A thread on the /r/AskReddit/ subreddit posed a simple question to black users: “What is your opinion on Black Lives Matter?”
While most users responded that they agree with the movement’s core principles, an overwhelming majority also expressed great displeasure with the group’s leadership and general behavior.
“Jafooki” criticized the movement for lacking “any kind of clear direction.”
“I honestly don’t even know what the movement is trying to achieve. It’s a protest against the police abuse, but there’s no real goal. There’s no strategy to fix anything. If anything I think the movement as a whole is making the situation worse.”
“Good intentions, but terrible delivery,” added “Calfurious.” “Yes police brutality is a problem, but screaming in people’s faces about how you fear and hate white people is just completley [sic] counter productive.”
“Larryesq” took an even blunter stance.
“LaughingOnTheSun” noted that “whenever a BLM activist speaks I brace myself for ‘Will I cringe at their effort to speak for my whole race or will they actually make enough sense to reach out.'”
“Derolix01” likes that BLM is “raising awareness for all of the police brutality targeting black males, but they are doing it in all of the wrong ways in my opinion.”
“Invading libraries, interrupting speeches by presidential candidates, blocking highways, etc. only hurts their credibility and it shows to me that there is no real goal other than to show how desperate for attention they are.”
Others criticized the movement for making the entire conversation be about “racism,” instead of addressing all the systemic problems that contribute to the frayed law enforcement-African American relationship.
“I’m black, I also run a blog with a focus on police misconduct. I have zero confidence in BLM as a group for numerous reasons,” wrote user “bigbear1992”. “But my biggest problem with BLM is that they treat police brutality like a problem of racism and while racism can explain some of it, excessive police power is the greater issue.”
“Make no mistake, police killings of blacks are disproportionate to our part of the population. But the larger problem is militarized police, no-knock raids, and blind trust in police both on a citizen level and within the criminal justice system.”
“Hammerloc” agreed that the BLM argument should be “less about race and more about the fact the police think they can do whatever they want.” Instead, “what you end up with is a police force that essentially has free reign to do what they want, while we argue about who commits more crimes.”
“Traffisgreat” lashed out at movement organizers for advancing a “one-sided discussion.”
“Poverty, glorification of crime and the thug lifestyle, the idea that everyone can be a rapper or pro sports player, and the general attitude that education is worthless, are all prevalent in poor black communities, which are largely responsible for the perception of the entire black community,” he explained. “I think if poverty and education were addressed, most of the other issues would go away and the incarceration rate would plummet.”
“PM_ME_WHO_YOU_HATE” took another interesting stance.
He explained, “it’s important for a movement to be happening, but it’s almost as if those who are running the movement are not looking to solve the problem they’re just embarrassing black people and forgetting what so many civil rights leaders in the past have fought, but more than that, they are forgetting the way things were fought for. [sic]”
“The biggest thing is that I think it’s cowardly what they are doing. It’s cowardly to break up Pride, because you know that Gay people are unlikely to publicly criticize you, it’s cowardly to overrun the speech of the one man who has been on the ground fighting for your civil rights for his entire life,” he added. “It’s probably the most self-centered and despicable thing you can do to literally plan to try and have martial law declared because you want your crown jewel (Obama) to stay in office rather than bettering yourselves and admitting that you, just like the rest of America, have to sit down and compromise instead of whining and crying like a little baby because you didn’t get your way.”