What exactly are “Black Identity extremists?”
We don’t know either, but what we do know that under a President who believes there are “some very fine” white supremacists the FBI has now labeled “Black Identity extremists” as a terror threat to this country.
According to Foreign Policy magazine, a FBI report circulated internally on August 3 warns that “Black identity extremists”—labeled a racially motivated movement—can pose a serious threat to law enforcement. Apparently, the FBI believes that police attacks on Black folks could cause “premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence” against the police.
The report stated:
“The August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was the catalyst for widespread anger and violence, the FBI report says, concluding that continued “alleged” police abuses have fueled more violence.
“The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African-Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement.”
(There are so many levels of wrong here, but let’s start with the fact that shouldn’t the FBI be cracking down on police brutality? Guess not–this is just our fault for being angry and oppressed.)
This report isn’t sitting too well with former government officials and legal experts who stress that this BIE movement DOES NOT exist. They have also expressed concern that the term is part of a politically motivated effort to find an equivalent threat to white supremacists.
“This is a new umbrella designation that has no basis,” the former official told FP. “There are civil rights and privacy issues all over this.”
Obviously this problematic and racist report was sparked by the influential and powerful Black Lives Matter Movement, yet its authors never call out the group by name. And just a refresher: Black Lives Matter Movement is nonviolent and calls for the end of police and state violence against Black and Brown folks in this country and beyond.
Yet speaking of state violence, while police have killed over 168 African-Americans this year alone, the report can only list six total acts of premeditated violence against officers, including the shooting death of Dallas police officers at a BLM rally in July 2016. As the Root points out, the shooter, Micah Johnson, wasn’t affiliated with BLM but was reportedly “influenced by BIE ideology,” based on his journals and statements to police, according to the FBI report.
It’s not a secret that the FBI has an extensive history of trying its hardest—even illegally—to criminalize, intimidate and undermine Black liberation activists. One word: COINTELPRO. This government surveillance program created in 1956 had one goal: “Expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist[s].”
And that’s the FBI’s own words. Sadly, it appears they are still doing just that with this new generation of activists.
DeRay McKesson told FP that the FBI visited his house in the run-up to the Republican National Convention. “I spoke about the FBI visit to my house and the houses of other activists in our final meeting with [President Barack] Obama,” he said.
“There is a long tradition of the FBI targeting black activists and this is not surprising,” McKesson said.
Ironically, this treacherous report was released just nine days before the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville turned deadly this summer.
All we can say is keeping resisting y’all!