I'm Offended! BLM and Black Power Signs on Campus and their Troubling Meaning

By Brandon Chesner

           The greatest injustice has been thrust upon me. Yes, I have been offended! Here I am, just a typical college student, afraid of opposing ideas, minding my own business when suddenly it happened. As I stroll past the campus Panera Bread on College Avenue, my ideological bubble has been popped. It was my understanding that anything offensive to me is banned from the safe space known as a university campus. At least, that’s what the sudden rise of Social Justice Warriors implied.

            Satire is like food in a socialist country; not everyone gets it. But in all seriousness, the Center for Latino American Studies is hanging highly controversial political propaganda in their window and has been for almost a year. Propaganda that has led to millions of dollars’ worth of destruction, violence and death around the country. Arguably, more damage has been committed under this banner than the Confederate Flag, in recent years. Yet they still proudly hang Black Lives Matter and Black Power signs for all the campus to see.

            The return of black nationalism sprouted from poor reporting of an attack on an officer turned deadly. After the shooting of Michael Brown, a thief who assaulted a cop, the media portrayed him as an innocent victim, viciously gunned down with his hands up by an evil officer. Despite autopsy evidence supporting the story of Brown assaulting Wilson at the time of the shooting, including gun powder residue on his person, the media didn’t stop the narrative. Resentment among black Americans grew as an easy scapegoat emerged. Blame others for problems resulting from personal choices. Blame the police for shooting those who pose a threat to the police. It’s much more politically correct to blame the white officer, and bring hateful and divisive identity politics into the mix, than to objectively criticize a bad man's actions.

            Even on a broad scale, the idea that black Americans are more likely to be killed by police is shaky at best, further weakening the foundation of why the movement was started. Yes, black Americans make up 24% of police shootings while only making up 13% of the population, while non-Hispanic white Americans make up 49% while being two-thirds of the population. But we don’t live in an authoritarian dictatorship where the police attack random people on the street. Incidents arise when police are making an arrest, and using FBI crime statistics, deaths per race are about even with the rates each race gets arrested. We can decipher that police don’t actively hunt down black people, contrary to what black nationalists would have you believe.

            Despite this, the Black Lives Matter movement, modern black nationalists, have caused $5.7 million in damages to primarily black-owned businesses and property within Ferguson. In Baltimore, the toll comes to $20 million. Imagine any other symbol in whose name this much damage has been caused being uncontested, let alone openly displayed.

          The violence went beyond property and inspired multiple police massacres. The first to make headlines resulted in the death of 5 Dallas officers; perpetrated by a disgruntled black nationalist. In NYC, two officers were unsuspectingly gunned down in their cruiser, again by a black nationalist.

            The raised fist, another symbol in their window, is a well known symbol of the Black Power movement and very popular with communists as well. It should go without saying, but apparently I still have to say it, that communism is an inherently evil ideology founded on the theft of life, liberty and property, with a death toll of a hundred million innocent people.

            Identity politics from all perspectives is terrible. White, black, Asian, whatever group you choose; it doesn’t end well. Imagine the outcry and hypocrisy if someone hung a Confederate Flag on campus. There’d be school-wide panic with many accusations of white supremacy. Under the veil of a race other than Caucasian, anything is acceptable, and looked at with optimism and benefit of the doubt. Expanding anecdotal wrongdoings onto an entire group's grievances is intellectually dishonest and puts emotions ahead of reality. Groups like this cling to extinct forms of American racism without actually providing solutions or appropriate blame. When a white cop shoots a black person, regardless of details, it's an act of racism and all white people are responsible.

            I want to make it clear; when actual acts of racism occur, I fully stand with those affected and want nothing more than for those with evil intentions to receive the appropriate punishment. However, a movement's name and a movement's actions do not always match up. If you claim to stand for equality, but perpetuate violence, your movement is fair game for fair criticism. 

            No, I’m not going to call for them to remove the signs. Though they may offend me, and inspire destruction and violence on more than one occasion, the right to have an opinion is more important than any individual’s feelings. You are witnessing quite the rare occurrence. I found something that I disagree with, and I’m not actively advocating for it to be removed. The heckler's veto is not a legitimate reason to take action and remove something. It's more important to use its presence as a learning opportunity. This is a chance for people to understand an issue rather than blindly follow mob mentality and remove anything that doesn’t fit in their idealized world view. In a marketplace of free ideas, people are free to learn the truth about different ideologies. Only then will we grow as a nation. Think about that next time someone brings a different point of view to a discussion.