Black Lives Matter is Destined to Fail

‘Black Lives Matter’ is destined to fail unless it embraces Garveyism

a reblog spotted on The Melanin Man, published on + written by Theo E.J. Wilson  September 23, 2016 at 11:43 AM  filed in: News, Opinion 

All these years later, the children of the enslaved are still trying to wrestle their humanity out of the hands of the inhumane.  What a waste of precious energy.

So, I’ve got a question:  Have you had enough of trying to be an American, yet? We’re protesting, chanting and marching, all to what end?  To get something as basic as equal treatment under the law?

Ultimately, we still seek to convince an indifferent, complacent white majority we are more than three-fifths human, and above the level of dogs in the American pecking order.

As radical, revolutionary and threatening as the Black Lives Matter movement appears, it has a fundamental flaw.  It’s still an ‘ask’ to white people to validate our worth.

However aggressive the language, however disruptive the protests, black people already know that ‘Black Lives Matter.’  The statement is meant for white ears.

People take part in a rally on April 29, 2015 at Union Square in New York, held in solidarity with demonstrators in Baltimore, Maryland demanding justice for an African-American man who died of severe spinal injuries sustained in police custody. AFP PHOTO/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough conducted a study that found the human brain is considerably slow to register the activity of someone outside one’s own race. When witnessing simple actions of non-whites, researchers concluded the study’s white participants might as well have been watching a blank screen.

They don’t see us. They don’t recognize us.

We’ve got a self-esteem problem, and thus, we get the mechanics of power all wrong.  They’ve got us externally directed, when power is an internal thing.

When we say “Black Lives Matter,” we say it at an audience and are depending on the desired response.  It asserts that the power to make them matter is outside of us.  It is literally disempowering from the very utterance.

But hey, we have dependency issues.  How could we not?  Stockholm syndrome is real.

As a culture, we’ve been bred like dogs to depend on our masters.  The very language used in the terms “black” and “white” put us on correlated, interdependent terms.  The two terms define each other, but in the real world, it is quite different.  The fact is African people were the only people on earth for four-fifths of human existence.

Not only do we not need white people, it may well be the other way around.

Frankly, the only movement that didn’t rely on white opinion was the one that started it all.

Marcus Garvey’s ideas of self-reliance and self-determination are as applicable now as they’ve ever been.  Despite his flaws as a man, his grasp on common sense collective self-determination put the finish line on ground we can actually reach:  within our own power to manifest.

The first leaders of independent Africa were Garvey’s followers, including Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah.  These men understood that we suffer from institutional racism.  The only way to stop it is to win and control the institution, and a collection of institutions is a nation.

Upon close inspection, “Black Lives Matter” has been the subtext for almost every movement we created in America.  The Civil Rights movement was actually “Black Lives Matter.”  It said that they matter enough to have the rights to live as civilians who have equal protection under the law.

Even the Black Panthers were “Black Lives Matter;” matter enough to take up arms against the police if they try to take our lives.  Abolition was “Black Lives Matter;” matter enough to have the bonds of slavery cast off and live in freedom as all men should.  Get it?  Nothing has changed but the cast of characters.

It’s sad that a human lifetime is so short, because it can’t perceive when history repeats itself.  This is why knowing your history is so important.  It’s the only tool we have to measure the present and calculate the future.


“Black Lives Matter” is doomed, as all of its predecessors were, unless it evolves.

The mechanics are the same old game: placing the finish line behind white people’s change of mind.   They giveth, and they taketh away in this position.  They abolish Jim Crow while investing in prisons.  They allow a black president after removing the power of the office.  They allow integration but financially handicap us from buying homes in their communities.

That is not a sustainable plan for survival.

So should all 44 million of us move back to Africa?  Not necessarily in a physical sense, but our mindset has got to refocus and get realistic about long term freedom.  Freedom is responsibility.  An employee isn’t responsible for the company sinking or swimming, it’s the owner or CEO.

We’d actually have to know how to build our own houses, grow our own food, manufacture our own products, fortify our existing financial and educational institutions, create bonds with our brothers and sisters throughout the diaspora, and defend our own territory if we were going to be free.

