Black Lives Matter (BLM) is not the “new” civil rights movement. It is a revolutionary Marxist organization that aims to dismantle the founding principles of the United States and is firmly planted in the revolutionary ideas of the New Left and the Black Liberation Movement. Heritage Foundation scholar Mike Gonzalez does an outstanding job in his latest book, BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution uncovering the truths about the BLM movement that has held the attention of Americans since 2014.
Do You Agree With Dred Scott?
In the US, our founding documents have been dominated by two historical streams of thought. The prevailing view is that “all men are created equal” and are endowed with “unalienable rights” from “their Creator.” The second view holds that all [white] men are created equal, and they are the only race entitled to unalienable rights.
For most, the understanding that our founding documents apply to all men was settled during our Civil War and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Yet, as Gonzalez highlights in chapter 1 “The Founding v. Slavery,” some still hold to the view that affirmed the Supreme Court’s worst decision to date, the 1860 Dred Scott decision.
This was a brilliant way of shedding light on the current dialogue surrounding BLM and Critical Race Theory (CRT). According to Chief Justice Taney’s twisted view, “The doctrine of 1776, that all (white) men ‘are created free and equal,’ is universally accepted and made the basis of all our institutions.” CRT scholars and BLM activists today seem to still agree with Chief Justice Taney.
Communists of the 1920s
Following the opening challenge to the idea of institutional racism, Gonzalez does an excellent job laying out the roots of BLM with a brief history of communist activity in the US from the 1920s through the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s.
The United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) worked to break the US in two during the 1920s, as it later did with Korea and Germany. The USSR attempted but failed to use Communist Party USA (CPUSA) to grab hold of a mass movement. A part of this effort was to use black intellectuals of the time to stir division. Claude McKay (1922), Langston Hughes (1932), and Paul Robeson (1950) all visited the USSR in the early 20th Century. The USSR and these black luminaries took active roles in linking the liberation desires of oppressed blacks to the political objects of the Soviets. In the early 20th Century, the NAACP was quoted in an FBI report as saying, “If Communists gained influence among” America’s blacks “they would not hesitate for a moment to foment racial strife and dissension,” according to Gonzales, the seeds of division planted a century ago are bearing fruit today.
During the 1960s, the idea of America’s founding as being for only “white” people or “all” people continued. This division was seen in the mutual hostility between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, who dismissed MLK as a “20th Century or modern Uncle Tom.” These men were leaders of two different movements. MLK was the image of the Civil Rights Movement, while X was the image of the Black Liberation Movement.
BLM is a continuation of the Black Liberation Movement, as Alicia Garza, one of the founders of BLM likes to repeat, “BLM, BLM” noting the ties to the original BLM. These ties are important in understanding Black Lives Matter philosophy and worldview. The Black Liberation Movement of the ‘60s was heavily shaped by Marxist and Maoist ideas, just as the earlier generation was influenced by the USSR’s efforts through CPUSA. The ideas of the ‘60s New Left born out of the Frankfurt School and lived out through the Black Panther Party and Weather Underground carry on today through BLM’s activities.
A significant influence on the founders of BLM is Angela Davis. Davis studied Critical Theory under Herbert Marcuse after meeting him at a Cuban Missile Crisis rally. Marcuse was one of the Frankfurt School scholars that developed Critical Theory, which aims at demolishing Western institutions to induce communism. Davis said, “I have always been a communist,” critical theory disciplines are to be used as “the intellectual arm of the revolution,” and that multiculturalism should be a weapon to dismantle “racist, sexist, homophobic, economically exploitive institutions.”
Black Lives Matter
In the last third of BLM, Gonzalez explores how BLM-Global has a political action committee, bills in Congress, millions of dollars in hand, a curriculum being disseminated to 14,000 school districts, a foreign policy, and a sympathetic media. BLM is well organized, and their aim is to overthrow the existing constitutional order by dismantling “the organizing principle of this society” in order to abolish the free-market and liberal democratic system and remake America along Marxist lines. This was clear following the murder of George Floyd. Across the nation, there were approximately 11,000 demonstrations and 570 riots.
These violent demonstrations should be no surprise, as BLM has ties to pro-Maoist organizations, and similar to Mao’s Red Guards during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, they had the government’s support. For example, in Portland where local officials rejected federal help with riots, and prosecutors tossed out the cases and released the rioters associated with BLM and Antifa. The Maoist tactics were likely passed on from the New Left Weather Underground members that mentored BLM leaders. For instance, Weatherman Eric Mann trained BLM’s Patrisse Cullors for ten years at the Labor/Community Strategy Center, which Mann describes as the “Harvard of Revolutionary graduate schools,” that seeks to build an “anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-fascist united front.”
The activities of BLM did not go completely unnoticed by Law Enforcement. In 2017 the FBI wanted to look into “Black Identity Extremists” (BIE) such as BLM, but the media, Congressional Black Caucus, and other liberal groups pressured the FBI to not pursue their investigation. Four years later, it looks like the political will to investigate BLM is all but gone, with the highest leaders in our land beating a drum against far-right “extremist” organizations.
Gonzalez’s work in BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution is well worth the time to read. This review only touched on a limited amount of the material presented. He also includes an enlightening chapter on Antifa and how it became the safe space for politicians to criticize the unrest of 2020. He further goes into great detail on BLM-Global’s sources of funding. By the end of the book, it is clear that BLM is not the “new” civil rights movement. It is a revolutionary Marxist organization that aims to dismantle the founding principles of the United States.
 Mike Gonzalez, BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution (New York: Encounter, 2021), 5, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1641772239/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_PG8YV1D3G4N719VYDB6Y.
 Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1860), https://www.loc.gov/resource/llst.022.
 Gonzalez, BLM, 37.
 Harold Cruse, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (New York: New York Review of Books, 1967), 34, quoted in Gonzalez, BLM, 37.
 Gonzalez, BLM, 46.
 Deneen L Brown, “Martin Luther King Jr. met Malcolm X just once,” Washington Post, January 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/01/14/martin-luther-king-jr-met-malcolm-x-just-once-the-photo-still-haunts-us-with-what-was-lost/.
 Gonzalez, BLM, 65.
 Ibid., 66.
 Mike Gonzalez, “Angela Davis and the Distortion of Diversity,” The Heritage Foundation, May 4, 2018, https://www.heritage.org/civil-society/commentary/angela-davis-and-the-distortion-diversity.
 Gonzalez, BLM, xi; 176.
 Ibid., xv-xvii.
 Roudabeh Kishi and Sam Jones, Demonstrations and Political Violence in America: New Data for Summer 2020 (Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, 2020), https://acleddata.com/2020/09/03/demonstrations-political-violence-in-america-new-data-for-summer-2020/.
 Gonzalez, BLM, xx; xix.
 Ibid., xxv.
 Ibid., xxvii.