Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Blasts ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement

AP Photo/PennLive.com, James Robinson
AP Photo/PennLive.com, James Robinson

The Black Lives Matter movement is “the lie of the summer,” says an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Jason Riley of the Manhattan Institute.

The blunt take on Black Lives Matter is as refreshing as a blast of cold air on hot summer’s day.

In the last week, we’ve seen the editorial board of the New York Times praising the radical black separatist movement and the Washington Post using deceptive headlines to stir up police hatred.

In his piece, “‘Black Lives Matter’—but Reality, Not So Much,” Riley guts the media-magnified movement from his lede, saying:

The great lie of the summer has been the Black Lives Matter movement. It was founded on one falsehood—that a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot a black suspect who was trying to surrender—and it is perpetuated by another: that trigger-happy cops are filling our morgues with young black men.

Riley does a takedown of the Michael Brown story before capping it: Black Lives Matter is “about scapegoating the police in particular, and white America in general, for antisocial ghetto behavior,” he says.

Ouch. But exactly.

Riley correctly points out that, ultimately, Black Lives Matter is:

…a political movement, the inevitable extension of a racial and ethnic spoils system that helps Democrats get elected. The Black Lives Matter narrative may be demonstrably false, but it’s also politically expedient.

Solving the economic and social problems of black Americans is not the group’s goal. The group’s primary purpose is to distract black Americans from Obama’s terrible economic record and push them to vote for the Democratic candidate in November 2016.

Riley quotes a brave statement from NYPD Chief William Bratton that sums up the cultural problem that nobody wants to say:

“We have, unfortunately, a very large population of many young people who have grown up in an environment in which the . . . traditional norms and values are not there,” Mr. Bratton told MSNBC. The commissioner added that Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report warning that the disintegration of the black family could lead to other social ills had proved prescient. “He was right on the money,” Mr. Bratton said, “the disintegration of family, the disintegration of values. There is something going on in our society and our inner cities.”

If Riley’s piece has a failing, it’s a lack of emphasis on Black Lives Matter’s origins as a far-left community organizing group and their hoped-for impact on the 2016 presidential elections.

Like the 2012 “Occupy Wall Street” movement that set the stage for Black Lives Matter, many make the mistake of assuming that Black Lives Matter is just some freak show. They fail to see their role as shock troops for the establishment Democrats. Riley’s article is properly dismissive of the group’s message but doesn’t quite drive home the needed warning that Black Lives Matter is legitimately dangerous as it plays its role until November.

Read the whole Wall Street Journal op-ed here.