The Black Lives Matter movement started a massive wave of Americans uniting to call for defunding the police and eradicating white supremacy to make positive changes for Black Americans. But experts reflecting on the movement’s scorecard in 2022 say Black America hasn’t benefited.
“I would argue that, on balance, these communities are worse off because by [BLM] overemphasizing the role of police, they’ve changed police behavior for the worse,” the Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. “In other words, police do become more cautious. They’re less likely to get out of their cars and engage with people in the community. And to the extent that police are less proactive, the criminals have the run of the place.”
Riley noted that “police brutality still exists, bad cops exist,” and he has no “problem with raising awareness about police misconduct.” But he argued that BLM is “over-focused” on police and does not take into account that “97, 98% [of Black homicides] do not involve police at all.”
Dr. Carol Swain, a retired professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, told Fox News Digital that “an intelligent observer would be hard-pressed to identify any area in American society where BLM’s activism has benefited the Black community.”
“What BLM has done is pervert the criminal justice system by engaging in activities that have resulted in a growing trend of trials by media,” Swain said. “BLM has intimidated juries and judges. Its leaders have no interest in due process or the presumption of innocence.”
Black Lives Matter began with the social media hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and was officially founded in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Chants of “Black Lives Matter” later rang out at protests following the police-involved killing of Michael Brown in Missouri in 2014 and continued to into the next year after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
It ultimately grew to a vast movement by the summer of 2020 that swept the highest echelons of America, from corporate leaders to Hollywood icons to powerful sports figures pledging support.