Black Lives Matter has made its presence felt in the early stages of the 2016 election.
Last week, BLM activists successfully forced Jeb Bush to shut down a rally in Las Vegas and forced Bernie Sanders offstage at a rally in Seattle. Sanders is rewarding this behavior by offering to meet with them.
In July, when Martin O’Malley had the temerity to say “All Lives Matter,” Black Lives Matter forced O’Malley to apologize. Not only did this apology expose BLM’s racist ideology and O’Malley’s spinelessness, but it also demonstrated its growing power.
The one presidential candidate BLM has spared from their invective is Hillary Clinton. Indeed, BLM was able to get a private audience with Hillary despite being barred from a recent rally in New Hampshire. In turn, Hillary has repeatedly proclaimed, “Black Lives Matter!” Of course, what she really means Black Votes Matter.
All of these recent events reminded me about a meeting BLM activists had with President Obama at the White House last December. What could they have possibly discussed? No doubt President Obama was offering sympathy and solidarity. But Obama is a community organizer at heart. If Obama offered sympathy and solidarity, then he surely also offered them strategy. It would go a long way in explaining BLM’s laser focus on the 2016 elections. That laser focus is directed to aid Hillary and impede her opponents be they Democrats or Republicans. However, if they are following the Alinsky playbook it is more likely that their targets will be Republicans rather than Democrats, given their ideological hostility and the sheer number of GOP candidates in the field.
Ideally, Republican presidential candidates ought not to legitimize BLM. After all, this movement is based on the lie that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown a year ago because Brown was black. It is also based on the lie that Brown said, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” If BLM activists were put in Darren Wilson’s position, chances are they would have responded exactly as he did.
But many a political movement has been born on a lie and, unfortunately, these movements have a long, destructive life, especially when aided and abetted by the mainstream media. Under these circumstances, most Republican presidential hopefuls will very likely not have the luxury of ignoring BLM. Given how successful BLM has been thus far in intimidating candidates, there is little reason to believe they will stop anytime soon. In which case, Republican presidential candidates must be prepared.
Let’s begin by identifying the three things GOP candidates should not do if confronted by BLM:
a) Do not cut short your speech or walk off the stage and let BLM activists to take over.
b) Do not apologize for saying that “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter.”
c) Do not forcibly remove BLM from the area (unless its members engage in violence). By doing so the mainstream media will turn activists into martyrs.
So what should a Republican presidential candidate do if confronted by BLM?
A good way to start would be to say that the audience isn’t there to hear BLM and that their interruption proves they oppose freedom of speech.
Another possibility would be for a Republican candidate to say, “I am running to be President of the United States. That means I am President to all Americans and therefore all lives matter.”
In the event BLM becomes really confrontational and accuses the candidate of racism or insists on bashing police officers, the candidate can reply along the lines of “You have cheapened the meaning of racism and have cheapened yourselves,” or “I’m saddened that you judge police officers by the color of their uniforms,” or “Well, I’m glad to know to BLM judges people by their color of their skin. Martin Luther King, Jr. judged people by the content of their character and so do I and so do the majority of Americans.”
Or one could take a page from Ted Cruz’s book. Last month in D.C., Cruz was speaking at a rally opposing the Iran nuclear deal when he was disrupted by Code Pink activists. Cruz began addressing them by saying, “It is very interesting to see those who profess to believe in free speech be afraid of speech.” He then challenged them to defend their views and had an impromptu 24-minute debate with Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin. Needless to say, she was no match for Cruz. If the same were done with BLM then they would be put into the awkward position of actually having to defend their position and to display their shortcomings.
If a Republican presidential candidate can’t handle Black Lives Matter, how is he or she going to handle Russia, China, or an Iran determined to go nuclear? Sooner or later, every GOP presidential hopeful will very likely be confronted by BLM. Should this happen, that candidate should acknowledge and address their presence. But they must do so strictly on their own terms, not those of Black Lives Matter.