The racism around Seattle and the UW Campus is real, palpable, and destructive. Standing up to it is a noble cause. However, what is not ennobling or effective is the use and promulgation of information (evidence) that is patently untrue. To wit: using a UW staffer’s recent break with civil behavior and his subsequent criminal acts as case in point to convince diversity-challenged persons in power to question their personal bias and tacit approval of institutional racism. No justice; no peace. Equally, no truth; no justice. Narratives that reference this same staffer’s recent notorious actions are being selectively curated by some self-appointed “leaders” within the Black Lives Matter movement, and are repeated, re-tweeted, and liked, ostensibly to demand major changes in UW policy, but numerous claims of fact made by the movement’s daisy chain of social media-driven activists are so false as to be seriously counter-productive to the cause of racial equity.

Particularly, after this same individual caused thousands of dollars in damage to Africa Town and plastered hateful racist graffiti in his own unique style in order to further position himself as the great leader of “his” protest movement, “leaders” operating under the banner of Black Lives Matter should have taken responsibility for respecting the truth. What happened though is that the Africa Town incident was (and is) ignored, and substantially false statements about other staged incidents at the UW and DGH continue to be broadcast without correction or caveat. Many UW administrators, staff, and faculty are privy to the facts of the case, but are overly constrained by abundant caution and duty of confidentiality to this UW (on leave?) employee. I was able to gather facts through public sources: videos, witness’ statements, postings, news media, TV news, etc. When activists confront an organization (department, university) with falsehoods, their case, their entire cause, collapses and is ignored on its face. Those activists’ legitimate concerns about real inequities are therefore necessarily dismissed as the ranting of a poorly-informed rabble whose “leaders” are more concerned with using force to gain personal power than with exposing the truth in order to seek justice. 

Mischaracterizing the actions of UW employees and blaming some racist “other” for hate crimes or other racially based aggressions which were fabricated by a misguided activist employee — himself a victim of a self-destructive obsession with becoming a martyr to the “cause” — is a great injustice to him and the wider Black Lives Matter movement, betraying a disturbingly convenient lack of compassion. This troubled soul’s suffering and the suffering of his family and community, continues to be driven by social-media activists’ unabated misuse of his staged actions — some for which he has been formally charged with hate crimes. The “movement” diminishes its credibility when acting as though their ends justify any means, no matter who is harmed. As cruel and insensitive as all this may be, the greater harm is to the cause of social justice and racial equity. UW employees, including president Ana Mari Cauce, are being targeted daily with hateful speech, spurious accusations, and even vandalism and hateful graffiti. Intimidation, character assassination, and demands, especially those based upon falsehoods only serve to harden hearts and close minds. Where is the spirit of Gandhi, of Martin Luther King, whose compassion for the oppressed and oppressor toppled seemingly indestructible institutions of colonialism and injustice? The “movement’s” ad hominem attacks and false accusations are not the tools of an effective revolution; the means by which we live and act are the revolution! There is no end, certainly no righteous end that justifies hate, or lies, or violence; there is only this life wherein we choose to love, respect, and honor every last being, or the end will surely be upon us — and it will not be merciful or just!   

Mark McCarthy

AIS/Chid, 2015

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