Updated: Feb 3
On January 7th, five police officers from the Memphis Police Department brutally beat a 29-year-old Black resident from the city of Memphis, Tennessee, following a traffic stop. The altercation occurred close to 9 pm local time. Three days later, Tyre Nichols succumbed to his injuries and passed away on January 10. Some protests took place shortly after his death, but they were not organized by the social movement against police brutality, Black Lives Matter, colloquially known by its initials: BLM. These protests were organized by the local communities of Memphis. The question is: why? BLM is against police brutality, Tyre Nichols’ death is the result of a police blunder, so why didn’t BLM take the streets to protest?
The five police officers who brutally beat Nichols are all Black. And BLM is a social movement specifically created to hold White police officers accountable on the premise that the American police are racist and embedded in systemic racism. Nevertheless, a Black life was lost at the hands of the police, and yet, BLM did not protest. Doesn’t the life of Tyre Nichols matter? Or would it only matter if he died at the hand of White police officers?
This is exactly the problem with BLM. Its passive reaction toward Nichols’ death highlights more deeply its hypocritical stances. CNN anchor Van Jones wrote that although the police officers who killed Nichols were Black, their actions were still driven by racism. How is this possible? It is interesting to see how CNN and most left-leaning media platforms first, did not mention the skin color of the police officers who beat Nichols, in their headlines. Second, when it was obvious that they could no longer withhold mentioning their skin color, they quickly rush to justify that these five police officers' reprehensible actions were influenced by systemic racism. In other words, these Black police officers were the product of systemic racism. It is, indeed, sad to see how left-leaning media have tried to politicize the death of a man.
BLM remains silent because the death of Nichols does not suit their narrative and business model. Since its inception, BLM has raised more than $100 million in donation money and has $42 million in assets. In 2020 alone, following the painful-to-watch death of George Floyd, BLM raised $90 million. George Floyd’s death created a worldwide uproar and indignation regarding police brutality and how Black people are treated in America. This uproar though has led to the destruction of property across the United States.
BLM may be a social movement, but it has a business model. The basis of its business model is that the White police officer must be the perpetrator. The White police officer inflicting pain on the Black suspect reinforces the image of the powerful White man exercising his domination over the powerless Black person. In such a scenario, we are all quick to rush to help the victim by donating money to the organization that “fights” in the name of the victim, notably “Black people.” If the police officer who perpetrates the pain on the Black person is anything but White, it then defeats the purpose of BLM’s business model. This was the case with Tyre Nichols’s death, and that’s why Black Lives Matter has not shown up in the streets.