Ta-Nehisi Coates is having his #BlackLivesMatter-inspired comic book series Black Panther & The Crew cancelled. Six issues in, Marvel is halting the series due to poor sales. Black Panther and other Black Marvel superheroes investigate the death Ezra Keith, whose death was metaphorically similar to that of Sandra Bland. The cancellation of the comic is becoming metaphorically similar to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Author and New York Times writer Seth Stephens-Davidowitz dislikes the information gathered via surveys. On the Freakonomics Podcast, he says there is no incentive for people to be honest on surveys because of peer pressure and social “norms”. However, when it comes to a Google search, users do not find the information they are looking for without being honest.
What does Google search statistics say about #BlackLivesMatter?
Searches for “Black Lives Matter” is down considerably compared to last year. There are also similar statistics for search phrases like “Black Protest” and “Black Lives Matter Protest”. In fact, searches that include the word “protest” are down. These searches are even dwindling in cities where BLM movements are very prevalent. Chicago, Ferguson, Dallas, Baltimore and Milwaukee have all seen dips in interest in the social media-driven movement. The only city that remains highly invested in the matter is Minneapolis.
CNN writer John Blake suggests that the BLM movement is being hurt by outside forces that one could not predict five years ago:
“Those assumptions may now get worse as BLM leaders confront a make-or-break moment that virtually all protest movements eventually face: What happens when your enemies and unexpected events do a better job of defining your movement than you do?
BLM leaders are under a new kind of scrutiny because of a whiplash of unexpected events: cell phone videos of two black men who died from police gunfire followed by the ambush and killings of five police officers in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter protest, and three police officers targeted and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
As a result, activists and scholars say BLM is facing the same challenge that confronted striking steelworkers in the 19th century, gay activists blindsided by the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in 2011. These movements initially captured the public's imagination, then their existence was threatened by something over which they had no control.”
The initial version of #BlackLivesMatter was honorable, spawned from the killing of Trayvon Martin. Over the years, once left-leaning Twitter was able to grab hold of it, the movement went from awareness and uplifting of the Black community, to a witch hunt. As BLM continues to spin its wheels in the dirt, it is taking away credibility from its leaders and supports.
Morgan State University Journalism Professor and MSNBC contributor Dr. Jason Johnson, suggests a more grim reason:
“It is possible to believe that Crawford’s death was just an accident. It is possible to believe that he decided to take his own life in full view of other people in the car. It is also possible, in a town where police claimed that 19-year-old Michael Brown punched out a cop and then charged into a hail of bullets from 30 feet away in broad daylight, that police could be completely lying to cover up some more nefarious cause of death. There is a long history in America of the police jumping to the conclusion that everything, from shootings to hangings of black people, is a suicide so as not to tug too hard on the strings of violent white supremacy that hold communities together.”
Whatever the reason is, #BlackLivesMatter is dying a slow death.