A note on the Black Lives Matter movement

BY RACHEL HOROWITZ, Guest Columnist
Posted 8/28/20

I believe that Black lives matter. I don’t work for a Marxist association, I’m not hired by Antifa and I’m not a professional protester.

I believe that many of our current structures and …

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A note on the Black Lives Matter movement

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Posted

I believe that Black lives matter. I don’t work for a Marxist association, I’m not hired by Antifa and I’m not a professional protester.

I believe that many of our current structures and institutions — from housing and zoning to racial profiling and income disparities — demonstrate that Black lives do not matter. These are human rights issues that affect all of us, including you.

So how did the Black Lives Matter movement get lumped in with an organization? I’ll do my best to explain and hope this inspires you to dig deeper on your end.

The phrase “Black Lives Matter” began as a social media hashtag after George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in 2013. Millions of Americans used the hashtag on their social media that year, and again in 2014 after police officers shot Michael Brown and Eric Garner. According to co-founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, the movement remains a decentralized network of activists with no formal hierarchy.

We use this phrase to advocate for change at local, state and federal levels. One example close to my heart is the Trump administration rescinding Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. President Trump made the subsequent announcement: “I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood. Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. Enjoy!”

In this statement, our administration implicitly states that the lack of affordable housing — which disproportionately affects Black families — is less important than the “suburban lifestyle dream.” That Black families do not matter.

You can apply this critical thinking to many areas of our local government — police brutality, the school to prison pipeline, racial zoning, etc. “The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein does an excellent job of explaining how de jure segregation was built into our existing laws.

I would be remiss to end this column without mentioning the crowdfunded billboard that popped up next to a Confederate flag in Pittsboro. On the first day it appeared, residents created small signs that claimed BLM chapter leaders were racists and murderers. These chapter leaders are neither linked to nor influencing the local Chatham County residents who advocated for the billboard.

I implore you think about why Black Lives Matter has recently been lumped in with Marxism or communism. Think about why our president called for BLM to be labeled a terrorist organization but brushed off the Ku Klux Klan. Think about why it is suddenly considered leftist to believe in equity for all human beings.

You don’t need to post a black square or a social media hashtag to support the Black community. In fact, that’s not as effective as making an effort to diversify your organization’s leadership, amplifying Black voices and calling out injustice instead of ignoring it.

No one’s telling you to say Black lives matter. Show that they do instead.

Rachel Horowitz resides in Chatham County and works in Pittsboro. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

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Ron Snyder

Rachel, you are part of the problem. BLM is a Marxist organization dedicated to harming America. You lied as you know full well that the three co-founders of BLM have stated that they are trained, committed Marxists. "According to co-founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, the movement remains a decentralized network of activists with no formal hierarchy." You are a liar and an example of why we have so many problems in America today. You are agenda-driven and the truth is secondary to moving your agenda forward.

Be against Racism, most people are. Stop trying to portray BLM as an anti-racist group. If you truly believed that black lives matter why aren't you address the murder of thousands of black babies every year? Or talking about the hundreds of black lives murdered by blacks every year in our major urban cities? Because it is an inconvenient truth and doesn't fit your partisan, anti-American agenda.

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