Embracing the vilest forms of terrorism as a means of destroying Israel is a feature, not a bug, of revolutionary “decolonization.” Israel must be destroyed, groups such as Black Lives Matter say, because it is a white settler, white supremacist state (which is also how they see us, so consider yourself warned).
This endorsement of Hamas’s recent atrocities has come from organizations that are the leading ideological voices of BLM—not, as the Anti-Defamation League and others claim, from fringe chapters that have gone rogue and are not controlled by the national organization.
The once “national” mother ship, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, has in fact gone semi-dormant, so its silence on the slaughter in Israel should not be interpreted as distancing itself from it; BLMGNF hasn’t posted any news on its website since July.
By contrast, the recent display of support for the slaughter of Israeli Jews by two key groups, BLM Grassroots andBLM Los Angeles, is more significant. If anything, it may confirm the ongoing transferal of ideological leadership from BLMGNF to BLM Grassroots and BLM LA.
As new revolutionary vanguards of BLM, these two organizations understand that BLM is transnational, just as co-founder Alicia Garza, donning a Palestinian keffiyeh no less, admitted in 2010 (three years before creating BLM) that Third World enemies of the United States had asked activists like her to set up entities that would help take the U.S. boot “off our neck.”
They also believe that “decolonization," a mantra of the movement, is to be carried out “by any means necessary.”
That’s an expression by the 1960s revolutionary Frantz Fanon, the New Left’s favorite Third World author, though it is often associated with Malcolm X because he, too, said it often.
It means that decolonization must be carried out with rape and carnage. Bloodlust is purifying. To fanatics, Hamas’s butchery of civilians is an integral part of revolution.
In The Wretched of the Earth, one of his bestsellers, Fanon wrote, “In its bare reality, decolonization reeks of red-hot cannonballs and bloody knives. For the last can be the first only after a murderous and decisive confrontation between the two protagonists.”
Added Fanon: “Violence … frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect.”
BLM co-founder and leader Melina Abdullah is a fan of Fanon’s and encourages that his works be read by members of a “once-a-week BLM scholars group” she created. Abdullah leads both BLM Grassroots and BLM LA—two of the BLM groups that defended Hamas’s killing spree.
The two organizations are at loggerheads with BLMGNF and accuse its new leader, Shalomyah Bowers, of misusing whatever is left of the up to $100 million that BLM as a whole raised after the 2020 riots. In a statement, BLM LA demanded that BLMGNF relinquish to BLM Grassroots control of all funds, platforms, and other resources.
After BLMGNF refused, BLM Grassroots sued in September 2022. “We argued that GNF and Bowers had committed fraud, stealing the movement’s resources from the people who birthed, built, and fuel it,” Abdullah wrote in LA Progressive earlier this month.
But a Los Angeles judge ruled this June that BLM Grassroots had failed to prove it was entitled to the funds or that BLMGNF’s leadership was pilfering them, and dismissed the case. BLMGNF is now countersuing for attorney fees.
BLMGNF was indeed the original main umbrella of the movement. Online, it is blacklivesmatter.com. It thus received the funds that corporate America gave, which BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors cynically but accurately termed as “white guilt money.”
Cullors gave Bowers legal authority over BLMGNF when she stepped down as leader in 2021, but Abdullah insists that it was only intended to be “temporary.” Bowers, she says, is a “highly paid, inexperienced political consultant.”
Earlier in 2021, just before leaving, Cullors also did set up BLM Grassroots as the “entity and structure that could remain true to the grassroots origins of #BlackLivesMatter.” It would be an “assembly of chapters. … All grassroots movement work and actions will live under BLM Grassroots, to ensure this remains one of our global movement’s priorities.” So both BLMGNF and BLM Grassroots have claims to their status.
BLMGNF counterclaims that Abdullah, too, has mishandled millions in her budget. That may or may not be the case, but a pox on both their houses either way. As the World Socialist Web Site—old communists who dislike the displacement of class warfare by racial politics inherent in cultural Marxism—put it, this is a “sordid fight over money between Black Lives Matter factions.”
But undeniably, Abdullah has destructive revolutionary chops that Bowers just lacks. Abdullah, for example, helped make ethnic studies a requirement for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She also helped in the effort to slash the LAUSD’s police force in 2020 by a whopping 35%.
She is also one of the founders of BLM, along with Cullors, Garza, and Opal Tometi, and the BLM LA chapter was the first in the nation in 2013, something Bowers can’t claim. In my 2021 book on BLM, I named the four as founders.
Abdullah’s support for Hamas is thus part and parcel of her revolutionary zeal, just as the silence from Bowers and BLMGNF is telling.
This piece originally appeared in Restoring America by the Washington Examiner