Black Lives Matter leaders are becoming frustrated by politicians who respond positively to their message. Movement leaders say that politicians’ shift away from their fabricated crisis, white cops shooting black men, and towards comprehensive reform in the ways that police use force is endangering their treasured position as institutionally disadvantaged minorities.
“The Black Lives Matter movement has been exceptionally useful for us when bilking the city, county and state governments out of money for our welfare programs,” former BLM-organizer Shoshanna Johnson said. “We’re finding that black men are worth more when they’re dead.”
Johnson spent the last year helping organize the Black Lives Matter movement in and around Ferguson, Missouri. She gained national notoriety after successfully orchestrating an hours-long blockade across Interstate 70 near Ferguson. Johnson’s stalwart efforts caught the attention of the Ferguson city commissioners who offered her a job at a community outreach center. Johnson accepted that job.
“I mean, it’s nice having a job where I can help black people get on welfare, but I don’t think that’s going to help the black community,” Johnson uncomfortably explained. “The most valuable thing that young black men can do is to get shot by a white police officer. Nothing brings more pity and support for welfare programs in the black community than a dead black man lying in the street.”
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III praised the city commissioners’ decision to give Johnson a job.
“This is the best thing that has ever happened to my administration. That makes one less experienced activist agitating against me,” Knowles said.
Johnson says her work as a Black Lives Matter organizer was predicated on putting black men into a crisis-packed situation in which violence was likely to occur. She says this was necessary because were it not the case then the cops would look like “the good guys.”
“Part of my work as a Black Lives Matter organizer meant that I had to vet black people and decide if they were going to be a suitable face for the movement,” Johnson said. “After a while I realized that it didn’t matter who we chose to lead the movement because the media would always find some ‘gentle giant’ to stand in for an interview with them and downplay any violence we commit.”
Johnson says she will miss working for the Black Lives Matter movement. However, she is also looking forward to her new job as a community outreach organizer. Part of Johnson’s job requires her to screen unemployment applications. This means she evaluates new claims and decides if a person’s claim will be approved or denied.
“I can help a lot of people in my community by making sure that only black people receive these benefits,” Johnson said while rapidly rubber-stamping a pile of incomplete applications from black people. “White people have white privilege so they can take care of themselves.”
Melissa Harris, a white mother of two, sat in the waiting room filling out an application while her two children watched television in the office lounge. She claims she has been to this office more times than she can remember trying to request Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
“We’re starving right now. This is my fourth time here this month,” Harris said with an audible frustration in her voice. “I’ve lived here my whole life and only quit working five years ago after my first child was born. I’ve done everything right and I never get approved for help.”
Harris says her family was “doing great” until members of the Black Lives Matter movement burned the CVS drug store where her husband worked. Harris picked up her children and went to the desk to hand Johnson her application, to which Johnson glibly replied, “Thank you ma’am, I’ll make sure this gets to the responsible clerk for processing.”
Johnson waited until Harris had left the lobby before unceremoniously feeding the application into an overflowing paper shredder under her desk.
“I can’t wait for another black man to get shot by a white cop,” Johnson said. “Every time a black man dies the world ignores welfare problems in the white community and starts throwing money at us.”