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Worst Opinion of the Week: Black Lives Matter 'Too Political', Says UK Media

The heads of commentators and politicians began to spin this week, as it sunk in that the BLM movement has aims, and intends to stand for them.
by NEO
03 July 2020, 1:46pm
Black Lives Matter protest sign London
Photo: Alex Rorison
Welcome to The Worst Take of the Week – a column in which NEO, AKA @MULLET_FAN_NEO, crowns the wildest hot take of the week.

Story: The UK arm of Black Lives Matter tweeted "FREE PALESTINE" this week, as it finally started to sink in that the wider movement's calls to defund the police also applies to Britain.
Reasonable take: Defunding the police and standing with oppressed people all over the world, including Palestinians, have always been fundamental tenants of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Brain rot: It seems this fleeting social media campaign has been "hijacked" for "political reasons", so regrettably we won't be supporting it anymore. Sad! – The BBC

Black Lives Matter.

Sorry, that’s Black Lives Mattered, apparently.

It's been quite a sight to see members of the British establishment recoiling in horror this week, as it began to dawn on them that a highly political movement such as BLM is not actually some sort of "Fair Trade" seal of approval they could freely slap over their brands without having to do any of the work.

After realising that defunding the police is a core tenant of the movement, The BBC is now distancing itself from Black Lives Matter, amid concerns from other parties – seen by The Telegraph – that the "organisation" is being "hijacked" for "political reasons". To clarify once again, Black Lives Matter is not an "organisation", but a decentralised social justice movement.

According to reports, presenters and guests on The BBC are not permitted to wear "visual symbols of support" for BLM on-screen after bosses deemed that wearing badges would fall foul of impartiality guidelines – but did say they will continue to discuss BLM on-air.

Heaven forbid someone wears a pin badge denouncing racism interrupts The BBC's daily scheduled programming of property developer porn, posh cunts fannying around auction houses and late night debates featuring Andrew Neil and Julia Hartley-Brewer. Can’t be seen pandering to Black Lives Matter protesters!

The BBC came under fire for a similar decision back in September, after BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty was found to have breached editorial guidelines over comments made about US President Donald Trump. At the time, the decision prompted an open letter, published in The Guardian, from British broadcasters and journalists of colour, making the point that "you can't be 'impartial' about racism".

Elsewhere, the leader of the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer, fully dismounted from the bandwagon and began dismissing some of the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement as "nonsense", despite recently "taking the knee" in support.

"Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police," Starmer said, before lamenting what "a shame" it is that BLM "is getting tangled up with these organisational issues". There really isn’t a finer litmus test for discovering which side of history you're on than the liege lord of pastel chino xenophobes, Nigel Farage, "heartily agreeing" with you and offering his solidarity because of your "condemnation of the Black Lives Matter organisation".

It's safe to say that whatever the fuck Keir Starmer's approach of "There's nothing wrong with any of our organisations that uphold oppression – c'mon, guys, let’s just get Hula Hoop for Equality Wednesdays off the ground!" is for, it's the absolute antithesis of what the labour movement was meant to represent.

These are just a couple of the figures and corporations who are apparently being "forced to distance themselves" – as The Telegraph phrased it – from the movement, over concerns that it might actually stand for something more than a hashtag. We're all so fucking smooth brain at this point that we can watch weeks of mass protest footage and still not be able to conclude that Black Lives Matter "might be political".

Then, to finish us off, Conservative blue tick Darren Grimes decided to interview his "hero" – one of Britain's foremost historians and massive Tudor nerd – Dr David Starkey about the Black Lives Matter movement, vacantly nodding along as Starkey said things like, "Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?" and that the British Empire was generally "fruitful" and "the most important moment in human history".

Grimes' doe-eyed defence of his interview with Starkey – who has, of course, said incredibly racist shit before – was that he "wasn’t engaged enough" to do anything. Good job that both these people don’t make a living being national media figures!

Even our police forces have been slow on the uptake that a movement reacting to systemic racism and police brutality might want to fundamentally change policing in Britain. So far, the plods' best efforts to engage has been to Instagram their constables kneeling in "solidarity", before steam rolling into council estates and racially profiling people for walking their dog suspiciously.

Hertfordshire Police recently u-turned on their stance of it being a "personal" choice for their officers to kneel, now saying that it isn't always "appropriate".

Northumberland County Council even deleted all its posts on social media that supported Black Lives Matter, with Conservative councillor Peter Jackson quoted in The Telegraph as saying the movement had "definitely strayed into the political arena". Galaxy brain throbbing, he added that “when we get mindless vandalism, when we get talk of de-funding the police and attacks on the police, and when we get people effectively trying to rewrite history, it looks like a political movement to me".

No matter how these consortiums of neoliberal cronies attempt to dilute, diminish and stifle these causes with bullshit stories like "BLM protesters want entire chessboards to be black", or attempt to pit oppressed minorities against each other, we would do well to remember that if a cause offered to change nothing, it would continue to have the undivided support of the status quo.

Then, just when you thought our establishment couldn't have their finger further off the pulse, our Prime Minister literally suggested we should "clap for bankers who make our NHS possible".

At this point, I would say it would be generous to suggest Britain has a pulse to finger. We are a degrading, farting corpse that flatlined out of reality a long time ago.

@MULLET_FAN_NEO