'Death to America' and 'Black Lives Matter'

A short while ago, President Obama made a deal with Iran – a deal in which they got nearly everything they ever wanted out of us, and we got almost nothing we wanted out of them.  But what was most interesting about the agreement was that after we'd capitulated and relations should have been smoothed (at least, that's what you expect when you make a generous deal with a respectable person), the supreme leader of the Iranian people was caught shouting "death to America" with a substantial portion of his political allies.

This is discomforting for several reasons, the first being that we just gave Iran the green light to work with nuclear materials, and above all they seem to want us dead.  Some well-intentioned people think the Iranians don't want us dead, because that is what generous people think when they want to give someone the benefit of the doubt.  These people are idiots.  You always take someone seriously when you catch him openly wishing for your death.

If the phrase death to America seems a little backward, it's only because nobody in our national government has been (recently) caught wishing any particular nation a national death (unless we're counting Obama's pastor).  And also because it's about the most obvious and most ridiculously unchivalrous thing anyone could possibly yell about an enemy.  In Iran's defense, it may also be the most honest.

Going beyond the Iranian slogan, we find the more domestically obnoxious black lives matter, which can be translated from to only terrible people matter (which may also be translated death to America).  If this translation seems unconvincing, a quick look at their own manifesto shows that they are against the improvement of terrible neighborhoods (which they call gentrification), against the success of white businesses (which they decry as profit-making), against the right of policemen to use necessary force (which they call brutality), and, as Bernie Sanders so recently stated in his civil rights agenda, against the avoidance of any convicted criminals (which they call discrimination).  In short, they've even given up pretending that black "victims" are hard-working and law-abiding, good for neighborhoods and children and businesses, and have decided to openly persecute every American who actually is.  If they were interested in defending good black people, they might have been shouting good lives matter (which I think is more to the point than the excessively generous all lives matter).  But good martyrs weren't available, so they went for color instead of character.

Nobody has proved this translation better than Black Lives Matter activists themselves, who listed what we can only suppose to be the best cases of racially hateful homicides in the entirety of the American continent.  One man they listed, Mike Brown, was proved by two independent investigations to have attacked the police officer who killed him.  Gabriella Naverez was killed after ramming a police officer's car in an attempt to escape arrest – after a high-speed chase that could easily have killed innocents.  Tanisha Anderson was clinically insane and arrested for disturbing the peace, and died after she attempted resisting arrest.  Tarika Wilson (whose own mother testifies she had six children by five different drug dealers) was probably the most innocent of the lot, being shot in the middle of a dangerous drug raid – of someone who was dealing drugs to the neighborhood.

The central theme of the Black Lives Matter movement is that there are innocent blacks being murdered by racist policemen all over the country.  Black Lives Matter has produced none of them, which leads anyone of any intelligence to believe that black people are safe – if they are not being stupid or breaking the law.  It is the criminals who are in danger.  The innocents they brutalize and the neighborhoods they destroy are apparently irrelevant (which is where I get death to America).

In a further twist of irony, a recent speech by two Black Lives Matter activists asked a crowd of Bernie Sanders supporters to check their privilege, which can be safely translated as maintain and establish privilege.  And the reason why should be obvious.  Nobody white has ever stormed the stage of a presidential candidate and been given not only enough time to ramble out a ridiculous and irrelevant message, but also four additional minutes for the purpose of silence.  And it ought to seem strange that the people asking whites to check their privilege are not only doing something nobody white could ever do, but asking for advancement only for the color of their skin.

Whites (and perhaps other people who read books and use dictionaries) have historically recognized privileges only as the things you get without deserving them.  They have also recognized privileges as things enjoyed by a minority at the expense of the majority.  But Black Lives Matter activists view their advancement as something completely independent of merit – as something that ought to be forced for a statistic, rather than something that ought to be won by good conduct.  In other words, if white people used to have privileges before we outlawed titles of nobility and made people work for everything they want (at least until the reintroduction of statism), Black Lives Matter activists want a color of nobility, which is a guaranteed hereditary advancement for a privileged minority.  They want what white people have at white people's expense without doing anything to deserve it; they want it in spite of the fact that many of their martyrs deserve the opposite (which is what many of their "martyrs" got).  And they get it by claiming that privileges are evil, right before suing the pants off the only race in America that doesn't have any actual privileges.

And so we find that if anything is wrong with the world, it is that only the Iranians (who are the bad guys) are saying what they actually mean, while Americans (who are the supposed to be the good guys) are saying what they don't.  Perhaps we ought to take a lesson from our national enemies and mean death when we say it – as we ought to mean things like privilege.  But I suppose this kind of honesty is only for the Muslims.  At least, it is until we decide to actually be more like the Man we claim to be our country's Lord and Savior, and ruin some dinner parties by outing our hypocrites.

Jeremy Egerer is the editor of the troublesome philosophical website known as Letters to Hannah, and he welcomes followers on Twitter and Facebook.

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