Interviews News 20 July 2016
Author: Marisa Lee

Idiots, don’t play the “Black Lives Matter” card

Author Marisa Lee
20 July 2016

In light of yesterday’s water fight chaos that descended into an ill-intentioned “Black Lives Matter” protest, real supporters of the movement were far from impressed with the attention that the rioting vigilantes brought to the movement. 

We spoke to a guy known as Sage on Twitter after he shared some strong opinions about the madness. A writer, Philosophy grad and young black man from South East London, he was keen to shed some light on the events. Read his blog here.

“I think it’s typical now; ‘event which is aimed at younger people turns sour in a prestigious place’. The organisation must have been poor. Open events invite the right and wrong people, though a few individuals can harm an entirety of an event and judgement is passed on as a total reality by people not willing to be involved beyond the surface.”

We asked him about the following Tweet which he retweeted, which brought an interesting angle to the BLM debate that yesterday inspired.

“I don’t want to come from an angle where I’m misunderstood, by [retweeting] that I meant there’s some sort of recording culture where people are ready to wait until they’re abused by authority to start speaking up about it. In this scenario, things turned at the event and people recorded whilst police were on duty attempting to restore some sort of order.

“Chants of “Black Lives Matter” and somewhat provoking the police, who themselves probably antagonised the crowd a bit, shows ready and uncooperative responses for me. It adds frustration to harsher scenarios, where people genuinely are abused by the Police. This recording culture we have, it is popular to record scenarios – understandably, but when the camera is on there are a lot of actors. Such as the local videos in McDonalds, which was kind of ransacked. Everyone wants in on the fun, until the backlash.

On the BLM movement itself, he said, “[Events like yesterday’s] only strain it for people reading about it who don’t understand the movement, those who probably already have a certain perception entertained by the media, who are ready to judge us on criminality or bad behaviour. The unclearness of the mass link up and other similar events give bad press and look unorganised. Also I am confused over who to contact to get to the head of our BLM movement. Without there being a settled organisation, people we can contact and communicate with – that crowd will be associated with others, in this case the many young Black people from yesterday.

“This is detrimental as it always has been, though it doesn’t excuse that behaviour at all. To differentiate such stupidity, I believe we should have that. A BLM organisation, where they have contact information and memberships so we know who is truly involved, opposed to it being ambiguous so the media can have a field day.

But did he think the violent teenagers started the chant with good intentions?

“I think it was banter, thrown out at an odd moment. They may have felt antagonised, or wanted to simply support the movement – however in such a setting, with stabbings occurring and bottles being thrown, it’s just literally bad press. Any of BLM’s future movements will be hampered with that in mind – whether it is a racist inclined to having bad things to say about us, or the Police who witness the protests.”