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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/10/20

Suggested tactic to undercut Trump's "law and order" campaign

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The Black Lives Matter movement is waging spiritual warfare against forces of racism, police brutality and state oppression. Trump is personifying these forces with his "law and order" campaign. In warfare, tactics are important. Right now, the big battle is the upcoming November election. I suggest that BLM to shift tactics, and concentrate on defeating Trump on November 3rd.

BLM has been successful in many ways, mobilizing people of all colors and backgrounds to protest the epidemic of police violence against Black people in this country. In the process, it has helped Joe Biden's candidacy, making the choice clear between a heartless egocentric man, and one who cares about people and the responsibility of a president.

BLM activists in general are nonviolent, in the tradition of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of 50 years ago. Even though ongoing outrage is fueled by new incidents of police brutality and unjustified killing of Black people, most protestors are peaceful, seeking only to establish the truth, that Black lives are valued less than others, and this is wrong.

A recent article in Time magazine https://time.com/5886348/report-peaceful-protests/ says that 93% of thousands of BLM protests have been peaceful. The article also highlights a "violent government response," in which authorities "use force more often than not" when they are present at protests and "disproportionately used force while intervening in demonstrations associated with the BLM movement, relative to other types of demonstrations." The report also references "dozens of car-ramming attacks" on protesters by various individuals, some of whom have ties to hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

The Trump campaign has encouraged his racist supporters to be violent, and to try to provoke BLM activists into violence. He calls protestors "domestic terrorists", and defends people like Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two demonstrators recently

Provocateurs are a classic response on the part of authoritarian states to peaceful protests. In Oakland CA, not long ago, there were 3 nights of vandalism. He police arrested 24 people, the majority from outside of Oakland. Did someone pay them to cause trouble?

Trump is using the violence of a few to establish himself as a "law and order" president. His hope is that it will swing the election in his favor. Although the polls still show Biden leading by a wide margin, that margin has lessened. Ominously, the betting odds have shifted dramatically. A few weeks ago, Biden was favored by a 24 point lead. Now it's down to 7 points. So Trump's "backlash" strategy is having some success. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/betting_odds/2020_president/

Defeating Trump is the #1 priority now, only two months before the election. Ongoing protests, at this point, may benefit his campaign and hurt Biden. On the other hand, if BLM redirected its energy toward winning the election, and observed a moratorium on street actions for 8 weeks, until after November 3rd, this would undercut Trump's "law and order" campaign.

Politico magazine reports: "Trump's campaign knocks on a million doors a week. Biden's knocks on zero." https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/04/trump-joe-biden-campaign-door-knockers-391454 . The Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee are compensating for the lack of in-person canvassing with phone calls, texts, new forms of digital organizing, and virtual meet-ups with voters. They are recruiting tens of thousands of volunteers https://turnout2020.org/

Volunteering to help register voters and ensure they know how to vote would be a good outlet for BLM activists, rather than street demonstrations, which feed Trump's "law and order" rhetoric.

Historically, only 2/3 of eligible voters actually cast a ballot; the percentage of Blacks is slightly lower- 60% in the 2016 election, and of Hispanics, 48%. BLM activists, rather than marching, could work with the Biden campaign to call Black citizens - and also Hispanic- to ensure that every potential voter is registered, and either has gotten an absentee ballot, or knows where to go on Election Day to vote. The Black and Hispanic votes will help ensure that Trump has no choice but to leave office January 1, 2021.

BLM activists could also volunteer to be poll workers, as this vital job is usually done by retired people, and the elderly are more vulnerable to COVID-19; many are choosing to stay home that day. Safeguarding the integrity of the polls and the safety of voters is especially important this year, given the GOP's recruitment of "an army of pollwatchers to prevent voter fraud". The fear is that they will intimidate people of color who are attempting, legitimately, to vote. Biden supporters have to be there as well, to prevent trouble.

Trump is doing everything he can to create chaos around the November election, so he can dispute the results. A clear victory for Biden is essential. This means reaching out to all voters, and making sure the polling places are safe for them.

I believe that this would be the best use of BLM's energy until after the election.

 

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Carol S. Wolman, MD is a psychiatrist in Northern California. A lifelong peace activist, she is helping to distribute a Peace Plan for the Holy Land- email her for a copy. She also a film producer with Paradise Cove Productions, currently (more...)
 

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