Saturday, September 30, 2023

The London Telegraph: It’s time to admit it: Black Lives Matter hysteria made fools of us all

Remember the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol? The one where the mob tipped the statue into the harbour? In court this week, one of its organisers admitted fraud, after £30,000 in donations from Black Lives Matter supporters went missing.

Those donors will be shaking their heads. But I suspect they won’t be the only ones. Because, three years on, it feels like an appropriate time to reflect on what happened during that mad summer of 2020 – and to ask: what exactly came over us?

We all recall what happened. For almost a month, mass protests raged all over Britain. Outside Downing Street, a policeman took the knee while on duty. The Labour leader, and his deputy, posed for a photograph in which they solemnly took the knee inside Parliament.

Then the England football team started taking the knee, too. In fact, they continued to perform this American gesture long after American sportsmen had stopped. Hence the peculiar spectacle before the England v USA match at last year’s World Cup. The England team took the knee – but the US team didn’t.

All of the above happened in response to a single event: the murder of an African-American man by a white American policeman in the American state of Minnesota, 4,000 miles away. The murder was of course appalling. But how come such huge protests against US cops erupted in Britain, too?

I think it was a subconscious reaction to lockdown. Young people had been confined to their homes for two long months. They’d gone stir-crazy. They were desperate to get out, to be part of a crowd, to feel a sense of community again. And, as they burst furiously out on to the streets together, these protests gave them exactly that.