One year on, BLM’s weaponized ‘gift’ to Britain
The response to the attack on a BLM activist illustrates the extent of collectivist conditioning - thanks in part to shameless corporate greed and preening.
Two days before the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death, one of the most prominent Black Lives Matter (BLM) UK profiles was shot in the head. According to witnesses, a car pulled up to a house party in Peckham at 3am on Sunday morning and opened fire, hitting prominent Rhodes Must Fall and BLM activist Sasha Johnson. Immediately a suggestion was unveiled that the attack may have had something to do with threats she had received in response to past remarks, such as comparing the UK police to the KKK in 2020.
Outside of the violence, perhaps the ugliest feature of a year’s worth of division, fear and censorship has been the corporate position. From Salesforce to Raytheon to Amazon to National Geographic to Foot Locker and even Relais and Chateaux, companies have embraced the weaponized BLM narrative of systematic racism. Diversity and inclusion were once exclusively box-checking features of HR recruitment: now they are outward-facing marketing, absorbing the majority of information expressed on social media. Why?
It used to be that only oddball outliers such as Ben & Jerry’s employed scruffy activist strategies, but in the wake of Big Tech’s #blackouttuesday, which occurred on the 2nd of June last year, nearly every single major global firm had something to say about race relations. Curiously this included companies like the global management consultancy McKinsey, who in December agreed to pay back $43m in fees it had earned working with companies and individuals implicated in South Africa’s state capture controversy. In McKinsey’s case, the answer might be that endorsing such corporate identarianism could diminish condemnation from appalling crimes - in others, it may be fear of isolation.
One explanation is that it is an attempt to corporatize ‘values’ - the idea that sales have ventured beyond need and now exist in a kind of progressivism vortex whereby consumers feel more comfortable buying CRM software from a firm that celebrates Derek Chauvin’s prosecution than they do from somewhere that doesn’t.
Whatever the case may be, it would be interesting to see how firms obsessed with woke ideology react to Ms. Johnson’s attack - and the sentiment that accompanied it. Peckham in south London is no longer the headquarters of the loveable Trotter’s Independent Traders (New York, Paris, Peckham). Despite ambitions of gentrification it is considered the most dangerous place to live in London: a lack of integration and social mobility has resulted in skyrocketing gangsterism, knife crime, drug turf wars and postcode rivalry. Similar incidents have occurred in the area that suggest gang warfare - possibly a case of mistaken identity - is the more plausible explanation behind Ms. Johnson’s attack.
But our first thought was: a targeted racial attack. Instead of calling it a tragedy, or casting our thoughts to the lives of her two small children, we - prompted by a hyper-partisan media environment - leaped to the suspicion of racist hatred in defiance of experience. And that - a paranoid, illogical urgency of assessment and dread - is BLM’s poisonous gift to Britain.