These tasks sound daunting to some.  They’d rather continue arguing with white people about how evil their system of government is instead of learning the skills to make them obsolete.

Others see these challenges as a growth opportunity.  They know that nothing is out of the range of knowledge for African people.  From particle physics to weapons manufacturing, from global aviation to organic gardening, we can do all these things and more.  Screaming “Black Lives Matter” will solve nothing in our quest for self-reliance.  But go ahead.  Make another hashtag for the next black man to die senselessly at the hands of police.

Go the rally and lament about why black folks are so oppressed.  Maybe the question is not “What did we do to deserve oppression,” but rather “What haven’t we done to gain respect?”

The answer; love ourselves enough to put us first, the opinions of white America be damned!

Theo E.J. Wilson is a social commentator and columnist for the Denver Urban Spectrum. Follow him on Facebook


24 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter is Destined to Fail

  1. Personally, I am not a supporter or component of the whole ”Black Lives Matter” movement. I believe all the marching and protesting, looting stores and businesses in Black communities, interrupting political rallies and blocking roadways is not the way to counteract the deaths of Black people in the hands of the police. To tell you the truth, not one Black liberation movement serves the interests of Black women in mind. Black Lives Matter is not different in that respective either.

    Seeing the amount of Black women marching and protesting for slain Black men, who died in police custody is not reciprocal nor productive. I don’t see the same amount of anger and vititrol over the deaths of Black women at the hands of the police. I don’t see groups of Black men protesting for the likes of Rekia Boyd, Aiyanna Jones and other Black women, who died in the hands of the police. What is the point of marching and protesting for a group of men who aren’t doing the same for you? All of this marching and protesting is also dangerous too. These women face being attacked by police dogs, face being tear gassed, risk being arrested or even killed in these protests too. Worst of all, many of these women risk loss of employment by all of this marching and protesting because so many of them end up getting arrested. An arrest record with the police greatly hinders any prospects of finding a job that pays well and it is worse for Black women in the job market than any other segment in society. Why risk your lives for a group of men who don’t do the same for you?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m in complete agreement, Angelle. Thank you for your honest feedback.

      I don’t agree with the protests and going into businesses and just shouting “Black lives matter.” I mean, really what is the point of interrupting people’s lunch?

      If you have been discriminated against in a certain establishment, tell your friends + family and boycott by spending your time and money elsewhere. If you live in a neighborhood and all there is are non-Black-owned businesses, make it a point to venture out and support Black-owned instead. Organize community clean-ups. Teach your kids their true history. Read a book that makes you think. Spend less time on social media. I think these methods, along with many others, will help us much more than whatever BLM has going on right now.

      Again, thanks for tuning in and your spot on comment.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Angelle you have spoken everything that I have felt from the inception of the BLM movement. The irony of it all is that the movement was founded by three black women. We are always at the forefront of any movement in defense of black men but when the same atrocities are acted out against black women far too often black men have failed to show much support or outrage. It’s disheartening but it is a reality that we face as women that can no longer be ignored.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t support BLM either. Marching and protesting has done nothing for us as a people. Plus, they add too many struggles to their own which in turn means Black people will get nothing in return as usual. They are pointless. Plus, they’re funded by the Jewish elite so that alone says enough.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Such a well thought out and written article. Thanks for sharing Kelley. Agree with the comments above about black women still being on the bottom of the pecking order. Minor moot point – the limited view of Africa makes me cringe. Africa is a continent of diverse cultures, languages and histories…it is not a monoculture and not all nations in Africa were under colonial rule, i.e. black leaders existed before colonialism and some countries didn’t have to be reclaim independence from oppressors. Mind you, modern day colonialism exists in trade deals, aid and continued reaping of resources. I particularly love the point the author made about the tone and mindset that comes across in feeling the need to say ‘black lives matter’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True. Anyone that cares to see will recognize the vast array of terrains, tribes, cities, cultures, foods, histories, beauty and abundance that comes from Africa. It’s sprinkled all over the world.

