With racial unrest triggering a resurgence in Black Lives Matter demonstrations nationwide following the officer-involved death of George Floyd, the debate surrounding the decentralized social movement’s messaging, agenda and at times aggressive tactics has once again been pushed to the forefront of national politics.
Conservative political commentator Brandon Tatum has long been known for his role as an unreserved voice in that debate.
Weighing in Tuesday with The Western Journal before President Donald Trump’s rally in Phoenix, Tatum lambasted the organization, alleging its divisive and at times dangerous outbursts in recent weeks signified outright carelessness for black Americans and betrayed patently partisan motives at the movement’s core.
“This is a mob of individuals who want to erase America as we know it,” Tatum said. “And I do not agree with it.”
“It’s a political strong-arm of the Democrat Party, and I do not support them. I want people who are out here trying to make a difference, who want to make a change, who are actually putting their boots on the ground and doing something about it,” he later said.
“Black Lives Matter isn’t it.”
An Arizona native and former Tuscon police officer, Tatum has been known as an unreserved voice of opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement since shortly after stepping onto the political stage in 2016.
In March of that year, Tatum, still an officer, went viral after posting a social media video describing his eye-opening experience at a local Trump campaign rally. Attending in plainclothes, Tatum described suffering verbal abuse at the hands of progressive protesters outside the rally and even witnessing physical violence erupt in the crowd, according to The Washington Post.
“I gained a lot of respect for Donald Trump,” he said. “I think that if you want to know the truth about stuff, you got to examine it, you got to physically show up. You show up to events and you’ll get a perspective of what’s really going on and you won’t have to listen to what anybody else says.”
Tatum has since grown into his role as a prominent black voice in the conservative community, serving for a stint as the director of urban outreach for Turning Point USA and co-founding Blexit — a social movement aimed at giving voice to black Americans who have parted ways with the Democratic Party.
In the face of massive, weeks-long racial justice and police reform demonstrations from a reinvigorated Black Lives Matter, however, the political commentator has been anything but shy with regard to his distaste for the movement.
Extending to metropolitan centers in all 50 states by June 13, according to The New York Times, those demonstrations have not been exclusively peaceful.
From Minnesota to New York to Washington, D.C. and beyond, more than a handful of protests descended into anarchy as night fell, with widespread reports of buildings razed, businesses looted and acts of physical violence perpetrated.
According to MarketWatch, more than $25 million worth of physical damage was done by rioters in Minnesota alone by the second week of June.
An unofficial tally also indicates at least 17 people, the majority black, have died as a result of the riots, WITI reported.
David Dorn, 77, was one such casualty. A retired St. Louis police officer and local mentor, Dorn was slain while attempting to prevent looters from stealing televisions at the neighborhood pawn shop.
The disproportionate impact of that lawlessness on the black inner city, Tatum told The Western Journal, is an irony not lost on him.
“Black Lives Matter? Just destroying America. They don’t care about black lives,” he said.
“If they did, they would be in Chicago, Illinois, right now, where you had 104 shootings this past weekend. They would care about black lives in the womb. Abortion numbers wouldn’t be what they are,” he said.
“They wouldn’t be focused on just looking at black people who get killed by white police officers — because if you get killed by another race of police officer, it does not matter.
“Black Lives do not care about black lives.”
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