Last weekend, the [Swedish] organization Feminist Initiative expressed its solidarity with the American organization Black Lives Matter.
My view is that Black Lives Matter is founded on an agenda that is racist and encourages violence, where white police officers are specifically demonized and made legitimate targets for deadly violence.
The same day that police officer Darren Goforth was shot dead in the line of duty, Black Lives Matter was demonstrating in St. Paul, Minnesota. In a famous video, the demonstrators are chanting “Pigs in a blanket! Fry ‘em like bacon!” The expression “pigs in a blanket” is in reference to dead police officers.
The organization’s official representatives don’t disassociate themselves from the chant; they simply call out the unfairness of the attention bestowed on this particular slogan, to the exclusion of the many others that were used that day.
It is indisputable that Black Lives Matter is living with the perception that white police officers are inclined to kill African-Americans for racist reasons. This view is being backed up by sensationalistic media coverage, especially in connection with certain famous deadly shootings.
The statistics paint a different picture. Many more white than black people are shot by U.S. police each year. In proportion to the population, black people are overrepresented among those shot, but this can be explained by the fact that this group is also overrepresented among offenders in situations that lead to violent arrests. Among other crimes, African-Americans are responsible for 40 – 50 percent of all murders.
Every death is a tragedy. The goal has to be to minimize the use of violence. However, for African-Americans, police violence is not the biggest problem. Instead, it is the large subculture that glorifies violence and romanticizes gang life that is most concerning. In more than nine out of 10 cases where an African-American is killed, the killer is another African-American person.
This appears to be in symbiotic relationship with the destructive view that it is impossible for a person with dark skin to succeed. With structural racism and discrimination, these all-powerful and faceless enemies, it is meaningless to even try. This [view] is very unfortunate and also clearly incorrect in a country where being black does not stop you from becoming president.
So what does Feminist Initiative and Black Lives Matter have in common? The answer is identity politics. This is the idea that human life consists of a constant fight between competing groups [of contrasting backgrounds]. The main purpose of politics is to assert one’s own rights and interests above another’s — the privileged versus the oppressed, which in these cases involve women vs. men and black vs. white, respectively.
Identity politics never aims to unite. It gets its strength from polarizing. An identity politician is never content. She will continue to feed the fragmentation because unity, togetherness and cooperation will pose a risk to the political platform on which she is standing.
There is no law of nature that says the lines of society have to be drawn between men and women, or between different races. Finally, it is not these features that determine what difference a person can make in the world. It is a person’s actions that matter.
We have to fight against our habit to succumb to identity politics. Instead, we should encourage unity and togetherness between constructive honest human beings who share the ambition to make life a little better, regardless of gender or skin color.