Black Lives Matter woke, three weeks ago: Get rid of policing; that’ll reduce crime.
Black Lives Matter woke, July 8: Get rid of American bases overseas; that’ll reduce the threat.
Now, granted, Philadelphia Black Lives Matter organizer and activist YahNé Ndgo isn’t representative of the whole organization. However, in an illuminating interview, if for no other reason than because it offered a glimpse into who holds power in the decentralized Black Lives Matter organization, Ndgo suggested not only the abolition of police — that goes without saying — but the abolition of American military bases not on our soil.
On Tuesday, Ndgo laid out Black Lives Matter’s plan to Fox News for living in a post-police world — because make no mistake, she doesn’t want to just defund or cut back on the police, she wants them abolished. Thus, she would obviously need some resources to shift in order to make it work.
One thing she wanted was to put a stop to the Department of Defense programs which, to quote her, “[take] military-grade equipment and transfers it into local police departments.”
“It just increases the resources to these police terror groups. And so shifting those resources from that, you have these federal resources that are being used in these ways that could easily be shifted into the communities to address these issues around poverty,” Ndgo said.
“There are over 800 U.S. military bases around the world,” she said. This includes the Pentagon’s AFRICOM program, “which puts military bases in almost every country on the African continent,” according to Ndgo.
Fox reporter Hollie McKay dryly pointed out that, according to maps obtained by The Intercept earlier this year, this only includes 29 out of 54 countries — certainly not a sign of disengagement on the continent, but also roughly half of what she thought it was. Oh well. She moved on.
“[Defunding] these particular programs would provide massive amounts of resources for the communities in the United States and that would mitigate most of the problems that create the so-called problem of crime,” Ndgo said.
Not that it matters to Black Lives Matter, but Military Times reported that the AFRICOM program is meant to address several key U.S. objectives in the region — including countering Russian and Chinese influence in Africa. Saying that it doesn’t matter is interesting, given that I can’t think of any way black lives in the region wouldn’t get considerably worse if China’s influence on the continent increased.
It’s worth mentioning, however, because it mirrors how strangely absent of real-world concerns the Black Lives Matter movement’s talking points are.
Take defunding the police, which is pretty much the recurring talking point. Ndgo claims that policing is “centered around the ruling class and protection of the ruling class and being an extension of the system of oppression.”
“Quite often, if there is violence happening, by the time the police arrive, that has already occurred and particularly in poor neighborhoods and in black and brown communities. So the police are not really a resource for preventing that kind of crime from happening. Just a response,” she said.
However, even though she thinks communities would be safer without police, Ndgo says they’ll need five years to build the alternatives.
“One of the things that we are demanding over five years is the complete abolition [of police]. We don’t want to see any police in our community,” Ndgo said in the interview.
“Over the course of those five years, it gives time for the community to begin to build what is needed. We aren’t looking to leave any kind of vacancy around the issue of safety.”
That’s interesting. I thought the point was that police didn’t make communities safer. They either do or they don’t — and if they don’t, then now would be a good time to get rid of them.
Building a parallel system that isn’t “looking to leave any kind of vacancy around the issue of safety” sounds an awful lot like Ndgo and Black Lives Matter are a) looking to create their own police, b) don’t know what they’re signing themselves up for or c) a bit of both.
Actually, it’s definitely c).
But no, nevertheless, she persisted, steadfast in the belief that this all could be solved by shifting police’s job onto social services.
“As we address these particular concerns, and at the same time build restorative justice practices, and build out our mental health response teams, and build medic responses,” Ndgo told Fox News.
“[These are] responses that really actually deal with the issues that are in place. Then we will have less crime anyway.”
At least for YahNé Ndgo, it seems this movement is no longer about black lives mattering, if it ever was. It’s not even black lives, especially since she thinks that what Africa needs is the United States withdrawing its troops and leaving the continent to the Russians and Chinese. Instead, she would rather the continent be left to two powers who don’t particularly care about Africa.
But this isn’t about them. It’s about America — and the fact this is as good a time as any to bring it down a few pegs.
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