Mushroomhead’s Rick “Stitch” Thomas Proudly Signs Petition Declaring Black Lives Matter “a Terrorist Organization”
Last year, Ohio’s Mushroomhead defended their use of the Confederate Flag on band merch, despite the fact that a) it’s super-duper racist, and b) Ohio was part of the Union and not the Confederacy. As it turns out, it may very well be the racism part that the band found most appealing.
The band’s Rick “Stitch” Thomas, who Wikipedia tells me is responsible for “turntables, samples, programming” and “custom percussion” (which I assume is like Clown’s job in Slipknot), posted this to Facebook yesterday:
The extremely well-written mission statement for the petition begins thusly:
terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims”.
The failure to capitalize the first letter in the first word of the sentence more or less demonstrates the level of seriousness this petition warrants, but just in case you really are buying this bullshit, let’s discuss it.
First of all, maybe you’ve seen this explanation as to why Black Lives Matter is important and is not discounting the value of ALL lives, but if you haven’t, it’s worth reading (via Fusion):
Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!
The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.
That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.
The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.
Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.
But let’s say you read all that and go, “Well, that’s nice but it’s beside the point, because what Micah Johnson did in Dallas last week proves that the Black Lives Matter movement is, indeed, a terrorist organization.” That’s still every bit as illogical as saying something like “All Muslims are terrorists” or “All Lostprophets fans are pedophiles,” but for the sake of argument, I’ll humor you. Sure, Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization. Fine.
But then we still need to acknowledge that Dallas was a tragedy of our own making.
I do not endorse the murder of police officers (or anyone). I do not endorse what happened in Dallas. But we live in a country where a) the cops have been running around killing innocent African-Americans with immunity since forever (this is not a new a development — it’s just much easier to catch on video and spread around the world now), and b) we have repeatedly refused to institute stronger gun control laws under the auspices of needing to protect ourselves from tyranny. How anyone is the least bit shocked that an African-American took violent actions against a governmental organization that has behaved so violently towards his race is beyond me. Micah Johnson did exactly what the NRA has been telling people to do for decades.
Again: I’m not endorsing Micah Johnson’s actions. I am saying, as an American, that we made our bed, and are now sleeping in it. If we want this kind of violence to stop, we need to a) do something about the ease with which people can procure deadly weapons in this country, and b) send a message to our law enforcement agencies that if they kill an innocent person without provocation, they will be punished severely, regardless of that person’s race, sex, or creed.
But even that’s not really the point.
Let’s pretend Black Lives Matter never happened. Let’s pretend that instead, it suddenly came to the world’s attention that the police were routinely shooting, I dunno, let’s say dudes in backwards baseball caps, without cause. So the movement is Dudes in Backwards Baseball Caps’ Lives Matter. And after the cops keep shooting dudes in backwards baseball caps and getting away with it, it is a guy in a backwards baseball cap, and not necessarily a black man, who kills those police officers in Dallas.
Do you think there’s any chance in Hell that “Stitch” signs a petition declaring Dudes in Backwards Baseball Caps’ Lives Matter a terrorist organization?
You can argue that the people who made this petition, and the people who sign it, aren’t racist.
But you’d be wrong.