“Black Lives Matter” has made its presence known in the 2016 presidential campaign, much to the chagrin of candidates from both political parties. The group has bullied three-fifths of the Democratic field: They ambushed Hillary Clinton, shut down a Bernie Sanders campaign event, and booed Martin O’Malley for daring to say “All Lives Matter,” instead of their specific mantra. They have also outlined demands for police forces, with specifications such as mandated body cameras and demilitarizing local police departments.
One GOP candidate, Ben Carson, has had enough. In a USA Today op-ed published on Monday, the former neurosurgeon skewers the “Black Lives Matter” movement for their misdirected message.
The movement is a failure, he writes, for it is born out of hate-filled anger.
The notion that some lives might matter less than others is meant to enrage. That anger is distracting us from what matters most. We're right to be angry, but we have to stay smart.
Disrupting planned campaign events, he said, is not an effective way to get your point across:
The idea that disrupting and protesting Bernie Sanders speeches will change what is wrong in America is lunacy. The "BlackLivesMatter" movement is focused on the wrong targets, to the detriment of blacks who would like to see real change and to the benefit of its powerful white liberal funders using the attacks on Sanders for political purposes that mean nothing for the problems that face our community.
Before any “Black Lives Matter” activists have the chance to condemn Carson for his critique of their movement, they should continue reading, for the surgeon continues to explain he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow up in a dangerous culture. The difference, he said, was that his mother influenced him and his brother to rise above the violence that claimed some of their family members and put their education first. Carson said “Black Lives Matter” could learn a thing or two from her, listing a number of ways the movement can make a difference instead of yelling at Bernie Sanders. A few of his solutions included: Visiting the board of education, confronting the entertainment industry, which all too often depicts black men as thugs, and having fruitful conversations with both major political parties.
Carson is not the only one who has voiced his impatience with the “Black Lives Matter” crowd, which has incited actual violence in addition to verbal protests. U.S. Navy Veteran and grandmother Peggy Hubbard posted a video over the weekend letting the movement know how she felt about them after a young girl was killed in the midst of protests in Ferguson, Missouri. The video has gone viral, with at least 7 million viewers tuned in so far. For six minutes, she lambasts the group for lionizing criminals.
“You guys need to stop. It doesn’t matter. You’re killing each other. Save us some tax dollars. You’re tearing up communities over thugs and criminals.”
Both Carson and Hubbard acknowledge police brutality is an issue in the African-American community, yet “Black Lives Matter” is not solving any problems. These two notable figures are passionate about combating racial tension. Instead of encouraging a culture of hate, "Black Lives Matter" would be wise to follow their advice.