After the violent confrontation and occupation of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., outrage abounded on social media and in the media at large. Although President Trump issued a statement condemning the violence, it did not stop calls for his resignation or impeachment from politicians, activists, and Black Lives Matter.
On Facebook, Black Lives Matter issued a list of politically-charged demands for Congress:
- Impeach Trump
- Expel treasonous Republican members of Congress
- Call on Congress to return to Washington, D.C.
- Launch full investigation into the acts of treason
- Ban Trump from all social media sites
- Defund the police
- Pass the Breathe Act
Although the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives voted in favor of a new set of articles of impeachment, with several Republican defectors, the path forward to impeachment is very narrow. Additionally, Trump conceded the 2020 election and would be out of office on January 20, which would take place much sooner than the proposed impeachment proceedings.
Additionally, Black Lives Matter’s divisive rhetoric in calling all Republican congressional members “treasonous” is a lie because not all Republicans were in lockstep in responding to the U.S. Capitol controversy. Several Republican politicians condemned the violence and occupation in the building, which would theoretically eliminate them from the “treasonous” category. In short, Black Lives Matter’s blanket statement highlighted the organization’s anti-Republican and heavily partisan rhetoric.
Banning Trump from all social media sites is underway, regardless of what Black Lives Matter said. Twitter announced it will permanently suspend Trump’s Twitter account last week, while Apple told pro-Trump app Parler that it would prevent it from being downloaded in the company’s popular App Store. Social media sites unilaterally banning a public figure over politics is unprecedented and could lead to further suppression of individual American’s right to freedom of speech. Yet, none of these considerations appear to be of concern to Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter also called for defunding the police, despite the fact that if no police were present, the mob at the U.S. Capitol building could have harmed politicians in the building. It was a non-sensical demand because Black Lives Matter did not provide a viable alternative to account for the safety of politicians during a crisis.
Is Black Lives Matter a non-partisan, apolitical organization? The answer is no.