To the Editor,
We should be proud of our Haddonfield Memorial High School students for pursuing social justice by dedicating spirit week fundraising to an organization which they believe promotes social justice.
It is disappointing, however, that HMHS did not challenge the students to more closely scrutinize the specific organization receiving the funding: BLM Philly, a chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
While we should all agree with the phrase “Black lives matter,” the BLM Global Network
Foundation doesn’t advance the cause it claims to support. In fact, the Foundation is anti-police, violent, and divisive.
On its own website, two full pages are dedicated to defunding police. They state: “George Floyd’s violent death was a breaking point — an all too familiar reminder that, for Black people, law enforcement doesn’t protect or save our lives. They often threaten and take them.”
Floyd’s death was a tragedy, but to state that “law enforcement doesn’t protect or save our lives,” is an insult to every good police officer who risks their life to protect people of all colors.
Who suffers most when police are defunded and violent crime then spikes? The predominantly minority residents of the cities which defund them.
Taking it further, Foundation founder Patrisse Cullors recently introduced the BREATHE Act, which would, for example, prohibit federal law enforcement from (a) prosecuting sex trafficking or gang activity, (b) using non-lethal tools such as body cameras and TASERs, or (c) operating within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, bus stops, etc.
How does ignoring sex trafficking or outlawing body cameras protect Black lives? Don’t take my word for it, though. Read the Act at: breatheact.org/learn-more, and decide for yourself.
I expressed my concern to the HMHS administration and was told “the students and [the teacher] did the research.” End of story. If HMHS was truly a top-tier academic institution, the school would encourage critical thinking and debate regarding the difference between the Foundation specifically, and the movement more broadly.
This debate would lead to reflection and discovery, and perhaps some students might realize they could support the ideals of the BLM movement through other organizations, such as the Woodson Center, whose mission is “to transform lives, schools, and troubled neighborhoods, from the inside out” through their Violence-Free Zone youth violence reduction program, which better serves the ideals of the BLM movement.