The national Black Lives Matter organization, currently under fire over its leadership’s personal spending, has issued an updated list of demands aimed at taking down former President Donald Trump and his supporters, even though Trump left office more than three months ago.
Most importantly, Black Lives Matter is demanding that politicians resist using the “coup” — the January 6th riot at the United States Capitol — as an excuse for cracking down on BLM’s “mostly peaceful” demonstrations, even though the group’s “freedom summer” was marked by riots and arson — and, in some cases, affiliated protests are still causing damage in cities like Portland, Oregon.
Black Lives Matter, though, wants full accountability for anyone associated with the January 6th riots, including President Donald Trump.
“We are joining Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and others who are demanding Trump be immediately convicted in the United States Senate. Trump must also be banned from holding elected office in the future,” the group says in its updated demands.
Trump must also be “permanently” banned from social media.
“Trump has always used his digital media platforms recklessly and irresponsibly to spread lies and disinformation. Now it is clearer than ever that his digital media is also used to incite violence and promote its continuation. He must be stopped from encouraging his mob and further endangering our communities, even after the inauguration,” the group says.
Trump, of course, has been banned from Twitter since January. Instead of using the social media platform, Trump has used an email list of supporters, journalists, and other influencers, to get his message out — and often, those influencers simply screenshot Trump’s comments and put them on social media, thus providing the former president with a successful workaround.
BLM doesn’t simply want Trump punished, though. They want consequences for any Republican that expressed concern about the final Electoral College vote count or expressed even tepid support for President Donald Trump after the November election expelled from office.
“More than half the Republican representatives and multiple senators stoked Trump’s conspiracy theories and encouraged the white supremacists to take action to overturn the election. We are supporting Rep. Cori Bush’s resolution to expel them from Congress for their dangerous and traitorous actions,” the group demands. “We also support steps to bar them from seeking another office.”
That’s something most Democrats have since abandoned, given that it would take a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress to officially expel any sitting member, per the United States Constitution.
They also want the United States military and the Capitol Police investigated for “ties to white supremacy.”
“The Capitol was able to be breached and overrun by white supremacists attempting to disrupt a political process that is fundamental to our democracy. We know that police departments have been a safe haven for white supremacists to hide malintent behind a badge because the badge was created for that purpose,” BLM demands. “We also know off-duty cops and military were among the mob at the Capitol on January 6th. Guilty parties need to be held accountable and fired. We are supporting Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s COUP Act to investigate these connections.”
BLM issued the demand in concert with a broader demand to “defund” all police departments across the country, because, they claim, current and former law enforcement officials were involved in the January 6th riot: “The police that met our BLM protestors this summer with assault rifles, teargas, and military-grade protective gear were the same police that, on Wednesday, met white supremacists with patience and the benefit of the doubt, going so far as to pose for selfies with rioters.”
Black Lives Matter seems to ignore that the group’s “freedom summer” protests often ended in riots and destruction; in some cases, the riots and arson associated with, or which followed, anti-police brutality and anti-racism protests in the summer of 2020 caused more than a billion dollars in damage and often left minority neighborhoods ravaged.
There is one area where BLM is cognizant of how the Capitol riots and “freedom summer” connect, and that is how law enforcement might police future protests. In fact, though BLM’s demand document targets Capitol rioters and their supporters directly, they end by demanding that politicians resist comparisons between the two — or undertake any meaningful effort to head off future incidents — unless they are willing to say tools designed to root out “domestic terrorism” should be used only against “white supremacists.”
In response to the coup, Politicians have already introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021. We’ve seen this playbook before. These laws are used to target Black and brown communities for heightened surveillance. Republicans are already busy trying to create an equivalence between the mob on January 6th and our Freedom Summer. We don’t need new domestic terror laws, facial recognition, or any other new police power for the state. Our government should protect righteous protest and stay focused on the real issue: rooting out white supremacy. There are enough laws, resources, and intelligence, but they were not used to stop the coup. Our elected officials must uncover why.
Black Lives Matter may be working diligently to address the January 6th riots and other “white supremacy” incidents in order to create a public perception of a shift to national priorities.
BLM’s national organization is under scrutiny for how it spends money, facing criticism, particularly, from the families of black victims of police-involved shootings. The families of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and others claim they’ve seen little in the way of financial support from the national Black Lives Matter organization, despite BLM pulling down nearly $90 million following George Floyd’s death in May of 2020, and spending thousands at luxury resorts.
Recently, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors faced criticism over a “real-estate buying binge” that saw the prominent racial justice leader purchase several multi-million-dollar homes.
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Author: Emily Zanotti