Benjamin Conolly: When virtue signalling is just good public relations

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When I woke early to watch Arsenal play Manchester City in the English Premier League recently and saw ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of player’s jerseys, I was hit with a familiar wave of disappointment –but a distinct lack of surprise.

Gabonese footballer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and other Arsenal FC players ‘take a knee’ before their match against Manchester City, with players from both teams wearing jerseys with “Black Lives Matter” written on the back. PHOTO: Arsenal FC Instagram

The pervasion of supposed ‘social justice’ issues into the corporate world, popular culture and sport is hardly a shock. I have no issue with the BLM sentiment, as a Christian I believe that Man being made in the image of God makes treating people on the basis of things such as skin colour inherently wrong.

What does shock me, however, are the constant reminders of how willing our society is to accept the hypocrisy of opportunistic political activists and businesses trying to get ahead. So quick are people to jump on the bandwagon of a nice sentiment, signalling their virtue to friends and family, that they don’t stop to see who’s driving.

So quick are people to jump on the bandwagon of a nice sentiment, signalling their virtue to friends and family, that they don’t stop to see who’s driving.

The BLM organisation is a radical left-wing political front for the US Democrat party.

Money donated to BLM goes to ActBlue, an organisation that “enables left-leaning non-profits, Democrats, and progressive groups to raise money on the internet”.

BLM’s national organisers have admitted on video to being trained Marxists and have photos posted with the likes of Nicolas Maduro, Socialist President of the crumbling Venezuela. None of this matters to lefty ideologues or greedy corporations who would prefer money to morality.

When Manchester City appeared with the BLM Jersey (which you can have shipped to you for only $185), and players took a knee for a minute before the game, I was confused.

“On behalf of everyone at City, we stand together with the fight against racism,” a player read in a video posted to the club’s Instagram.

Manchester City player Raheem Stirling in the club’s PR video on the Black Lives Matter movement. PHOTO: Manchester City Instagram.

“Let’s work together for a better, more equal future,” said another, before the video ended with the team’s manager reciting dramatically, “Black Lives Matter.” I recalled those opening words “On behalf of everyone at City … ”

I wonder if this applies to Manchester City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and a member of the Royal Family in the United Arab Emirates – the same UAE with the atrocious human rights record, where it is illegal for Christians to evangelise or pray in public and apostasy by Muslims is punishable by death under Emirati law.

In Sheikh Mansour’s UAE it remains legal to discriminate against women and homosexuality is still punishable by law.

Of course, all of this is forgotten when they stick the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ on a football jersey. They speak the code, they must be good.

Of course, all of this is forgotten when they stick the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ on a football jersey. They speak the code, they must be good.

Examples of this sort of pervasion throughout the corporate world of supposed ‘social justice’ is not rare, but can no longer be ignored.

If public institutions and private corporations continue to appease radical ideologues for votes and profit, it won’t be long until they are hung with the rope they sold, destroying our culture in the process.

Austrian Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger meets Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Abu Dhabi, 13.02.2013, PHOTO: Dragan Tatic

 

Black Lives Matter embodies left-wing antipathy to Western Civilisation and its deep roots in Judeo-Christian tradition.

It speaks of “engaging comrades” and seeking to destroy what it calls the “Western-prescribed nuclear family.”

Its activists aim to dismantle cisgender privilege (‘cis’ meaning a male or female ‘identifying’ as the sex they were born as), foster a queer-affirming network and build a space that is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered … Yet somehow they’ve found a friend in the ultraconservative Islamic UAE.