A petition was made on July 6 by a user going by the initials Y.S. to formally recognize the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist organization. Needless to say, many Black Americans are not happy about the petition, and it has been reportedly called an insult to millions of Black Americans who suffered under domestic terrorism.
Y.S. provided the following argument on why the Black Lives Matter movement should formally be recognized as a terrorist organization, as seen on the White House petitions page (edited for corrections).
“Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims.’ This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. Black Lives Matter has earned this title due to its actions in Ferguson, Baltimore, and even at a Bernie Sanders rally, as well as all over the United States and Canada. It is time for The Pentagon to be consistent in its actions — and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare Black Lives Matter a terror group — on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.”
According to an article written by Downtrend, they report that the synopsis of the petition leaves out the numerous white people and police officers who have been murdered in the name of Black Lives Matter. They also state that if any other group were as closely-associated to the “carnage and mayhem” that often follows Black Lives Matter, they would be labeled a terrorist organization. They use this rationalization as a means to support the petition.
One such current incident being used to push that Black Lives Matter should be identified as a terrorist group is the shooting of five police officers in Dallas, Texas. According to Atlanta Black Star, Micah Xavier Johnson was seemingly the only gunman responsible for the shooting. Johnson also made sure to state he was not a part of Black Lives Matter. despite being in one of their assemblies of protest during the massacre. Still, Johnson is still being touted as a part of Black Lives Matter movement, despite the reports of him saying his has no part with them.
Nevertheless, many in the Black Lives Matter community are standing up, expressing their disdain for Micah Xavier Johnson’s actions. Representatives of the movement provided a statement on the matter while trying to distance the movement itself away from Johnson’s actions.
“In the last few days, this country witnessed the recorded murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police, the latest victims in this country’s failed policing system. As we have done for decades, we marched and protested to highlight the urgent need to transform policing in America, to call for justice, transparency and accountability, and to demand that Black Lives Matter.
“In Dallas, many gathered to do the same, joining in a day of action with friends, family, and co-workers. Their efforts were cut short when a lone gunman targeted and attacked 11 police officers, killing five. This is a tragedy—both for those who have been impacted by yesterday’s attack and for our democracy. There are some who would use these events to stifle a movement for change and quicken the demise of a vibrant discourse on the human rights of Black Americans. We should reject all of this.
“Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it. Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.”
At this moment, there are over 75,000 signatures on the petition to formally recognize Black Lives Matter as a terrorist group. Once it reaches its goal of 100,000 signatures, President Barack Obama is bound to at least issue a statement on the petition.
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