I’d always thought that if anyone was going to be challenging the Black Lives Matter movement over the controversial space they’ve occupied in social unrest it would be someone from the right. The leading candidate would obviously seem to be Blue Lives Matter, arguing that the lives of law enforcement officers are at least equally as important for their role in maintaining the line between social order and chaos. But the new competitor for public attention seems to be coming out of left field, rhetorically speaking. Students and faculty at University of Wisconsin want you to get ready for Green Lives Matter. (Fox News)
Black Lives Matter has taken offense at police saying “Blue Lives Matter” and others who say “All Lives Matter,” but now a Wisconsin school is risking ire by branding a class on environmentalism “Green Lives Matter.”
The course at University of Wisconsin at Green Bay will encourage students to support the “environmental justice movement” by “the merging of civil rights and environmental concerns.” But even Scott Furlong, the dean of social sciences at the school, acknowledged that the class name plays on what has become a loaded term.
“Timing is everything,” he told FoxNews.com in an email. “When developed…politicizing the name of the class was not front and center for us.”
This is just bad branding if you ask me. The alleged purpose of this initiative is to highlight the plight of people whose lives are most impacted by climate change through rising sea levels, wildfires, drought, floods earthquakes, a lunar eclipse or whatever else is being blamed on human industrial activity these days. That’s not to say that there isn’t some hay to be made on the left in that area, but the name just doesn’t resonate. Since they are obviously trying to siphon some mileage off the BLM brand, it immediately makes you wonder how many green people there actually are. Aside from any Martians we may find with the next rover landing on the red planet, the numbers are slim to say the least. I suppose they could have focused on polar bears, but then you might be into some sort of “white lives matter” arena and you’ve opened up a whole new kettle of fish.
Meanwhile, perhaps sensing the pressure coming out of Wisconsin, BLM leaders are seeking to expand the playing field and bring in other minority groups to the fold.
In an effort to enlist Hispanics, Asians and other minorities in the Black Lives Matter movement, supporters are turning to the people closest to them and trying to convince them that the movement is their fight too.
In recent days the movement has produced a letter which is circulating in various languages to cast light on connections between different minority groups.
Karla Monterroso, an advocate for increasing black and Latino representation in the technology field, helped write the letter in Spanish and English aimed at Hispanic communities.
From a strict business sense you can see the profit margin in this type of outreach. More participants translates to increased social market share. But to continue the capitalist analogy here, you also have to be aware of branding. Doesn’t the name “Black Lives Matter” sort of exclude Asians and Hispanics by definition? But let’s say you could get past that particular image problem. Even if you encompass those demographics, all you’re really doing is widening the exclusion zone and essentially saying that pretty much only Blue Lives don’t matter. Perhaps that’s the message you were trying to send all along, but it’s certainly not going to win many friends or influence people beyond the circles which were already most likely to support you.