DeRay McKesson. Photo from Huffington Post.
I didn't feel like writing this morning, but I don't want viewers of my blog to be greeted with a picture of Milo Yiannopoulos any longer. He's vane enough as it is.
I have been looking at more communications from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) cause. Specifically, I am studying DeRay McKesson, the gay Black man who is a major activist in that cause. To be out, gay and Black is itself a measure of courage. Being a former class president at Bowdoin College, a smaller Ivy League school in Maine, speaks to McKesson's intelligence and application of it. His subsequent involvement in public education development and Baltimore politics speaks to his putting his ideological rubber to the road. He seems like an all-around decent guy at heart.
The problem McKesson may be facing in his attempt to champion justice for Black citizens is not simply White racism, which is the main focus of the BLM message. White racism is a dying enemy. The majority of the U.S. population will shortly be non-White. McKesson's own city, Baltimore, is at least 68% Black, according to census data. The percentage of urban non-White citizenry across the country is already tipping into majority. In other words, urban Whites are becoming a minority. And metro-urban populations will be the majority of the future.
And, there are more of these diminishing middle-class White people than the rich Whites who oppress without concern about the race of the people they oppress/exploit economically and politically. Middle-class White people, especially the young, are the reason Bernie Sanders came close to slaying the dragon of the Democrat Party. But BLM managed to partially alienate that White Sanders base with the manner of their protests at earlier Sanders events.
Many White people who have always supported human rights campaigns are puzzled by BLM. We simply do not know what BLM wants. We see clearly that they do not want our input or support. We see clearly that they do not want to negotiate with police or politicians in any meaningful way. We see clearly that BLM is composed of angry young Black people who are deeply entrenched in holding on to the history of slavery as the core of their identity. We understood that in the 1960's. We are finding it hard to accept in 2016.
It seems to me that BLM wants attention but has no idea how to use it effectively to move the general society in some way. It is hard to ignore any Black movement when the U.S. President and part of his administration are Black Americans. It is hard to ignore a Black movement when the entertainment industry is heavily representative of Black Americans. It is hard to ignore a Black movement when professional sports are dominated by Black athletes. We see you, but what are you proposing we do about what is bothering you? That is what I do not see. We are not deaf. We are not blind. We are confused. Help us out.