BLM can't stay one-dimensional

BLM can't stay one-dimensional

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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Dear Editor,

The following is an open letter to the Black Lives Matter movement and affiliated organisations:

Firstly, I would like to thank you for being at the forefront of an awakening moment that has revived the social justice and social consciousness movement. However, in this praise of you I do fear that your accomplishments may either implode or, in the least, become faded as time moves on.

I feel obligated to offer this gentle criticism, and I would hope that it be accepted likewise.

Black Lives Matter (BLM), I fear that you might be on the path to becoming a one-directional, one-dimensional organisation.

Now, don't get me wrong, you do and have done superb work. However, looking at the state of some of our more impoverished areas, I would hope that you would take a page out of the notebook from the Black Panther Movement of the past.

Like you, the Black Panther Party arose out of a need to protect black bodies from the cruelty and injustices thrust upon them by an inherently racist and oppressive regime. The fist of that regime was the policing force, who throughout this nation used that fist, as well as the gun, with impunity.

However, in a relatively short period of time the Black Panther Party reached out to embrace and protect the communities from which brutalised individuals came. The party offered school lunches, domicile assistance, education, etc. Read your history books — if you can find true ones — if you were not there.

Equally important, the party sought to maintain order within the community. It offered rehabilitation for citizens who had gone astray. It injected order into the community, as well as admonished people, if needed.

Now Black Lives Matter is in possession of a purse that the Black Panther Party probably couldn't even imagine. Yet look what the movement has accomplished in a few, heavily harassed years.

It's time to spread your wonderful wings, BLM. I know this is something that must be entered into carefully, and the implementation must be staged rather than a bandwagon approach — sadly that's how we do it these days.

May I suggest that you select a few, maybe not so notorious areas and make an effort to go full-blown multidimensional there. Connect with the forces already in place, serve as liaisons, establish community-based action groups which operate under the flag of BLM. Maybe one day, after establishing successes, you could even make it to my hometown, Baltimore.

Stay strong, BLM; but, mostly, stay long

Phillip Ghee

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