A Night in Tunisia.


A Facebook conversation about Black Lives Matters and the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” If you haven’t already done so, accept my encouragement to visit the Black Lives Matters website, and instead of hearing from a friend who heard it from a friend about what BLM is saying, go straight to the source and think for yourself … for a nice change.

JM: So you totally missed the BLM part where they want to tear down the nuclear family?

Roger A. Baylor: Hmm, “tear down” — well, I couldn’t find that specific wording anywhere. I imagine you are referring to this passage:

“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

I’ll readily concede to not knowing exactly where BLM is coming from here, but it’s evident that (a) the system of American slavery and botched “reconstruction” did a fine job of disrupting Black “nuclear” families; (b) late period capitalism has pitched in to further disrupt “nuclear” families beyond strictly Black ones; and (c) I’m extremely suspicious about what is being implied by the “nuclear” family in the first place, as it strikes me as code for what always was more cliche than reality. What I glean from the BLM passage is that there are numerous sorts of families, too many to be confined by “Leave It to Beaver.” If anyone out there can assist with my education on this matter, I’d appreciate it. In the interim, I don’t see the threat in any of this.

Jeff Gillenwater: It’s always amusing when people object to BLM via racist interpretations.

JS: No you’re correct. It’s of the “It Takes a Village” variety. Not meant to supplant the “nuclear family” but to expand it, like much of the world. Parents look out for each others’ kids, especially important when parent(s) work. Elderly are part of the community and not shuffled off to homes to rot away, etc.

JG: More communal, matriarchal community structures are historically prevalent in Africa, hence the notion of Western prescription. It’s been genuinely inspiring to see that in contemporary action via BLM. The level of organization and leadership is impressive. Those who think the movement is limited to protest don’t know or understand much as their ignorant and often hatefully aimed comments tend to make clear … Black women leading is plenty enough reason for some people to be obviously hyper critical and find something wrong with every (often manufactured) aspect of the movement without ever actually mentioning Black women. They think no one notices their racism/sexism that way. It’s sort of pathetically funny to watch them act as if they’re taking some great stand for justice when they so clearly lack the awareness and courage to even face themselves.

The remainder is here.