      Your comment is spot on. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Woo hoo!! Thank you for putting it in writing. The things I have said, but not loud enough. Or forceful enough. In my blog I try to do it with discretion. With examples. Which is my way. But I want to be more like you. I would like to re-post this on my site if I may.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for tuning in. I’m glad it resonated with you.

      I, too, can only hope to organize my thoughts into such a clear + concise writing. At the start of the piece, it states the original author and where I first read it. You are more than welcome to share. Spread the word!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kelley this was such an awesome read. I love these think pieces in areas where I stand to grow in understanding.

    I agree that the idea of BLM does aim to plead for acceptance and equality rather than just seizing it. I love how Theo lists the ways that Amerikkka giveth while taking in regards to black requests and demands for equality. We don’t stand a chance without creating ownership in our own community. But as Theo said, the thought of doing so does seem daunting and can’t be accomplished overnight. People want immediate results…especially seeing how our generation focuses primarily on the present rather than the future. I think that’s why protesting and rallying is so appealing to our community – because even though it doesn’t get us results any faster, it creates the illusion that we are being heard. Instead of working on creating truth, we are finding temporary peace in living a lie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Kelley your article was very well written. I really enjoyed reading about your views. Also, I really liked how you mentioned how we can’t do anything in the moment now with the BLM Movement unless we find a way to move forward and evolve. I totally agree with that and admire how you wrote it. I have a question and would really like to get your opinion on it. You said the BLM movement is simply doomed and isn’t doing anything. But what about the people who feel really passionate about the BLM movement and want their voices heard? The movement does spread some awareness to those who don’t know much about it. It also gives courage to those who strongly believe in this movement. I just wanted to get your input on that and what you think. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for tuning in.
      At the beginning of the post, you will see the author’s name + where I first read the article.

      To answer your questions, I think BLM is stagnant. They are not using the power of their popularity and platform for real change. I believe real change for Black lives comes from within. Let’s work on ourselves-our self-worth, our communities, building better businesses and better schools and employing people that look like us with similar values. Teach our kids their true history, strength and beauty. Get back to our roots. Be better examples. Stand together first BEFORE we let any races join forces with us.

      On another note, BLM is a catchy and draws attention to some worthwhile issues. It also gives us a platform to share our frustrations. But, all in all, I think being funded by non-Blacks and incorporating issues of non-Blacks is dangerous and counterproductive.


  7. Thanks for sharing! I thought this article was a great critique of the blm movement. As a person who is involved in the movement, I have seen it’s flaws. However, I take a balanced approach.

    Like the author, I am a fierce advocate of black economic empowerment. I studied politics and I know that at the end of the day, money pushes politics. Unfortunately, blacks do not have the same monetary clout as whites. Additionally, the buying power of blacks is misdirected. We as blacks have to own businesses in ALL sectors, buy from our own and build wealth to push politics.

    With that in mind, I don’t think blacks should stop protesting and marching. I just think we need to march and build concurrently. Every march and rally or stand in I’ve been to has been peaceful with no looting or violence and the last two were on behalf of a black woman beaten by Boston transit police but the media has always showcased the negative. Hence, both blacks and whites think blm is a mess. Every movement will have criticizers who are not in the battlefield. Every movement will have flaws. But every movement makes a small change in society.

    It will be ludicrous for blacks to stop protesting. However, they need to step up their voting game and involvement in council. Whites don’t stop. They are involved in wealth building and politics shaping. Many of them are on economic government councils that drive gentrification and innovation. Believe it or not, many of them protest. In fact, a white community protested the very pipeline that the North Dakota Native Americans are fighting. The difference, whites have money, Native Americans are amongst the most poverty stricken in the country.

    Politics and wealth are interrelated.

    In order to be successful, blacks need to build wealth as well as be involved in all aspects of politics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your perspective, E. Politics and money are interrelated and controlled by a very few. Until we can provide those things for OURselves, I think it’s important to include protesting certain situations that don’t lead to our betterment. We keep doing a lot of the same things and not much is changing.


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