Black Lives Don't Matter To Black Lives Matter

Ken Blackwell is FRC's Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance. This article appeared in The Daily Caller on July 7, 2020.

Black Lives Matter doesn’t really care about saving or improving black lives — just look at the wave of violence that took dozens of black lives — including three children — over the Independence Day weekend, with hardly a murmur of protest from BLM leaders.

The group’s own mission statement proves that its real agenda is entirely political. The statement is riddled with partisan language and expresses clear support for radical ideas — ideas that, when put into practice, destroy black lives.

The most egregious of these anti-black beliefs is the organization’s opposition to traditional family structures and values. “We dismantle the patriarchal practice” and “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement,” BLM’s mission statement proclaims proudly.

But anyone who’s even glanced at the plethora of available data knows that the best way to improve and save black lives is to build strong black families. The greatest threat to the health of our community isn’t “systemic racism” — it’s fatherlessness.

Children raised in intact families are more likely to graduate from high school and college and earn more money over the course of their lives. They are also more likely to be physically healthy than children in single-parent homes.

Compared to their counterparts in intact, two-parent homes, children raised in homes without their biological father are more likely to have sex at a young age, more likely to engage in substance abuse, more likely suffer from depression, more likely to commit suicide, more likely to do poorly in school and more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system. 

Children in broken homes are also more likely to live below the poverty line. When it comes to black families specifically, a 2017 study found that the proportion of black children under the age of 18 living in poverty was 45 percent for those in single-mother homes and 36 percent for those in single-father homes. For those in intact families with married parents, however, the poverty rate was only 12 percent. 

In addition to its radical anti-family position, the Black Lives Matter mission statement also indicates that the group is pro-illegal immigrant, stating that “all Black lives matter, regardless of… immigration status.” But next to fatherlessness, the thing that has arguably done the most damage to our community over the past few decades is illegal immigration.

A 2007 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that “The 1980-2000 immigrant influx… generally ‘explains’ about 20 to 60 percent of the decline in wages, 25 percent of the decline in employment, and about 10 percent of the rise in incarceration rates among blacks with a high school education or less.”

The study found that a 10 percent rise in immigrants in any particular skill group resulted in a 3.6 percent decrease in wages for black men with the same skill sets. From 1960 to 2000, the employment rate of black high school dropouts plummeted by 33 percent.

A 10 percent rise in immigrants also results in a 1 percent increase in incarceration rates for black men, according to the study. In 1980, the incarceration rate among the lowest-skilled black men was only 1.3 percent. In 2000, it was 25.1 percent.

The authors of the study also found that while the crack epidemic and resulting war on drugs was certainly part of the reason for the shocking increase in incarceration rates among black men, it doesn’t sufficiently explain the numbers. Surely, as work becomes unavailable due to the introduction of unskilled illegal immigrant labor to the job market, low-skilled men living in poverty are more likely to turn to crime.

The disappointing truth is that black lives don’t matter to Black Lives Matter. The organization’s own words make that perfectly clear — as does its silence in the face of an escalating murder epidemic that is primarily taking black lives. Black Lives Matter doesn’t care about saving black lives. It cares about promoting a toxic ideology that ruins black lives.