Matter’s philosophy. For example, teachers are urged to cultivate “transgender arming” students by telling them, “Everybody has the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind. Everyone gets to choose if they are a girl or a boy or both or neither or something else, and no one else gets to choose for them.” And to promote what the guide calls “the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics and a return to the ‘collective village’ that takes care of each other,” teachers are instructed to say, “There are lots of different kinds of families; what makes a family is that it’s people who take care of each other; those people might be related, or maybe they choose to be family together and to take care of each other. Sometimes, when it’s lots of families together, it can be called a village.”
By 2020, “Black Lives Matter at School Week” was being observed by thousands of educators in public school districts across the United States.
Despite its anti-capitalist, anti-family, anti-wealth, Antisemitic, anti-white and anti-American agenda, Black Lives Matter has received hundreds of millions of dollars from Democratic donors like George Soros, from America’s biggest businesses including Amazon, Gatorade, Microsoft, Nabisco, and Dropbox, from its wealthiest philanthropies such as the Ford and Kellogg Foundations, and from high-profile billionaires and centi-millionaires like Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Black Lives Matter’s Corporate Funders
From 2016 to 2020, Black Lives Matter was a fiscally sponsored project of Thousand Currents, a California-based left-wing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As Robert Stilson of the Capital Research Center explains, a “fiscal sponsorship” arrangement means that an organization, like Black Lives Matter, “does not have its own IRS tax-exempt status but is operating as a ‘project’ of an organization that does.” In 2018 and 2019, respectively, Thousand Currents funneled $2,622,017 and $3,354,654 in donor-restricted assets to Black Lives Matter.
The convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg has served as a vice chair of the seven-member board of Thousand Currents. In the 1970s and ’80s Rosenberg was a member of the May 19th Communist Organization, which murdered a Brink’s guard and two police officers during a 1981 armored-car robbery in Rockland County, New York. One of the policemen, Waverly Brown, was the first black ever hired by the police force in the town of Nyack. The killings left nine young children without fathers. Rosenberg was also wanted in connection with the 1979 prison escape of Assata Shakur. When Rosenberg was arrested in 1984, she was in possession of 740 pounds of dynamite (the May 19th group had previously bombed the U.S. Capitol and other sites).
Convicted at trial, she was sentenced to 58 years in prison for her crimes but served only 16 because she was pardoned by President Clinton in 2001. On receiving her sentence, a defiant Rosenberg urged her comrades to join her in “rededicat[ing] ourselves to our revolutionary principles, to our commitment to continue to fight for the defeat of U.S. imperialism.”
Thousand Currents is only one avenue by which donors have been able to support Black Lives Matter and its agenda. Since July 2020, BLM’s new fiscal sponsor has been the Tides Center, a longtime funder of far-left causes and organizations. Moreover, when people click the “Donate” button on the Black Lives Matter website, they are redirected to a subdomain called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue describes itself as “a powerful online fundraising platform for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, progressive organizations, and nonprofits.” As the site further explains, ActBlue “is available to Democratic candidates and committees, progressive organizations, and nonprofits that share our values for no cost besides a 3.95 percent processing fee on donations.” As of May 21, 2020, ActBlue had already given $119 million to the presidential campaign of Democrat Joe Biden—plus another $187 million to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and $93 million to the Elizabeth Warren Presidential Exploratory Committee.
Black Lives Matter is already such a powerful force in the Democratic Party that Democratic governors and mayors across the country stood back and encouraged the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots—the largest and most destructive civil disorders in U.S. history—refusing to deploy the necessary law enforcement to end the violence and rejecting all federal offers of help until it was too late. At least 25 people, mostly black, lost their lives during the insurrections.
Each year, Democratic leaders observe the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death by repeating the falsehoods that led to the 2014 race riots in Ferguson, Missouri. On August 9, 2020, presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted, “It’s been six years since Michael Brown’s life was taken in Ferguson—reigniting a movement. We must continue the work of tackling systemic racism and reforming policing.”
Perpetuating Destructive Myths
The year before, Biden’s soon-to-be vice president, Kamala Harris, said, “Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement. We must fight for stronger accountability and racial equity in our justice system.” Thirty-five minutes later, Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on.”
All three made these statements knowing that the Obama-Biden Justice Department had conducted a thorough investigation of the shooting of Michael Brown, had refuted these claims, and had found his killing justified. Five black and two biracial eyewitnesses had testified to police, the FBI, and a grand jury that the much larger Brown was charging the officer despite being shot multiple times and ordered to stop. That three Democratic leaders would knowingly lie about this shooting with the intention of attacking police and supporting a violent criminal movement that played fast and loose with the truth, should be deeply disturbing to every American, black and white.
