Some time ago, I raised the possibility that the Black Lives Matter strapline had been appropriated by every fake woke bandwagon-bandit under the sun. It was not a popular suggestion. Neither was the view that many had taken up their woke standpoint after a lifetime of pretending that racism didn’t exist.
They were knee-deep in a sea of words together with a busload of other charlatans who loved repeating the mantra but who were essentially disengaged from the discomfort that systemic transformation would necessitate.
Yes, real change demands the relinquishment of power and privilege.
Fast forward a few weeks and BLM momentum is fizzling out. Institutions are back-peddling on their support, and among the public, energies are now being expended not on delivering change, but on ferreting out reasons for giving the whole business a swerve.
All over the UK, people are bailing out from their verbal commitments. Paradoxically, they are generally relying on all the arguments that opponents were throwing up a month ago. When the BLM movement had been labelled ‘hard left’ and ‘Marxist’, the right-on pretenders had countered this with a differentiation between the political movement and the essence of a call for equality.
And that argument made sense. The slogan Black Lives Matter was a call to action. The majority of those who ‘got it’ probably never realised that it was also the name of a wider movement.
Now, they are making those very connections themselves as a reason for stepping back. They are to be clear, supporters of the sentiment and not the movement. This is not down to a fear of the hard left, but of hard choices. It’s a convenient escape route.
BLM people are making demands and are too political. Funny that, given that this is a protest?
It’s making everybody feel just a little too uncomfortable. Wider society needs to get over the fear that delivering equal rights to everybody will equate to their loss. You can see why commitment largely fails beyond the platitudes.
However, while the Marxist movement might not have been their brand of Vodka, an alternative movement had to be, because movement equals change. What we have now witnessed is the ‘fake follower effect’. The cause no longer benefits them, so they are out.
Reducing it all to the sentiment tees up a safe spot where words suffice. Our thoughts are with them. Solidarity has become the new charity. A few coins in the collection bucket for some no-strings soul-cleansing.
Sol-id-ar-i-dee. It’s even cheaper than char-i-dee.
This week, the Metropolitan Police hit the headlines for cuffing and stuffing two elite athletes as part of a vehicle stop and search. Now, the circumstances of that will likely be untangled by m’learned friends in due course. But this sorry tale has finally squeezed out the clarity of where we are. I mean, we knew anyway, but this will have blown away any of the fake-woke cobwebs that have been routinely spun since racism had been discovered by the liberal elite six weeks ago. Apologies: since they discovered the potential of anti-racism. If anybody recalls a UK public figure taking the knee prior to 25th May, I will stand corrected.
So, back with the cops. They have no beef with getting down on their knees or donning feather boas for Pride and justifying it all in the name of community policing for all. It’s tangible evidence of humility and service. But when the going gets tough, it’s business as usual, and the true default is to protect their position. It’s the same with all the word-weasels, and as we have now witnessed, the police are equally comfortable in falling back on harsh interventions supported by data and statistics about violent crime in order to justify Stop and Search. That’s tangible evidence of keeping everybody safe.
And that is even when it can be argued that this data itself was derived from what happens in a systemically racist society.
Think about that for a moment.
Now, imagine if a doped-up cyclist’s defence were to hold up the gold medal stating, ‘How can I be a cheat? I won the race’.
Imagine if everybody complained but still let him keep the medal?
Take the analogy further and why wouldn’t we award gold medals to cyclists or athletes who told us the best story about how they would win the races instead of actually having to run them?
It would be so farcical that people might even protest about it.