The Racist Premises Behind ‘Black Lives Matter’

by | Aug 29, 2015

“Black Lives Matter” is about as non-racist an organization as any white supremacy group.

I really like how my friend puts it on Facebook:

All right, I am going to say it. Yes, Black Lives Matter! [B]ut where are those [screaming] and rioting people when one of my friends get[s] killed by their black neighbor. Is it only black lives matter when they are killed by other races – but when my friend get[s] kill[ed] by another black man his life didn’t matter? No outrage, no screaming, no marches, no [destructive] riots, no federal investigation, no comment from the president – nothing!!

I am going to say it, murder is murder and should be the same no matter who commits it. In the end my friend is still dead and I have to watch his family weep while lowering his lifeless body in a box, down a dark hole.

Am I missing something?

The logic here is unassailable. But most are afraid to say it — especially if they’re not black — because it will seem racist.

Yet the error of racism, as I’ve said many times, is elevating race to the most important or only relevant factor in human relationships. Individualism is the best and only mental vaccine against racism.

The Black Lives Matter movement was formed in response to the belief that all or most police action is racist in nature. It’s a sweeping and unjust generalization in itself. Many facts shoot holes in the fallacy, including the fact that much (if not most) violence against blacks is done by other black people, and many police officers are not white, but are, in fact, black, Hispanic, Asian or any number of races (or mixes).

The deeper implication here is that blacks are — by definition — victims, merely by the fact of their race; while whites are — by definition — victimizers, merely by the definition of their race.

It’s a convenient and self-serving attribution for those who (whether white, black or of any other race) make victimization the central purpose of their lives. But it does nothing to advance actual justice. Actual, objective justice is served only by reference to the facts of a particular situation. This includes viewing people primarily as individuals, not as members of any particular race.

The purpose of a “Black Lives Matter” movement is no different than the purpose of a “White Lives Matter” movement or any other kind of movement where race is elevated to the only relevant or important factor: the fostering of unearned guilt. Because that movement’s explicit nature and intentions are collectivist, rather than individualist, “Black Lives Matter” is about as non-racist an organization as any white supremacy group.

When a Black Lives Matter protester disrupts a political campaign rally, it’s an unspoken (if not spoken) dare: “If you disagree with me, that must mean you don’t believe black lives matter; which means you’re a racist. So go ahead. Criticize me. I dare you.”

That’s why I admire my friend (who happens to be white) for writing what he did. Thank goodness it’s still legal to do so, in our increasingly coercive and walking-on-eggshells society.

In psychology we call the guilt-inducing methods of Black Lives Matter “emotional reasoning.” I’ll bet you didn’t know that cognitive psychotherapists consider emotional reasoning indicative of a mental disorder. It does not make me racist to say so. Because when someone accuses you of something without proof or evidence, and puts you on the defensive the moment you attempt to prove them wrong, then the error is for having accepted the unfounded assertion in the first place.

“You’re racist. What? You’re disputing me? That proves how racist you are!”

In logic, you cannot prove a negative. You cannot prove that you’re “not racist.” The onus of proof is on the one making the claim. Black Lives Matter organizers see no need to offer proof or evidence — and they’re counting on you to fall for it. It’s the politics and psychology of intimidation, plain and simple.

If the Obama years taught us nothing else, they have shown us how people who support policies of socialism, wealth redistribution, and general government control over the economy have no credible arguments in support of their policies, and — more significantly — do not think or feel they do. If they did, they would not have to call everyone racist who disagrees with them. If Joe Biden (an old white man) ends up as the next president, carrying on and expanding Obama’s policies, what will they call you when you disagree with these policies then? Anti-geriatric?

The double standard is at work when the most recent shooting in Virginia is contrasted with the June shooting in Charleston SC. In the Charleston shooting, the killer was a white supremacist racist who openly killed black people for this reason. Of course that was a vicious and ugly act of racism. But the Virginia shooting — every bit as cold-blooded and racially motivated — was committed by a black, gay man against whites, because he hates heterosexual whites. We’re supposed to sympathize with his plight, even if not necessarily condone his actions, while the Charleston shooter is (rightly) condemned as an inexcusable, hateful brute who deserves whatever he gets.

Why the difference? It’s because of what my reader said.

The moment you start treating black lives as either more or less important than anyone else’s life is the moment you have become a racist.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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