When George Floyd was gasping for air, I know that one thought was going through his mind: “We have got to nationalise the railways”.
At least that’s the impression that I get from some Conservative politicians and right-wing commentators: That the #BlackLivesMatter movement which has existed since 2013, and whose flames were fanned by the murder of George Floyd, is about Marxism.
That’s why today, when asked to comment on the Millwall fans who booed footballers taking the knee for #BlackLivesMatter in the match yesterday, Agriculture Minister George Eustice said “BLM is actually a political movement”.
#BlackLivesMatter is a global movement against systemic racism. Many organisations have been set up in different countries to help drive the movement. By definition, that means you can’t say that any individual organisation speaks for the whole #BlackLivesMatter movement.
In fact, many of us who consider ourselves part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement strongly oppose the UK organisation that was set up in its name. Yet despite prominent black voices regularly screaming “It’s not about the political organisation; It’s just about equality”, conservatives and Conservatives keep saying they don’t support the “Marxist” organisation whenever it comes up.
'My personal view is that Black Lives Matter is a political movement that is different to what most of us believe in, which is standing up for racial equality.'
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) December 6, 2020