Black Lives Matter is supported by the largest and most powerful coalition in American political history. What has made it so powerful is its central idea, which is embraced by the Democratic Party, the partisan media, and America’s academic and cultural elites: White America enslaved black America 400 years ago and has kept its knee firmly on black people’s necks ever since. These are transparent but frequently repeated racial lies. America is not 400 years old; it was black Africans who enslaved blacks and sold them to Europeans at slave auctions; white America abolished slavery at the cost of 350,000 mainly white lives and created the most equal and inclusive society on the face of the earth. Yet this sinister and powerful anti-American, anti-white meme of the Left has now become a currency of America’s public culture and is spread by America’s major educational and cultural institutions and its corporate elites.
Apple, for example, one of the world’s largest companies, has announced a program “to challenge systemic racism,” which it calls, “Taking Action on Racial Equity and Justice.” The program defines racism in these words: “Racism is the marginalization or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.”
In other words, racism is specific to white people who oppress “people of color”—90 percent of the world’s population. Blacks can’t be racist. The fact that America’s black communities are the most prosperous, free, and empowered black communities in the world—thanks in large part to its white majority—is invisible to the Apple creed. The fact that the Chinese have enslaved two million Uighur Muslims and are busily harvesting their body parts is also off Apple’s radar screen, since the business Apple does with China’s genocidal regime is too lucrative to pass up. Apple is not about to give up the billions of dollars it makes off the slave labor that China’s racist regime provides to make its products. The fact remains that the largest racist organization in America is a black church called the Nation of Islam, whose leader preaches that whites are morally and mentally inferior to black people and need to be exterminated. But this is also off the radar for Apple’s social justice executives and the “woke” chorus generally.
Democrats who support and enable Black Lives Matter revolutionaries are constantly warning about “existential threats” to America such as “climate change.” But the movement that has coalesced behind the meme that America is a white supremacist nation conducting a genocidal war against blacks and all “people of color” is a far more palpable existential menace.
Black Lives Matter is run by violent Marxists and anti-white racists whose mentality is that of a lynch mob with no regard for facts or the law. Their goals are the abolition of police, the dissolution of the family, and the dismantling of America’s constitutional order. Their oft-proclaimed concern for justice is nonexistent. The resources this organization has already accumulated and the political power it has amassed are disturbing, but there is some hope in the fact that these assets were achieved by a fraudulent public-relations campaign, which cannot be sustained once the facts are known. To the vast majority of white Americans, black lives do matter. To the vast majority of black Americans, as national polls attest, the lives of America’s law enforcement officers matter, too.
Do Black People Matter to Black Lives Matter?
Americans, black and white, are already asking, “Are black lives really a concern to the leaders and activists of Black Lives Matter?” The decimation of urban police forces as a result of Black Lives Matter attacks has led to dramatic spikes in murders and other violent crimes committed against black citizens. A 2021 study of crime rates in 34 American cities concluded, “Homicide rates were higher during every month of 2020 relative to rates from the previous year.” The report summarizing the findings of this study described the 30 percent surge as “a large and troubling increase that has no modern precedent.” In cities like Chicago and Atlanta, the surge was well over 50 percent. As Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald wrote in January 2021, “The year 2020 likely saw the largest percentage increase in homicides in American history. Murder was up nearly 37 percent in a sample of 57 large and medium-size cities. Based on preliminary estimates, at least 2,000 more Americans, most of them black, were killed in 2020 than in 2019. . . . The local murder increases in 2020 were startling: 95 percent in Milwaukee, 78 percent in Louisville, Ky., 74 percent in Seattle, 72 percent in Minneapolis, 62 percent in New Orleans, and 58 percent in Atlanta.”
The blood of every victim of this surge in homicides can be attributed to the mendacious claims of Black Lives Matter, the incitements to violence by its activists, and the baseless attacks on police that accompanied them.
So far, the 7,000-plus annual murders of blacks by other blacks haven’t attracted the slightest attention or concern from Black Lives Matter leaders and activists. So far, there have been no Black Lives Matter community projects to benefit disadvantaged black communities. Where are the hundreds of millions of dollars Black Lives Matter has collected being spent? There is no Black Lives Matter campaign to provide scholarships for inner city black children so their parents can get them out of failed public schools, which year-in and year-out fail to provide them with the skills they need in order to survive and flourish. In what way, then, do black lives actually matter to these “anti-racist” social justice warriors? In fact, they don’t. What matters to them is the anti-American revolution they are advancing and the fantasy world they think they will achieve by destroying the most equitable, inclusive, tolerant, and free society that has ever existed.
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David Horowitz is the founder and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the author of The Enemy Within: How A Totalitarian Movement Is Destroying America, and I Can’t Breathe: How A Racial Hoax is Killing America (forthcoming, October 2021).