The Instigator
stschiffman
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
JayConar
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Is Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 513 times Debate No: 94064
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

stschiffman

Pro

I will be arguing that yes, they are a terrorist group, and Con (whoever that is) will argue that they aren't.

Round 1 is for acceptance only.
Round 2 is for arguments and rebuttals.
Round 3 is for last rebuttals and closing statements only. No new arguments in this round.

Good luck!
JayConar

Con

Acceptance
Debate Round No. 1
stschiffman

Pro

Let me start with the definition of terrorism.

Terrorism (defined by Dictionary.com) is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes."
http://www.dictionary.com...

And Black Lives Matter does that quite often. Their members loot, riot and set fires, as they did in Baltimore and Ferguson, among other cities.
http://www.breitbart.com...

They've attacked veterans simply for not siding with them.
http://www.breitbart.com...

They've set fire to police cars
http://abcnews.go.com...

They've even shot police in Dallas.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

How can a group this violent be considered anything but a terrorist group? Attacking innocent people for your own political gains is terrorism, by it's very definition.

A common argument made is that to be anti-black lives matter is to be racist against African Americans. But saying I hate African Americans because I hate Black Lives Matter is no different than saying someone is racist against whites because they hate the Ku Klux Klan. I don't know if you were going to use this argument or not, but this is my rebuttal to that argument.

Besides, if Black Lives Matter really wanted to save black lives, they would A) help keep black neighborhoods safe from gang violence and B) protest abortion, which kills more African Americans than the police could even dream of.
JayConar

Con

I'm going to let pro's definition of terrorism stand because I believe it to be sufficient. To recap, that means terrorism is hereby defined as: 'The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.'

But there are two parts to my opponents claim. He is claiming that 'Black Lives Matter' is itself a terrorist organisation because it uses 'violence and threats to intimidate or coerce for political purposes.' But for Pro to be right it must first be an organisation.

The definition of an organisation is: 'A social unit of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals. All organisations have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and the members, and subdivides and assigns roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out different tasks. Organisations are open systems--they affect and are affected by their environment. [1]

Does, then, Black Lives Matter have a management structure in which different members are designated different roles and authority?

Yes. Yes it does.

Therefore, to prove Pro right, we must discover that the agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement is to 'use violence and threats to intimidate and coerce' in order to achieve their objective. In order to do this, Pro must find evidence that the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have ordered the use of violence and threats to intimidate and coerce. Pro does, afterall, have the burden of proof.

It is not enough for Pro to state instances where violence has happened and attribute this to the Black Lives Matter movement. If that was enough, instances like My Lai (the rape of women and children by American soldiers in the Vietnam war because they thought the village might be hiding enemy soldiers) would show that the American army was a terrorist organisation. Whereas it was, in fact, simply a few 'bad apples' who decided to display a savagery which was not intended by the higher ups in the military. I don't think Pro would argue with me when I say that the American military is certainly not a terrorist organisation.

So the few instances of violence which Pro gave examples of all have one thing in common. None of them show any of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter organisation giving direct orders to be violent. So although he's shown that there are terrorists who support Black Lives Matter, he hasn't shown that Black Lives Matter supports terrorism and therefore has failed in his burden of proof.

Pro's last paragraph is simply his subjective opinion on a matter irrelevant to this debate so I won't comment on it.




Sources:
http://www.businessdictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 2
stschiffman

Pro

Before I begin this round, something I just noticed and want to clarify.

I don't know if you noticed or not, but in Round 1, I said "Round 2 is for arguments and rebuttals. Round 3 is for last rebuttals and closing statements only. No new arguments in this round."
Well, since I accidentally selected 4 rounds instead of 3, Rounds 2 and 3 will be for arguments and rebuttals, and 4 will be rebuttals only. Now that that's clarified, back to the debate

"But there are two parts to my opponents claim. He is claiming that 'Black Lives Matter' is itself a terrorist organisation because it uses 'violence and threats to intimidate or coerce for political purposes.' But for Pro to be right it (Black Lives Matter must first be an organisation."
They are an organisation. In fact, that is labeled as a "Major Misconception" on their own website. Of course, most of their "major misconceptions" are actually true (ie, they don't care about black on black crime), but this one is true. Scroll to the second one to see where they claim to be a movement with leaders.
http://blacklivesmatter.com...

