US embassies around the world will soon fly the flag of Black Lives Matter and campaign against “global racial justice,” expanding the global export of wokeness as official policy that began with the rainbow banner of LGBT+.
George Floyd was killed a year ago on Tuesday, and the Black Lives Matter message has since become official diplomatic policy of the US. That’s according to a memo sent out to US embassies by Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week, and revealed by conservative magazine Human Events on Monday.
The memo advises embassies to focus their messaging “on the need to eliminate systemic racism and its continued impact,” and grants them “a blanket written authorization” to fly the BLM flag alongside the Stars and Stripes for the rest of the year. The diplomatic posts are advised to draw attention not just to Floyd’s death, but to other episodes from the US’ racial history – like the Tulsa race massacre and Juneteenth – all in a bid to promote “global racial justice.”
Though signed by Blinken, the memo is directly pursuant to President Joe Biden’s executive order “Advancing Racial Equity,” issued in January.
The message of BLM is a little hard to pin down, beyond the “anti-racist” line its supporters spout. Critics have alternately described BLM as “anti-white,” “Marxist,” “anti-police” and “anarchist” – the latter designation used by both critics and supporters alike. Confusion aside, the organization’s goals are apparently so inseparable from the official policy of the White House, that the State Department is taking them worldwide.
To be clear, this is the Biden-Harris administration speaking, not the American people, who after a summer of riots and arson are less supportive of BLM and more inclined to think that race relations in the US have worsened since last May.
Blinken’s memo will come as no surprise to anyone who watched the events of the past year with a cynical eye. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris rode into office championing the BLM cause – with Harris in particular declaring in June that the group’s often-violent protests “are not going to stop after election day...and should not.” Corporate America forked out billions of dollars to the movement, and the country’s largest companies issued fawning statements in support, even as BLM rioters looted their stores.
Herein lies one of many contradictions of the Biden-BLM alliance. BLM’s existence is predicated on the belief that America is “systemically racist” and its political, legal, and social institutions work to oppress black people. Yet this very America is represented abroad by the State Department. Either BLM is lying about the existence of systemic racism, or the State Department is lying about its commitment to end it.
Either way, it’s hard to imagine foreigners seeing a BLM flag hoisted outside an American embassy as anything but virtue signalling on a global level. It’s twice as insulting when one reads Blinken’s memo, and sees terms cooked up in US universities to describe US-specific problems, ready to be deployed in their own countries. Given that the emergence of BLM has soured race relations in the US, the idea that transplanting its symbols and messaging halfway around the world would work is laughable at best.
Yet that hasn’t stopped the State Department from trying. Under the Trump administration, the US embassy in Moscow flew the rainbow flag and proclaimed “LGBTI rights are human rights. Human rights are universal” on Instagram, despite the Trump administration reserving flagpoles for the US flag alone. The embassy got around Trump’s guidance by hanging the multicolored banner from a window. During the Obama administration, the flying of pride flags was encouraged, a policy that Biden has resumed.
Blinken learned in March that such gestures don’t always translate abroad, when he met Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Alaska for two days of talks. After condemning China’s actions toward Hong Kong, Taiwan and the majority-Uighur province of Xinjiang, Blinken was excoriated by Yang, who accused him of “grandstanding.” Days later, when US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield compared the US history of “white supremacy” to China’s “crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang, her Chinese counterpart Dai Bing shot back that Greenfield’s admission “to her country’s ignoble human rights record...does not give the country license to get on the high horse and tell other countries what to do.”
Greenfield stated that America’s founders wove “white supremacy and black inferiority into our founding documents and principles,” a bizarre declaration for anyone representing their own country abroad. The Chinese would never make a show of denigrating their own history on the world stage – nor would any sane people.
Yet it likely offers a peek into the thought process behind Blinken’s latest memo. By waving the BLM flag at its diplomatic outposts, the Biden administration gives itself license to lecture the world on the evils of racism, and presumably, to sanction and punish states who don’t live up to its lofty ideals. The US will be seen to be “doing the work,” to quote the most awful social-justice screechers, so the rest of the world will have to follow suit.
Whether anyone will listen is another story, and either to save themselves the embarrassment or avoid inflaming the locals, some station chiefs may avail of one key cop-out line included in Blinken’s memo: “this is an authorization, not a requirement.”
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