What’s worse than an exclusive movement? An inclusive movement that vilifies those who would fall under its umbrella but refuse to label themselves as such. Nothing is more irksome than a movement that can’t handle those who don’t want to identify with them. Libertarians suffer from this, as does Black Lives Matter.
One twitter user went on a tweet-storm about how BLM ostracizes blacks who refuse to fall under their umbrella. He criticized how white liberals’ sometimes stereotype him as a BLM supporter because of his race and sexuality, but then attack him when they find out he doesn’t regularly participate in the movement. He shot back, claiming that he defends his “right to be in the populous by working, being productive, [and] respecting neighbors.” He defended himself “when no one else did.”
“Some of my college experience was brutal. Most brutal was being shunned/exiled by the groups I thought had my back. Completely exiled by mainstream gays and UARK Black Students, save for a few.”
The people who did reach out to him, were mostly conservative.
“The people who reached out to me, some were liberal. But legit, I had more conservatives in my life who treated me like status quo.”
He ends his tweet-storm by reminding everyone to not judge him and others by what’s on the outside. Our ideologies are not defined by our skin color and sexuality, nor should they.
He also throws out this gem…
“I don’t care if most social conservatives don’t show me the same respect. If you combat oppression with oppression, it solves nothing.” [emphasis added]
And that’s the crux of this whole piece. If your movement is more concerned about making sure every like-minded American adopts your label, you’ve missed the point of a movement. Movements aren’t about labels and name-badges, they’re about influence and change. This applies to Black Lives Matter and libertarians. What you want is awareness and acceptance whether they identify under your movement or not.
I’m a fan of both BLM and libertarianism. However, when either movement attacks Americans for not identifying or participating in the movement, as they’ve determined is acceptable, I grow impatient. I support these movements because of the underlining messages of justice and equality under the law that they preach. I don’t support them because I want another political clique.
Move past superficial labeling and accept that not everyone is going to follow your movement’s rules to the letter, much less join the movement. They’re still of use, and vital to the growth of your movement.