"Therefore, to prove Pro right, we must discover that the agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement is to 'use violence and threats to intimidate and coerce' in order to achieve their objective. In order to do this, Pro must find evidence that the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have ordered the use of violence and threats to intimidate and coerce. Pro does, afterall, have the burden of proof."
Just because the leaders themselves do not condone violence does not mean they are not a violent group. After all, several groups that do not actively condone violence/terrorism are still labeled as domestic terrorist groups (Occupy Wall Street, some branches of the KKK, etc). An organization can still be a terrorist organization, even if their leaders aren't outspoken terrorists.
I mean, a Black Lives Matter themed radio show even called for the deaths of whites and cops.
http://www.infowars.com...

And you're right when you say the military is not a terrorist organization. But that's not a fair comparison. The army does not use violence for their own personal political gains; when they do use violence, it's because they are following orders, not because they are in it for their own political agendas.
JayConar

Con

Okay the rounds thing makes sense - onto the debate:

I'm not sure that Pro read my last round because he started off by proving that they are an organisation. I agreed that they were last round when I said:

'Does, then, Black Lives Matter have a management structure in which different members are designated different roles and authority?

Yes. Yes it does.'

I would be glad if you could read what I say in future rounds more thoroughly otherwise this debate won't be very productive.

Also, I am not conceding that most of BLM's major misconceptions are untrue, but for the moment that matter is irrelevant to the debate and therefore I won't waste my time arguing against it unless it becomes important later on.

As for Pro's statement that it doesn't make any difference about whether the leaders of a group actively condone or encourage violence or terrorism, yes it does. For a start, the KKK have almost always condoned and encouraged violence towards certain individuals and their leaders refuse to condemn the violence. So they do not make a good example. The primary objective of the KKK is that only white, heterosexual Christians deserve civil rights. Its original mandate, to reverse the equality granted African -Americans after the Civil War has expanded as the social demographics of the United States have changed. It also opposes civil rights for Jews, gays, Catholics, and other ethnic and religious groups. Today, the various local groups that make up the Klan often focus their hate speech on immigrants. [1]

The FBI stated that Occupy Wall Street was a peaceful group although they also stated it was a terrorist threat. Although it should be stated that designating a group as a 'terrorist threat' is a very different thing from designating it as a 'terrorist organization.' They are not the same thing and the FBI said it was a peaceful group. [2]

You have no examples of a group which has been designated as a terrorist organization despite the leaders not actively condoning or encouraging violence (as the KKK leaders have a long history in which their leaders have encouraged violence and Occupy Wall Street was never designated a terrorist organization).

I do, however, have a British example of a group who are not designated as a terrorist organization despite one of their member having killed a politician. Britain First. A member of whom murdered Jo Cox. That group has not been designated to be a terrorist group
despite this:

'On 27 September 2015, Paul Golding announced that he would stand as a candidate in the 2016 London mayoral election. In a Facebook post on the decision, Jayda Fransen wrote that the party's "pro-EU, Islamist-loving opponents" will "face the wrath of the Britain First movement ... We will not rest until every traitor is punished for their crimes against our country. And by punished, I mean good old fashioned British justice at the end of a rope!"' [3]

You may wonder why it has not been designated a terrorist group, that's probably because:

'The group's leader, Paul Golding, condemned the attack on Jo Cox, saying, "We hope that this person who carried it out is strung up by the neck on the nearest lamp post. That's the way we view justice."' [4]

The group leader refused to condone it and instead condemned it.

As for the radio show guy who called for the deaths of whites and cops, again, that's not a leader of the group, it's just somebody who likes the group and asserts his own values onto it despite those values not existing in the group. That makes that individual a terrorist, but not the group itself which does not state that it supports or holds the views of that individual.

As for your assertion that the army does not use violence for their own personal political gains, the leader of the army is the President of the United States of America. He certainly uses the army for political gains and is not following any orders. Higher ups ordered the attack on My Lai and allowed them to kill civillians in order to attempt to force Vietnam to not be communist. That is violence and intimidation for political purpose. The reason that the American army was not considered to be a terrorist organisation is because the majority of people agreed that their purpose - of ridding the world of communism - was worth the lives of civillians who were guilty only of wishing that their country could become communist - which the majority of people wanted - against American wishes.

