People Want Black Lives Matter to Be Labeled a Terror Group — The White House Responded

People Want Black Lives Matter to Be Labeled a Terror Group — The White House Responded
Source: AP
Source: AP

More than 141,000 people have signed a petition calling on the White House to label Black Lives Matter a "terrorist organization," according to reports.

The petition — which 4chan trolls submitted through "We the People," an initiative that requires White House officials to respond if a petition collects more than 100,000 signatures in 30 days — launched July 6. 

The White House's response came this past week, and it was, predictably, a non-starter.

Turns out many of the signers failed to do their research.

"The White House plays no role in designating domestic terror organizations," the response read in part. "The U.S. government does not generate a list of domestic terror organizations, and therefore we are not able to address the formal request of your petition."

Protesters in Cincinnati
Source: 
John Minchillo/AP

Better luck next time.

But in the interim, it's worth addressing the central claim the petition has made — namely that BLM is responsible for violence across the United States.

Terrorism "is defined as 'the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims,'" the petition reads. "Black Lives Matter has earned this title due to its actions in Ferguson, Baltimore  and even at a Bernie Sanders rally, as well as all over the United States and Canada."

It is unclear what "actions" the document is referring to. Black Lives Matter is an organization with chapters in cities across North America, and none of its members or leaders have been implicated in violent actions or rioting in any of the aforementioned cities.

As for the Sanders rally? Black Lives Matter-related disruptions at the former Democratic presidential candidate's events have been limited to nonviolent protests — none of which constitute "terrorism" by any stretch of the imagination.

Police arresting protesters who blocked highway in Minneapolis, July 13
Source: 
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Not to mention the U.S. government only designates foreign terrorist groups.

"It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions — and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare Black Lives Matter a terror group — on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality and safety," the petition reads.

But the government has, in fact, been consistent in its actions. The U.S. State Department tracks foreign terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terror. But neither it nor the Department of Justice track domestic organizations — including the Ku Klux Klan and similar hate groups.

This could change in the near future. In October, the DOJ announced the formation of the Domestic Terrorism Counsel, which will "coordinate the investigation and prosecution of anti-government and hate groups," CNN reported.

This could, theoretically, result in a list or official designation made by the federal government down the road. But it has not yet. And so, the petition — which now seems more likely driven by right-wing trolling than an earnest, albeit misled, call for the designation — is left to take its unfounded grievance elsewhere.

Read more:
• 4chan Trolls Spread That Petition to Label Black Lives Matter as a Terrorist Organization
• Watch 4 Black Lives Matter Myths Get Debunked by Franchesca Ramsey
• Rudy Giuliani Slams Black Lives Matter in Wake of Dallas Police Shooting — But He's Wrong

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Zak Cheney Rice

Zak is a Senior Staff Writer at Mic.

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