We’ve seen this movie play out before. Instead of addressing the issue of why the organization, Black Lives Matter, was formed in the first place, the politicians and cultural gatekeepers slapped a label on BLM in an effort to “neutralize” it and silence its leadership.
Why does that process ring with haunting familiarity? Because it has happened before. In 1968, the U.S. Department of Justice labeled the Black Panther Party a terrorist group and “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States,” and basically began a bloody campaign to destroy arguably the most revolutionary Black organization the country had ever seen. In particular, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover unleashed a highly illegal campaign, called Counterintelligence or COINTELPRO, that decimated Black organizations and Black leadership from coast to coast, illegally following and bugging and wiretapping every major Black leader from Martin Luther King to Malcolm X to H. Rap Brown to Stokely Carmichael and the Panthers.
What we’re seeing now may be called COINTELPRO 2.0.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors says the reason behind the founding of the “Black Lives Matter” movement was love. However, Khan-Cullors says her intent has been deliberately distorted in order to incite fear of the organization, which would make it easier to justify its destruction.
This is straight from the blueprint culled from federal law enforcement actions from the 1960s.
“Black folks have always been considered terrorists in this country,” Khan-Cullors told theGrio. “I think the language terrorism is completely anti-Black.”
Keep in mind that the media noted White terrorist organizations committed more acts of violence in 2017 than any other ethnic group, yet not one of those organizations was called a terrorist group.
“There is not one day that goes by that a troll doesn’t say to me ‘You’re a terrorist organization’ and that was started by elected officials of this country,” says Khan-Cullors. “They started that rumor.”
The political and personal attacks have in-part inspired Khan-Cullors to team up with activist and writer asha bandele to write a new book, “When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.”
The book has made enough noise that it actually climbed into the New York Times best-seller list, receiving praise for an in-depth look at Khan-Cullors’ life before activism up to the forming of the BLM movement.