I have shown that it is necessary for Pro to prove that the leaders of the Black Lives Matter organization actively condone and encourage terrorism in order to fulfill his burden of proof. He has not.

As previously stated, Pro has given no evidence that the leaders of the Black Lives Matter organization actively condone and encourage violence in pursuit of their political aims. He has pointed to very rare individual cases in which an act of violence has been committed by people who agree with Black Lives Matter, but any individual who believes themselves to be better than another race to the point of believing it is okay to kill them is going to agree with a cause that pursues giving their race more rights. That does not in any way prove that the Black Lives Matter group encourage violence as these people would exist and do what they do whether Black Lives Matter does or does not exist. The leadership of Black Lives Matter has therefore encouraged nobody to commit acts of terror who would not have done so anyway and therefore is not a terrorist group.


Sources:

[1] http://terrorism.about.com...;
[2] https://www.theguardian.com...;
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...;
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
stschiffman

Pro

It makes no difference if the leaders of Black Lives Matter do or do not condone terrorism. If their group commits acts of terror, they're terrorists, no matter what the leaders say. Terrorism is ""the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes" not "when leaders of groups condone the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes."

And as for the radio host analogy, that goes back to what I said in the paragraph above; he doesn't have to be a leader of the organization, he just has to be part of the group and use the group for his own terrorist purposes. That's a fundamental part of this debate that I don't think we'll be able to agree upon; you think the leaders have to specifically endorse terrorism for the group to be a terrorist group, and I don't.

And about what you said about the army; again, the army itself just follows orders, they don't act for their own political agendas. Black Lives Matter does.

Closing Statement (aka a summer of everything I've already said): Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization because it consistently uses terrorism to achieve it's goals. Regardless of what their goals are, using violence and intimidation to achieve those goals, by it's very nature, is terrorism, and whether the leaders condone those actions or not is irrelevant.

JayConar, thank you for debating with me. I've enjoyed this debate, and I hope you have too.
JayConar

Con

I have given more than enough evidence that it does matter what the leaders of Black Lives Matter say and Pro cannot refute that evidence with a simple 'no it doesn't'. I'll say it once more for posterity's sake. If a person who affiliates themself with a group commits an act of terrorism, but the leaders of the group have not ordered him to do it or condoned his actions, then the actions were not representative of the group, but of the individual who committed the crime.

If youtube was held responsible for the actions of the members who used it, youtube would be one of the most criminal organisations in history.

I have shown that the head of the army is the President who does not follow orders and, as the leader of the army, uses it for his own political agenda, again, (whether that be stopping communism or anything else)you cannot refute my logical statement with a 'no you're wrong'. But what the army is or is not is irrelevant to this debate anyway.

Black Lives Matter, I have shown, cannot be defined as a terrorist organisation because none of its leaders or the people who are paid to represent the organisation have condoned or encouraged an act of terrorism. I have also shown that it is not enough for somebody who simply agrees with the organisation to commit a terrorist act to classify the organisation itself as a terrorist organisation as anybody who committed a terrorist act who agreed with youtube could land youtube under the label of 'terrorist.'

Thanks for the debate. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by debateteam007 10 months ago
debateteam007
Woah, I never even thought about it like this. That's very interesting!
Posted by stschiffman 10 months ago
stschiffman
@Desmac Thank you.
Posted by stschiffman 10 months ago
stschiffman
@Throwback If you don't like my style, then don't debate me. No need to be a jerk about it.
Posted by desmac 10 months ago
desmac
This is a DEBATE site. People come here to debate. What else do you expect to find here? If you are fed up with people debating on a debate site, may I suggest that you seek your entertainment elsewhere?
Posted by Throwback 10 months ago
Throwback
Here is the reason why I have grown just tired of the people who debate on this site. There is no point in arguing against the fact BLM is a terrorist organization. It is on its face, a stupid, uninformed, uncivilized thought process which leads to thinking it is not. The debate skill of either participant in the debate has no effect on the facts.

I prefer to have a discussion with someone who is genuinely looking for the truth in a position, rather than one upsmanship with no intent to earnestly seek the truth.
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