I grew up on a dirt road with a pick up in the garage and safe full of guns. I also grew up believing in the fundamental benefits of limited government and freedom as being integral to the success and happiness of the individual. My parents were Reagan conservatives. They wanted government out of their lives and out of their way and I do too.
And that is why I fundamentally understand and support Black Lives Matter. Sure, it would help if BLM stuck to the core issue, which is oppression by an overbearing and unjust justice system that is UN – becoming of a free country, instead of going off on tangents that look right out of the Bernie Sanders platform and are likely to turn off potential supporters. It would help if they tried to be more unifying. But the core issue remains. And that is why so many people who hold similar beliefs and characteristics as mine, are so wrong about BLM.
If you listened to many of the loudest and proudest voices when it comes to freedom and America you would think that BLM are at best a bunch of spoiled brats and at worst terrorists who should be arrested or forced to leave the country. Yet, when white conservatives and supporters of limited government fight back against the overbearing and often heavily armed hand of the federal government in rural areas, they are championed as misunderstood and oppressed by an out of control Washington DC. And more often than not, those supporters of freedom are right about the core issue – an out of control government.
This is the issue that unifies us all and is the root cause of our problems. Black people often feel the brunt of it and therefore it is not surprising that BLM has emerged, but we all feel it. We live in a country that has the highest incarceration rate in the world. More people are under lock and key in America than in any other country in the world, combined. The concern regarding the use of force by police is so strong that some nations have warned their own citizens about it in their travel advisory sections about America. It would be one thing if these warnings came from Venezuela, trying to get a political dig in, but these warnings are coming from western European nations. There is something dramatically wrong with that picture.
The bottom line is that our criminal justice system and laws do not today represent a free country. There are too many laws, too many regulations and too many laws and regulations that are criminally sanctioned and even harshly so. As Dallas police Chief David Brown said this summer after the tragic shooting that claimed six of his officers lives, “America’s solution to everything today is a police solution.” Law enforcement is being asked to do too much and it is inevitable that they will come into increased conflict with an increased number of Americans. And as in all places that suffer from overbearing government, it is often the poorest, who in this case also often happen to be black, that bear the consequences more than anyone else.
If you drill down even deeper, behind the bad policy that has created a justice system that is increasingly in conflict with its citizens, there is something even more basic happening: fear. Fear drives the ever increasing policies and tactics to aggress and lock up those who we perceive as making us afraid. Fear is the ally of overbearing law and response. It is the enemy of limited government, freedom, and the flag. America is supposed to be the home of the brave and there is good reason for that. Without courage, you cannot live with freedom. And we cannot ask the less than 1% of Americans who serve in uniform to carry all the bravery. We all have to participate. Unfortunately today, America is the home of the afraid more than the brave.
While suffering from the growing pains and emotional fits of any nascent political organization, BLM’s core issue is one of overbearing government, which happens to have a disproportionate impact on the lives of black people. This is why I would urge supporters of limited government, freedom, and the flag to have second look and think more thoroughly about WHY BLM exists. The words, “limited government” and “freedom” are more than just words and the flag is more than just a symbol. Think about what they actually represent. It’s more than just a dirt road, pick – up trucks and guns, and believe me, I like all three just fine.