Former PM Says BLM “Revives Racism,” Will Destroy Capitalism and the Nuclear Family Skip to content

Former PM Says BLM “Revives Racism,” Will Destroy Capitalism and the Nuclear Family

By Larissa Kyzer

Photo: Miðflokkurinn, FB.

Earlier this week, former Prime Minister and founder of the Centre Party Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson wrote an article in which he suggests that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement is a “revival of racism” and in which he claims that this “Western Cultural Revolution […] has all the hallmarks of extremism, including religious rites which people are supposed to undergo in order to prove their subservience to the orthodoxy.” The article has been roundly criticised and inspired a spirited response from BLM supporters in Iceland, who believe Sigmundur Davíð’s beliefs “pose a threat to our Icelandic society, equality, and democracy.”

“A revival of some of the most insane ideas that have ever arisen in the course of human history”

In his article, Sigmundur Davíð characterises BLM as a marketing ploy compelling famous figures, from (unnamed) British actresses to Formula 1 race car drivers, to pledge their allegiance or else lose their job opportunities and/or endorsement deals. He laments that “police officers – white and black – have been shot during ‘mostly peaceful protests’ as most media outlets have chosen to call them,” and takes exception to athletes taking a knee to protest police violence or to show solidarity with the BLM movement and honour the memory of George Floyd, feigning confusion at what “English football has to do with policing issues in Minneapolis.”

He also repeats a characterisation of BLM that he says he’s drawn from “British journalists who’ve bothered to familiarise themselves with the organisation’s policy,” which he says is “to break the back of Western culture and capitalism, the nuclear family, the governmental system, and especially to dismantle the police and the judiciary.”

Sigmundur Davíð continues, likening ‘cancel culture’ with execution, lamenting the criticism that, for instance, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has drawn for her staunchly transphobic viewpoints. “Now in some places, it’s a hate crime to quote the dictionary and its definition of the word ‘woman.’”

“Little by little, it’s become clear that the Western Cultural Revolution revolves around a hatred of Western civilisation, just as the Chinese [Cultural Revolution] revolved around both a hatred of ancient Chinese values and Western culture,” he writes. Or, in conclusion, “The cultural revolution is not just about racism, but also a revival of some of the most insane ideas that have ever arisen in the course of human history.”

‘These notions will only create more separation and deeper injustice.’

The former Prime Minister’s article has drawn swift criticism for its misrepresentations of the BLM movement and its goals, not least from a group collectively identifying themselves simply as “Supporters of BLM,” who wrote a response article in Vísir on Thursday. The article, which was simultaneously published in Icelandic, English, Polish, and Portuguese, says that the ideas put forth by Sigmundur Davíð “pose a threat to our Icelandic society, equality, and democracy” and aims to correct “several misconceptions about the Black Lives Matter movement as well as other human rights battles” in his piece.

“Black Lives Matter addresses the need to end State-sanctioned violence and liberate black people from oppression. Black Lives Matter raises awareness of the structural inequality of the systems Sigmundur Davíð mentions,” states the editorial. “The movement demands that the government, courts of justice, and policing uphold equality and liberty for all regardless of colour, sexual orientation, gender, class or position in society. These are just demands that generally most people agree with.”

“When Sigmundur Davíð attacks the Black Lives Matter movement he is therefore not protecting equality for all. Rather his notions build on safeguarding the current system that only offers up racist, homophobic, and sexist ideology. These notions will only create more separation and deeper injustice.”

The editorial goes on to critique Sigmundur Davíð for framing his criticism of the movement as being about justice, while really, the power structures that he seeks to uphold “cove[r] for and protec[t] men like himself at the cost of marginalised people.”

The editorial ends by calling for solidarity: “All the progress that has been made in the cause of human rights in the world is due to the collective power of the people who have pointed out and fought against inequality.”

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