Schools shouldn’t fly BLM flags

6 September 2022

Its divisive programme is the enemy of black prosperity

After more than two years of disruption, American schoolchildren are finally returning to something approaching normal education — in-person, and without masks or social distancing or other “non-pharmaceutical interventions”. But many of these children are returning transformed. Last week, data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed catastrophic learning loss among America’s nine-year-olds, with the worst declines among minority students.

I thought of these children when a friend from Massachusetts complained to me about the Black Lives Matter flag flying outside her son’s school. These flags have become a common sight outside American classrooms since the summer of 2020, and my friend isn’t the only one who’s concerned. The Diocese of Worcester recently ordered a local school to stop identifying itself as Catholic over its refusal to remove BLM and Pride flags, and similar controversies have erupted in Utah and Tennessee.

My friend’s complaint was that BLM is corrupt, which it almost certainly is. Reporting from earlier this year showed that the group’s founder had been spending BLM funds on lavish real estate purchases and payouts to family members. Only last week, Shalomyah Bowers, the leader of the BLM Global Network Foundation, was accused of stealing more than $10 million for personal use.

But complaints over the organisation’s corruption miss the point. Even if BLM were a paragon of transparency, its flag should never have been flown outside an American school — for the simple reason that its core principles are antithetical to a sound education.