As Black lives Matter grows the counter offensive takes aim

Contributed By joe Montero

Instead of fading away, the marches across the United States and in many other places around the world, which began with the killing of George Floyd, continue to grow.

They have also extended from the demand for immediate justice over his killing at the hands of police, to a movement for a major change in policing and existing systemic racial profiling and discrimination.

The extent of the growth of this movement has been seen in Los Angles.

Incredible drone imagery of LA protests

This is an incredible sight, which leaves no doubt whatsoever, that something really big is happening. The United States has reached a crossroad. It can not go back. The choice is about which turn to take into the future.

It is telling that an avalanche of high profile personalities and organisations have now added their names to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

A poll showed 74 percent of the American population in support and that support for Donald Trump falling away rapidly.

There is also a counter current. Some people will always fear the prospect of change, and there are those who use the situation to raise their banner of hate and white supremacy. They are waging a counter offensive.

At the crudest end, there has been a rise in the use of vehicles as a weapon to run down black Lives Matters marchers. Harry Rogers has received some media attention for being the President of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan.

Video from 6News Richmond


Harry Rogers is not the only case. There have been a number of similar drive throughs. Some of the perpetrators have gone in with guns and other weapons. In one case, someone was shot in the arm.

There has also been an increase in the presence of armed vigilantes in the streets.

But the main thrust of this counter offensive for now is a war of words. The main slogan, with deeps roots in the white supremacist movement ofthe United States, and now being copied by others, is All Lives Matter.

Of course all lives matter. Who could argue with this? But in the context of being a counter to the reaction to the publicly witnessed execution of George Floyd and what this has given rise to, the implications are that this killing was alright and that the different treatment of people of another colour is necessary and justified.

It is a refrain that has been copied by like minded people around the world, and this includes Australia, rising to a crescendo, after the big marches across capitals cities and regional centres. History and that so many original Australians have died in custody are swept aside.

One could ask those of this view, would you be angry if you found the police had killed your son or daughter? Of course they would. But the failure to extend compassion past their own narrow little existence, is ample proof of a view of the world devoid of empathy – the capacity to stand in someone else’s shoes.

This is what makes this current dangerous. It is fundamentally against humanity and has a penchant for strong arm authority, as the means of saving an imagined tradition and elevating its followers, at least in their own eyes, above others.

It is this world view that justifies the sort of violence meted out to George Floyd in the United States and sees no problem with black deaths in custody in Australia.

Photo by Will Jackson: Melbourne Black Lives Matter march on 6 June

The real content of the Black Lives Matter, whether in the United States, Australia and elsewhere, is that it values empathy, is about all standing together to bring about change that elevate humanity.

Black Lives Matter is a movement that says everyone matters and progress depends on challenging and overcoming those who would seek to pull us in the opposite direction.

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