Over the course of the last few years, there have been countless riots, protests and campaigns organized by underground progressive groups, in the name of social justice. However, unlike many of the countercultural phenomena of the 60s and 70s, it is often times difficult to know what, exactly, it is that they are protesting. Furthermore, many of the purported aims of these groups stand in stark contrast to the effects their agitations have had on real world communities and institutions.
Paving the hood over with a steamroller of good intentions
Perhaps the best illustration of the questionable effectiveness of modern progressive underground movements is the case of Black Lives Matter. After Michael Brown, a teenager who had just held up a liquor store, was killed in Furgeson, Missouri by a policeman, after he attempted to take the officer’s gun during a physical altercation, the Black Lives Matter movement coalesced, aspiring to address what it saw as systemic injustices involving the police killings of blacks, nationwide.
The movement has always been long on emotion and short of facts, however. Sophisticated analysis has shown that whites are actually more likely to be killed by police than blacks, when adjusted for rates of criminality and serious violence against police. What’s more, it’s a straight forward matter of consulting national crime statistics to see that the overwhelming, vast majority of blacks who die violent deaths do so at the hands of other blacks, not police.
Nevertheless, the Black Lives Matter movement took off like wildfire, overseeing riots, looting and even blockades of highways from Chicago to Baltimore. But researchers have shown that this, mixed with a generally anti-police climate created by all of the hoopla around the Black Lives Matter movement, has caused police in many of the most affected cities to de-police certain, heavily black areas. On the South Side of Chicago alone, this has led to an estimated 700 additional deaths of blacks, just over the last two years.