Something monumentally significant happened at a Black Lives Matter conference in Cleveland on July 24, 2015 – almost exactly five years ago. Beginning at 2:30 that afternoon, BLM presented a workshop for aspiring and seasoned radical agitators alike, titled There’s A Method To The Movement: Examining Community Organizing Methods and Methodologies. Those in attendance were instructed, that day, in the tactics and philosophy of the late Saul Alinsky. Known as the godfather of “community organizing” – a term that serves as a euphemism for fomenting public discontent and violence – Alinsky was a communist fellow traveler who laid out a set of basic strategies designed to help leftist radicals destroy their enemies and transform society into a socialist paradise.
If such radicals were to be successful in remaking society, said Alinsky, they “must first rub raw the resentments of the people” by identifying a particular “personification” of evil and “publicly attack[ing]” it as a “dangerous enemy” of all that is decent. The chief “personification” in BLM’s cross hairs today, of course, is the white police officer.
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” Alinsky taught, asserting that the primary task of radicals is to cultivate, in people’s hearts, a visceral revulsion to the mere sight of the target’s face. “The organizer who forgets the significance of personal identification,” said Alinsky, “will attempt to answer all objections on the basis of logic and merit. With few exceptions this is a futile procedure.”
That is why BLM and its apologists invariably avoid addressing even the most glaring errors in the anti-police, anti-white narratives they seek to advance, and why they turn a deaf ear to anyone who tries to engage them with logic, reason, or empirical data. Indeed, when confronted with incontrovertible statistical evidence proving, beyond any doubt, that their assertions about police racism are nothing more than a pack of monstrous lies, BLMers invariably respond with the intellectual equivalent of a collective belch.
Alinsky taught that in order to cast themselves as noble defenders of high moral principles, radical activists should take pains to react dramatically – with greatly exaggerated displays of “shock, horror, and moral outrage” – whenever their targeted enemy erred, or could be depicted as having erred, in any way at all. Thus, even though American police officers annually have some 375 million civilian contacts in which they act entirely within the bounds of legality and ethics, BLM chooses to magnify – with choreographed indignation – the significance of a tiny handful of questionable cases, and to characterize them as emblems of supposedly widespread police misconduct.
Alinsky advised radical activists to avoid the temptation to concede that their opponents are not “100 percent devil,” or that they may possess certain admirable qualities. Such concessions, he said, would “dilut[e] the impact of the attack” and thus amount to “political idiocy.” That’s why we never hear BLM praising the police for anything, ever. Instead, it is 100% attack, 100% of the time, against a 100% devil.
Given that the enemy is to be portrayed as the very personification of evil – against whom any and all tactics are fair game – Alinsky taught that an effective radical activist should never give the appearance of being satisfied with any compromise proposed by the opposition. After all, any bargain with the “devil” is, by definition, morally tainted. The ultimate goal, said Alinsky, is not to arrive at peaceful coexistence, but rather, to completely “crush the opposition” by remaining vigilantly “dedicated to eternal war.” “A war is not an intellectual debate,” Alinsky elaborated, “and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play.… When you have war, it means that neither side can agree on anything…. [T]here can be no compromise. It is life or death.”
Alinsky advised the radical activist to be ever on guard against the possibility that the enemy might someday propose “a constructive alternative” aimed at resolving some particular conflict. “You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand,” said Alinsky, for such a turn of events would have the effect of diffusing the righteous indignation of the radical, whose very identity is inextricably woven into the “struggle” for long-denied justice. If the perceived oppressor extends a hand of friendship in an effort to end the conflict, the crusade of the radical is jeopardized. This cannot be permitted, because “eternal war,” by definition, must never end.
Alinsky also exhorted radical activists to be entirely unpredictable and unmistakably willing – for the sake of their crusade – to plunge society at large into chaos and anarchy. They must be prepared, Alinsky explained, to “go into a state of complete confusion and draw [their] opponent into the vortex of the same confusion.”
One way in which radicals and their disciples could broadcast their preparedness for this possibility, Alinsky taught, was by staging loud, angry, massive demonstrations denouncing their political adversaries. Such events – like the BLM protests and riots of recent weeks – can give onlookers the impression that a mass movement is shifting into an even higher gear. A “mass impression,” said Alinsky, can be lasting and intimidating: “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” “The threat,” he added, “is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Putting it yet another way, Alinsky advised: “Wherever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.”
“Confusion, fear, and retreat.” That is exactly what we have witnessed recently in city after city where political leaders have made concessions to BLM, introduced legislative initiatives demanded by BLM, and lauded BLM as a movement dedicated to “social justice.” Corporations from coast to coast have likewise turned appeasement and racial virtue-signaling into high art forms.
Patrisse Cullors spoke the truth when she famously described herself and her fellow BLM co-founder, Alicia Garza, as “trained Marxists” who are “super versed on ideological theories.” Cullors also revealed that for more than a decade she was a protégé of Eric Mann, a communist revolutionary and domestic terrorist from the 1960s and ’70s.
And quite obviously, BLM’s intellectual debt to Saul Alinsky is every bit as significant. Alinsky’s call for relentless, uncompromising “perpetual war” – geared toward the destruction of America and the creation of a Marxist utopia – is the spirit that beats in the very heart of the BLM movement.
 Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p.100.
 Ibid., p. 133.
 Ibid., pp. 130-131.
 Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, p. 125.
 Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 130.
 Ibid., p. 134.
 Ibid., p. 29.
 Ibid., p. 34.
 Ibid., p. 24.
 Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, p. 150.
 Ibid., pp. 133-134.
 Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 130.
* * *