In a Balkanized place like the U.S., every issue becomes a reductivist exercise. Too often, discussions devolve into arguments.
Take Black Lives Matter. One side thinks that the aim of this group is to bring attention to blacks being killed by the police. The other side resents the attention placed on blacks and wants “all lives” recognized. The other side says this is “racist”, the counter argument is “no it’s not,” and the two sides stand on opposite sides of a chasm lobbing rocks back and forth at each other—mostly figurative, but there’s some literalism inherent in this, also.
Except, there’s more to the story than the usual two-pronged understanding, if you dig just a little deeper. You also have to leave behind those sources that profit from their binary issue frames.
Consider another kind of analysis, Marxist in orientation about Black Lives Matter, and their funding. Why would billionaires back the cause of Black Lives Matter? As in funding to the tune of $100 million from the Ford Foundation over a six-year period to several groups and organizations occupying the vanguard in the movement. So what kind of other associations does the foundation keep? Oh, for years they maintained close ties to US military and intelligence agencies. Frances Stonor Saunders, a historian of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), described the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations in her book The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters as “conscious instruments of covert US policy, with directors and officers who were closely connected to, or even members of American intelligence.” Continue reading