The concept of a BIE is an entirely new one, but the white government, and the FBI specifically, has manufactured threats out of black resistance since its inception. From the FBI’s abuse of Martin Luther King Jr. to the assassinations of Black Panther Party leaders through itsCointelpro op. And now, in 2017, the FBI is targeting black activists, in general, under the umbrella of “black identity extremism”.
“Basically, it’s black people who scare them,” former FBI agent Michael German said to Foreign Policy.
Though the report does not mention Black Lives Matter by name, the six acts of premeditated violence the report links to “BIEs” includes the July 2016 shooting of 11 police officers in Dallas during one of the several organized marches against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile held on July 7, 2016.
The shooter, former Army serviceman Micah Xavier Johnson, was said to have been motivated by his anger over police shootings of unarmed black men. Because of his anger (and reported history of violence in the workplace and untreated mental illness) and social media support of the New Black Panther Party and Black Riders Liberation Army, any black activism deemed to emphasize identity too “extremely”, all of us have cause to worry about our rights and privacy.
“This is a new umbrella designation that has no basis,” a former senior counterterrorism and intelligence official from the Department of Homeland Security told Foreign Policy. “There are civil rights and privacy issues all over this.”