Charles Moore

The problem with Burnley’s ‘White Lives Matter’ banner

The problem with Burnley’s ‘White Lives Matter’ banner
A banner reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' is flown over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester (photo: Getty)
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‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ said the plane’s banner as it circled the club’s stadium just after the teams had ‘taken the knee’ in support of Black Lives Matter. I must admit that my very first reaction on hearing the news was pleasure at the idea that the self-righteousness of Black Lives Matter was being guyed. 

My second, more considered response is that the banner was bad — and for precisely the same reason that BLM is bad. It takes a statement which any decent person would consider true and turns it into a weapon of race war. Of course black lives matter. Of course white lives matter. The question is: ‘Why are you saying it now?’ The answer, in both cases, is discreditable. It is to make one lot hate the other lot more. 

The Burnley team said they were ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ by the aeroplane banner. They were right to be, but they should also be ashamed and embarrassed to have paid group obeisance to a violent extremist group that promotes hatred of white people.

This article is an extract from Charles Moore's Spectator Notes, which appears in this week's magazine.