Ben Shapiro Hates BLM’s Goals, Not Its Tactics

Ben Shapiro

Recently Ben Shapiro was on Joe Rogan’s podcast. And he made this very nuanced argument that when it comes to protest, Colin Kaepernick was wrong but Martin Luther King Jr was right.

His argument was that King said that “In the name of the flag you should stop racism” but that Kaepernick is saying that America is racist.

But really: this is a distinction developed to justify a predetermined conclusion. And Shapiro’s conclusion is based upon his visceral dislike of Black Lives Matter and all modern social justice movements.

Shapiro could as easily argue that King was right because he showed respect by wearing a suit. Or that Kaepernick is disrespectful because his hair is too long. Or that we should listen to religious leaders but not sports figures. It does not matter!

If Ben Shapiro Had Been Alive in 1963

As I’ve noted in the past, conservative beliefs only has a shelf-life of a generation or two. After that, the beliefs’ naked racism and general villainy is clear even to present-day conservatives.

If Ben Shapiro been around in the 1960s, he would have been like William F Buckley Jr was. In his 1963 book, Rumbles Left and Right: A Book About Troublesome People and Ideas (1963), Buckley wrote:

Dr Martin Luther King is more sensitive, and so more bitter, than the average Southern Negro, and hence unqualified as a litmus of the Southern Negro’s discontent.

You see, conservatives always have a reason to explain being against the justice movements of the moment. In fact, when NBA players recently staged a walk-out over police shootings, Jared Kushner responded condescendingly, “Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.”

The subtext is clear: what are all these rich guys whining about! This is what Buckley was saying: they don’t have the right to speak for ordinary blacks. The only thing that distinguishes Ben Shapiro is his specific justification for discounting what Colin Kaepernick says.

Ben Shapiro Can’t Admit What He Thinks

The problem for people like Shapiro is that they can’t come out and say what they believe: that all the struggles of the past were great but all the modern ones are wrong and are tearing this country apart. Saying that would make it clear that they are hateful, clueless, or both.

No modern conservative would say that a poll tax is okay. That is a relic of the racist past! If, however, you propose a poll tax in the form of new ID requirements that black people disproportionately don’t have, well, that’s just common sense. And, of course, that’s just what Ben Shapiro believes.

Ben Shapiro Isn’t Against Racism

Let’s be clear here. Ben Shapiro isn’t against Colin Kaepernick for the way he makes his argument. He is against Kaepernick’s goals. And Shapiro is not acting out of ignorance. He will not admit the existence of systemic racism. But it isn’t just an opinion he repeats.

He has lots of cherry-picked research (usually also distorted) to back up his position. And the only way you can cherry-pick is to go through the orchard. So Ben Shapiro is well aware that the arguments he’s making are not well-supported by the data. Yet he makes them anyway.

I cannot say why it is that conservatives are determined to find that the world is right and just — however it happens to be at the moment and regardless of how often their previous claims are shown to be wrong. But that is what this is all about: pushing a particular narrative of the world.

Ben Shapiro Is Disingenuous

That requires that you discount any evidence the pushes against your utopian narrative. And we all do this to one extent or another. So I don’t exactly blame Shapiro for that.

But I do blame him for not being honest: for not simply saying that he doesn’t believe in what Colin Kaepernick is protesting. Instead, Ben Shapiro tries to sound high-minded. Like he disagrees with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it!

But he’s not willing to do that. So he wants to shut down the conversation. He knows that ultimately the facts are not on his side. So in order to stop people talking about the stuff that makes him feel uncomfortable, Shapiro must distinguish between the good black protest of MLK and the bad black protest of Colin Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter.

That makes Ben Shapiro an evil man. He’s nothing even in the realm of an honest broker. It’s no wonder he’s so beloved on the right. It’s no wonder the rich shovel so much money at him.


Ben Shapiroby Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

6 thoughts on “Ben Shapiro Hates BLM’s Goals, Not Its Tactics

  1. Somewhat unrelated, but I was having an online discussion with a older sports writer I like the other day, and he mentioned how he’s moving away from football… not because of political protests, he’s neutral on those, but because of the extreme violence.

    It really is a sport where if a guy leaps in the air to make a fingertip acrobatic catch (pretty amazing) and some defender absolutely spine snaps the dude, the crowd will go “OOH!” in loud appreciation (even fans of the other team)… then if the injured player manages to hop off the field on one leg while two trainers support him on either side, the crowd does a polite golf clap.

    It’s kind of just a fascist sport anyway — one with amazing skill and strategy, but that’s not the primary appeal. You could take most truly dangerous hits out of hockey, and it’d still be popular with people used to cold winters. If football was just two-hand touch (that’s how we played it when I was a kid), it’d lose 90% of its viewers.

    All sports require an element of danger/extreme physical overexertion to be thrilling, that’s why documentaries about securely tethered rock climbers are fascinating… but football is the one major American sport I know of where people actively root for opposing players to get messed up for life.

    • There’s so much in the world that people find thrilling that just worries me. I can’t watch most “humorous” videos of accidents because all I see is someone getting hurt or amazingly lucking out and not getting hurt. I recently watched one of those ultimate fighting championships. It was at a bar and people were really into it. But all I could see was two people harming each other. It’s their right but it seems awful that people like seeing that. It seems to show a lack of empathy. Anyway, football needs to go but I doubt it will.

      • The rock climbing one I watched was amazing, because the climbers were extremely experienced and 100% safety-conscious, I knew nobody was going to die. Even so, it was terrifying because of the heights involved — these days, I’m frightened of stairs!

        Football is already waning. The health risks the league knew about for years are now public knowledge, and so fewer kids are playing it. The ones who do are increasingly poor, which in America disproportionately means minorities, and they are quite correctly using their voices to demand that owners stop treating them as disposable. It’s pissing off football’s more fascist fans. This is only going to continue.

        I suspect that in 20 years, if we still have civilization by then, football will be like boxing today… still around, still violent (maybe more so!), but generally appealing to a small number of fans who actually appreciate the tactics and subtle skills required.

        • That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking. Of course, despite boxing’s decline, we’ve had the rise of these cage matches that I can’t even watch.

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