The civil rights group’s newly published platform holds that societal reforms in America are somehow related to the Arab-Israeli conflict
By Chloe Valdary
August 4, 2016
On Aug. 1, the Black Lives Matter coalition (BLM) of groups and partners published a platform of objectives and demands ostensibly constructed to correct heavy-handed policing, educational negligence, and economic inadequacy in black communities.
That platform did no such thing.
Instead, organizers offered up a hodgepodge of half-baked ideas in the service of creating a new world order, one in which defunding police, releasing all political prisoners from jail, and redistributing of land are imperative.
Moreover, apparently believing that societal reforms in America’s inner cities are somehow related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, BLM included a section on Israel in its list of demands. With trite talking points, the group called for a divestment from the Jewish state as it is allegedly “complicit in the genocide against the Palestinian people.”
What this means is unpleasant to contemplate. An organization formed to confront systemic prejudice against black Americans—which predates the reestablishment of the state of Israel—is now intimating that such prejudice is caused by the Jewish state’s supposed genocidal tendencies (which, according to census reports, have led to a population increase among Palestinians).
Though I find no intrinsic value in “rebutting” crackpot conspiracy theories, it’s worth demonstrating how far removed BLM is from honoring the legacy of its ancestors by reminding readers just how pro-Zionist prominent leaders in the black community have been throughout history—and how Zionism helped shape black politics in America.
Edward Wilmot Blyden, founder of the 19th-century American Pan-African movement, famously wrote,“[I have] the deepest possible interest in the current history of the Jews—especially in that marvelous movement called Zionism.”
W.E.B. Dubois, founder of the NAACP, declared in 1919, “The African movement must mean to us what the Zionist movement must mean to the Jews, the centralization of race effort and the recognition of a racial front. … For any ebullition of effort and feeling that results in an amelioration of the lot of Africa tends to ameliorate the conditions of colored peoples throughout the world.”
Marcus Garvey, founder of the Back-to-Africa movement, stated in 1920: “When a Jew says, ‘We shall have Palestine,’ the same feeling comes to us when we say, ‘We shall have Africa.’ … Africa remains the heritage of black people, as Palestine is of the Jews.”