Meet Campaign Zero

Ken AshfordRaceLeave a Comment

I, among others, have wondered aloud what the Black Lives Matter movement actually wanted beyond just being “listened to”.   After all, I argued, black people are dying, and while raging against the machine might feel cathartic, it is not actually going to result in concrete changes.  Hillary Clinton made this point as well when she met with BLM activists.  She wanted to know, as did I, what sort of concrete initiatives were they interested in?

I’m happy to see that BLM activists have now come up with exactly what everyone’s been asking for. It’s called Campaign Zero, and it even comes with its own nifty graphic:


Some of these demands are easy: police body cams, for example, have become widely supported on both right and left, and by both activists and police. Others are a little harder: independent investigations of police shootings and better representation of minorities on police forces aren’t universally supported, but they do have fairly wide backing already. And some are more difficult: it will be tough to wean police forces off their up-armored humvees and challenging to end the vogue for broken-windows policing.

That said, these are all specific and achievable goals. They even have a fact sheet here that tracks some of the presidential candidates and where they stand on each issue. But since most law enforcement activities are run at the state, city or county level, this kind of fact sheet needs to be done locally as well.

All in all, this is very good. BLM won’t get everything it wants—nobody ever does—but Campaign Zero should allow them to avoid the fate of Occupy Wall Street, which generated a ton of passion but never really offered any place to channel it. BLM has now done both, and has a good shot at making their issues important ones during the upcoming presidential campaign.