Civil Rights Movement Had a “Moral Authority” Black Lives Matter Lacks
By: David Almasi
The civil rights and Black Power movements existed in the same space and time, but they had radically different beliefs and experienced very different levels of success.
In new footage from his interview with PragerU’s Will Witt, Project 21 member Derryck Green proved the importance of studying history as he contrasted the two 1960s movements, and noted that today’s Black Lives Matter movement has chosen the historically losing path.
Derryck told Witt: “I’ve always said that Black Lives Matter is an ideological heir to the Black Power movement.”
Having staked this claim, Derryck said that “people have to make a decision” on whether or not to support this radical modern movement. And, despite the rhetoric suggesting opposition to the Black Lives Matter organization is akin to racism, Derryck claimed its fringe behavior allows for rational dissent:
Rejecting Black Lives Matter as a movement isn’t rejecting the quality and care for black lives. It’s rejecting the way they’re going about doing what they’re doing.
Derryck said that the tactics used by the civil rights movement and its leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., created a compelling moral case for the movement’s goals. Quite simply, King’s followers were more popular and more successful than Black Power activists because they promoted and kept a “moral authority” in their advocacy for an America that lived up to the goals of its founders.
Speaking of Dr. King in particular, Derryck said:
He was about nonviolence. He was about going and silently protesting, but not meeting violence with violence.
This is an important distinction from Black Power then and Black Lives Matter now. Derryck added:
If you meet violence with nonviolence, people have to make a moral distinction between one or the other – and then they have to decide who they want to choose.
Also noteworthy is that civil rights activists “ wanted to integrate into American society.” As such:
[Dr. King] wanted to force the country – to morally persuade them – to live up to the ideals in the Declaration of Independence and the laws of the Constitution: integration, equality and race neutrality.
And when it came to embracing racial identity, race was part of a larger agenda rather than the fulcrum upon which everything balances:
There was no intrinsic good or bad with race. It was neutral. Give us an opportunity. Let us prove that we are equal with the people who have been oppressing us for a hundred years.
Derryck called the Black Power movement the model for today’s Black Lives Matter agenda, and said that neither of these movements “want[s] race-neutrality.”
Paraphrasing Black Power’s race-conscious messaging, Derryck explained its confrontational agenda:
We are going to redefine what it means to be black, and then we want mainstream America to deal with us how we’ve redefined ourselves.
They want separatism… And they were about violence…
They didn’t want to overcome. They wanted to overrun. And so they were going to meet violence with violence because of the frustrations of the younger radicals that were coming up in the Black Power movement.
As such, the Black Power movement made few gains in comparison to Dr. King and his civil rights movement supporters.
Today, the nation’s attention is focused on Black Lives Matter and its allegedly commanding popular support. But, as the protests turn from a noble agenda to riots and looting – with a goal of ripping down and remaking America into a radical image – people will historically be asking themselves if the movement has moral authority. And that will determine its success or failure.
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