Stand up to the mob.
ASTORIA, NYC- I found myself standing outside LaGuardia airport at midnight. All of the taxis were taken. Uber had been banned from operating between the hours of 8pm and 12:30 am. We’d just spent three months on pandemic-imposed house arrest, and now there was a citywide curfew. The Bronx was burning. BLM protests had turned into riots which turned into looting. A police sergeant was purposely run down. His body flung into the air like a piece of popcorn. FedEx trucks were being attacked in the streets. #NYC2020.
The following day I walked around my neighborhood: the windows of many shops — both corporate and local — had been boarded up, “BLM” was scrawled upon their exteriors, their decorative facades sliced apart and destroyed. I don’t know when the mob came through — I had been gone for a week — but they left a trail of destruction in their wake.
And this is supposed to make us support their cause?
In Louisville, Kentucky the local BLM chapter decided to pull a page out of the playbook of the mafia as they went around giving local businesses in the NuLu neighborhood a list of options:
1) Hire at least 23% black employees, including management;
2) Purchase 23% of their products from black vendors;
3) Put a sign in their window apologizing for gentrifying the neighborhood and how they support reparations for black people;
4) Provide their staff with quarterly diversity, equity, inclusion training provided by — you guessed it — the people who sent the letter (and probably for a fee);
5) Give 1.5% of their revenue to black organizations;
6) Face the consequences.
What are these consequences? From the letter:
This is a copy of the letter they were given:
Private businesses in Louisville were basically given an ultimatum: hire the people we say and give us money or we will destroy your business. This is how the mafia operates.
What right does BLM have to extort private businesses? The right of might. Who’s going to stop them? The police?
In many cities across the USA, the people have been left to fend for themselves. Firearms have been selling at an unprecedented rate. The soon to be dismantled police of Minneapolis even sent out a letter to their citizenry tell them that they are on their own, and that they should do whatever criminals say because they can’t help them:
Here's the not cropped, unmarked version of that message pic.twitter.com/Dpf1nqRknc
— Kyle Hooten (@KyleHooten2) August 1, 2020
But one business owner in Louisville stood up to BLM’s assault: Fernando Martinez, a Cuban immigrant who showed up to the USA on a raft at the age of 18 (no joke, apparently), who rose to become one of the city’s top restaurateurs, operating the Olé Restaurant Group.
Last week BLM showed up to his new restaurant, La Bodeguita de Mima, and gave him their terms, stating, “better put the letter on the door so your business is not fucked with.” He told them to go shit in their hats — he risked his life to flee Cuba to get away from such injustices. He wrote on Facebook:
“There comes a time in life that you have to make a stand and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in … All good people need to denounce this. How can you justified (sic) injustice with more injustice?”
A couple of days later BLM staged a protest in front of his restaurant, where they vandalized the property and caused them to shut down to protect their staff from potential violence.
The battle between black militants and Cuban business owners in Louisville cracks me up.
Yeah…these people didn’t escape communism to be extorted.
Louisville Cuban community to rally in support of La Bodeguita de Mima https://t.co/HnQ7qMGvdL
— mom folding laundry (@folding_laundry) August 1, 2020
Many in the neighborhood and beyond voiced support for Martinez, and last Sunday they held a rally against BLM’s tactics:
At La Bodeguita De Mima on E. Market St, where members of Louisville’s Cuban community are gathering to show support for owner Fernando Martinez. He said he was threatened by BLM protesters, who sent letters to business owners in NuLu demanding to improve diversity in the area. pic.twitter.com/sFJR5c0KNM
— David J. Kim (@_DavidJKim) August 2, 2020
But the president of the Louisville Urban League said that she would no longer eat at Martinez’s restaurant and wondered why “any human, other than a racist, would choose this time to tell us how little our lives matter.”
Her response is interesting, as she took Martinez’s refusal to be illegally extorted as a statement that black lives don’t matter.
If you don’t do what we say and give us money then you are a racist.
It’s a textbook example of a Motte-and-bailey fallacy:
The motte-and-bailey fallacy (named after the motte-and-bailey castle) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy where an arguer conflates two positions which share similarities, one modest and easy to defend (the “motte”) and one much more controversial (the “bailey”). The arguer advances the controversial position, but when challenged, they insist that they are only advancing the more modest position. Upon retreating to the motte, the arguer can claim that the bailey has not been refuted (because the critic refused to attack the motte) or that the critic is unreasonable (by equating an attack on the bailey with an attack on the motte).
BLM is essentially a political organization violently pushing a controversial agenda behind a statement that pretty much nobody can refute: “black lives matter.” The goodness inherent to their name has become a shield for their brutal, domineering, and extremely illegal activities. Nobody will dispute their motte (black lives matter) which gives them the carte blac to carry out their bailey (violence, vandalism, extortion, etc). When we try to attack their bailey they simply retreat to their motte: “You’re a racist. You think black lives don’t matter.” But if we support their motte we also inherently condone their baily.
I can either support BLM coming through my neighborhood destroying local businesses or I can be a racist. That’s the options they have given me.
Logically, it should be easy to dismantle BLM’s motte-and-bailey fallacy. Certainly, someone can oppose violence and vandalism and not be a racist — there are legions of black people who are ardently against BLM. Certainly, you can separate the meaning of the phrase “black lives matter” from the politically infused mobs trying to impose their agendas over cities across the country. However, BLM’s front is holding up remarkably well, which we can readily see in how the leftist media (NY Times, Washington Post) still use the word protest instead of riot (even when bombs are being thrown), makes light of the destruction that BLM has wrought, and makes people who stand up to them out to be … yes, racists.
VIDEO: #BLM / #AntifaTerrorists use IED against Federal forces protecting courthouse in #Portland. pic.twitter.com/rr91qznPP9 #PortlandRiots #Portlandexplosion #BlackLivesMatter 🇨🇳 #JoeBiden
— Sam Pye (@freddie1999) July 28, 2020
On one hand you must be complicit in the rights of yourself and others being trampled, on the other hand you must be prepared to be labeled as something you’re more than likely morally opposed to.
What are you going to choose?
For the local business that was destroyed by BLM that I showed pictures of above, their response is clear:
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii
August 5, 2020, 10:46 am
Another great post. They just keep getting better and better. I like the new energy you’re putting into them.
August 5, 2020, 12:36 pm
That list of repercussions is damn blunt. How they heck are they getting away with that? They might as well be holding a gun to the owner’s head with one hand and a can a gasoline in the other. Hey, you’re FREE to choose: bullet or burning.
“How about Invasive Reclamation instead?” asks the restaurant owner.
“That’s so yesterday,” replies the BLM representative. “The list has been changed.”
“Do you want a job at the restaurant? Good salary. Great hours.”
BLM rep shakes his head, scowls. “I’m part of the VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION! Do you think I look like a stinking waiter or dishwasher!” Holds up revolver and can of gas. “So what’s it gonna be, Pops?”