Racism and Black Lives Matter

Okay, now that click bait has been achieved, let me start by being perfectly clear: I do not condone racism of any kind, period. Making assumptions about a person based on the colour of their skin or the shape of their eyes or whatever is plain wrong. I had originally written a lengthy diatribe about how Black Lives Matter (BLM) is racist itself among other things but it read like an angry rant so I decided to spare everyone that. Instead, I have a couple of points about the current landscape.

Affirmative Action Is Racism

Yes, that’s right. Affirmative action requires action to be taken based on a person’s membership in some protected class, such as black, hispanic, female, etc. When the protected class is a race (black, chinese, hispanic, etc.), that is the very definition of racism. When every class other than “white” is artificially advantaged by affirmative action quotas and the like, then you have systemic racism against white people even if they happen to be the majority. The real tragedy is also that affirmative action does not help raise up members of the protected classes, either, since now there is a not unjustified suspicion that they only got their job, scholarship, etc., because of the colour of their skin instead of on their own merits.

Affirmative action is systemic racism and just heightens already high tensions. It needs to be abolished.

Black Lives Matter’s Image Problem

BLM has something of an image problem. The recent riots have not helped matters. But the image problem is right in its name. It’s focused primarily on anti-black racism. The problem with that is that there is little evidence of systemic anti-black racism in many jurisdictions where protesting occurs. In those jurisdictions, there may well be racisim, systemic even, against some group other than black people. A banner saying “Black Lives Matter” is hardly comforting to those groups, is it?

A much better movement for combatting racism would be “All Lives Matter”. Then it can be truly global. It would apply equally to the white farmers in South Africa, indigenous peoples in Canada, hispanics in the southern United States, chinese people targeted due to coronavirus, and so on.

So, how about #alllivesmatter instead?

Police Accountability

And I have saved the best for last. The biggest problem there seems to be is accountability for police officers. Entire police forces seem to put up a “blue wall” around any officer accused of anything regardless of the evidence against said officer and then stonewall any investigation. This has to stop.

We need to hold police to a substantially higher standard than ordinary citizens. This is simply due to the power they hold. Abuses of that power need to come with substantial penalties, far beyond equivalent charges faced by civilians. We also need to make sure that events like the tragic death of George Floyd are investigated swiftly and as impartially as possible. And, in cases like this one where the evidence of wrong-doing is basically incontrovertible, failure to prosecute needs to be prosecuted.

Finally, when there is an incident where there were officers who had opportunity to act to prevent it but who failed to do so, those officers need to be prosecuted as though they commited the crime themselves. The same must be done for any participating in a coverup that they should reasonably have known was a coverup.

Finally, if the crime and/or coverup happens with the approval (or tacit approval) of the leadership of the department, then the leadership needs to be prosecuted as though they committed the crime. You can be sure that after a few police chiefs are hauled before a court for the actions of their officers, problematic policies will suddenly start disappearing.

That may seem overly harsh, but because ordinary citizens have no effective recourse against corrupt or incompetent police, they must be held to a substantially higher standard than regular civilians. We do need to be careful that we don’t just “#believe” the alleged victims of police misconduct, though, and make sure crimes comitted by police officers are investigated competently and as impartially as possible.

Concluding Remarks

Anyway, that’s basically what I wanted to get off my chest.

I’ll close by saying that I have no problem with BLM protests as long as they remain peaceful and do not cause any particular trouble. And as long as counter protests are also allowed and also remain peaceful. I do not condone rioting or otherwise damaging properly or infrastructure.

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