Black Lives Matter has been criticized since its inception for its lack of clear policy goals. Instead, they’ve resorted to violence, vandalism, and chaos to make their point — as unclear as that may have been.
This week, in the aftermath of the Dallas police massacre, two policies have emerged from the controversial protest group. They want to totally disarm, demilitarize, defund, and disband the police, and they want reparations from white Americans.
One Black Lives matter organizer advocated for the latter policy point in an essay published in Wear Your Voice Magazine. In the piece, she demanded “housing, transportation, food, clothes, free space for meetings and work space; we need laptops, cell phones, encrypted systems for communication, solar power and LAND. ”
Why those systems of communications need to be encrypted is anyone’s guess — but it seems fairly obvious.
You may think that you work hard for your possessions, but Black Lives Matter organizer Ashleigh Shackelford thinks otherwise. In fact, she doesn’t think you own them at all.
Nothing you have is yours. Let me be clear: Nothing you have is yours. Also, Let me be see through: Reparations are not donations, because we are not your charity, tax write off, or good deed for the day. You are living off of stolen resources, stolen land, exploited labor, appropriated culture and the murder of our people. Nothing you have is yours.
Reparations for us are not only necessary because we are economically harmed, exploited and stolen from — while the violence against us is never acknowledged — but because in order for us to create and move work for Black liberation, it requires resources and MONEY. We live in a white supremacist capitalist world, so ain’t no spinning webs of lies around “money isn’t the answer.” It is because money and exploitation and power are interconnected concepts of violence. Y’all spent hundreds of years selling, mutilating, raping and beating our bodies and labor but you think money doesn’t matter to our freedom and liberation? Cute. Write me a check for this shade because it comes with 400 years of trauma.
We need housing, transportation, food, clothes, free space for meetings and work space; we need laptops, cell phones, encrypted systems for communication, solar power and LAND. Stop playing. Y’all really thought pulling up to the protest in your Hyundai was gonna be enough? Nah. You have to give us everything we need and more, because even if it means you go without — it doesn’t matter because that’s how we been living for 400+ years. Reparations will never be negotiable. So if you’re not willing to talk money, you are not here for #BlackLivesMatter as a movement or for us as individuals.
According to Shackelford, merely supporting Black Lives Matter isn’t enough, wants all of these things for free — likely because no one supporting the organization is willing to work to do it themselves.