Is Black Bloc a Racist Tactic in the Trump Era: Why White Activists Should Stop Wearing Masks at…
Nico Quintana
2770

This is really confusing. I agree that the tactic makes sense in certain situations and makes no sense in others, but I completely disagree with a lot of the rest of the article. 
A) “Black bloc strategies are white-directed/white-decided” This is the main point that is deeply frustrating. Here, the author (as much of the article does) completely erases POC who engage in the tactic specifically to conceal their identity so they won’t be targeted by law enforcement. It completely dismisses experiences, agencies, and decision-making processes of non-white demonstrators who use black bloc and makes the hyperbolized assumption that everyone using black bloc is white.
B) Somehow the author is equating people who use black bloc in demonstrations and direct actions to inheriting the legacy of the KKK. This is absurd.
C) To the question “why masks?”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOHUcDsx6I4 This could extend from Zapatistas to US anarchists, the reasons are numerous, tactically and symbolically. 
D) “White people masking their faces at protests conveys that they don’t want to be targeted or harassed by police, forgetting who is and historically has been targeted and harassed by police and hate groups for generations . The police, hate groups and the state are targeting marginalized communities regardless if they protest or not and regardless if they are masked at protests or not” It is completely logical that activists conceal their identity to not be targeted by police when engaged in direct actions and demonstrations, and further, the entire point of black bloc is to conceal identity of participants to avoid being targeted and harassed in and out of demonstrations/ actions. 
E) I’m really confused how the author tries to equate (assumed, correctly or incorrectly read) white activists in black bloc as being ashamed of participating in protests, unwilling to be accountable, not fully being in solidarity with targeted communities for concealing their identities.. These are wild assumptions and generalizations detached from the tactically and practical use of concealing identities in protests. 
F) “By wearing a mask at a protest they not only fail to show up in solidarity, but have failed to see how they are contributing to racism, oppression and injustice.” How is the author going to equate concealing ones’ identity at a protest to not showing up anti-racist struggles? How is wearing a mask at a protest contributing to injustice?

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