Saturday, August 13, 2016

A despicable American export

Click Here to Read More from Colonel Allen B. West

There are many great products the United States exports to other countries. However, we do need to balance our trade relations so we can reduce the ever-growing trade deficit, which currently sits somewhere near $800 billion.

But there’s something else being exported out of our country which here in America represents a deficit in character and truth: the Black Lives Matter movement.

As reported by the Washington Post, “His name was Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black construction worker who loved soccer and spent the summer aching for the much-anticipated French victory in the Euro 2016 finals that never came.

For Adama, what did come this summer was death in police custody on July 19, his birthday. According to police documents shared with select French media outlets, Adama and his brother, Bagui, were stopped on their bikes that afternoon in the center of this small town, which is about an hour north of Paris.

The police were after Bagui, wanted in connection with an extortion case. But when Adama fled the scene, three officers ultimately subdued him by pouncing on his back all at once. By the time they arrived at the station, the officers said Adama was not breathing.

The case of Adama Traoré is not the first to call into question this long-held ideology of national identity and to suggest that race, perhaps, has mattered all along. In 2005, for instance, two minority teenagers were killed after a police chase in the Paris suburbs as they left a soccer game, triggering weeks of riots across France.

But this time, a local incident has intersected with an international current, translating “Black Lives Matter” into French and galvanizing a message increasingly global in its appeal. This month, with the international spotlight on the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, protesters have condemned the routine police killings of black civilians across Brazil.

There have been similar demonstrations in Norway and Britain, where, last week, demonstrators invoking the Black Lives Matter message obstructed traffic into London’s Heathrow airport. In Canada recently, over 500 people marched in Ottawa to protest the death of a mentally ill black man after his arrest.

When about 600 protesters joined France’s first-ever Black Lives Matter demonstration in Paris four days after Adama’s death, they were taking part not only in what was couched as an international intervention against anti-blackness but also against what Fania Noël, 29, a founding member of the movement here, called France’s “Republican mythology.”

Click here for the rest of the Allen B. West story


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