Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Britni Pepper
2 min readNov 6, 2020

There are many things wrong with your argument.

First, your conclusion that BLM is a terrorist organisation is unsupported by any official source. It is a personal opinion, and very much a fringe view.

Yes, you give the FBI's definition of "terrorism", and you explain why you believe BLM fits that definition, but the FBI hasn't joined those particular dots. You have. So one is entitled to ask why the FBI hasn't walked down your path already.

If you make your definition broad enough to include BLM, then you also draw in other organisations. What of the incendiary rhetoric of Don Trump? GOP sources are calling Trump's recent remarks as inflaming dissent. We can - using your own criteria - draw the exact same conclusion: Don Trump is leading a terrorist organisation.

One might make the same argument for the United States itself: violent armed lawbreakers attacking police and soldiers, causing death and property destruction, rebelling against legitimate government. The founding documents make it quite clear.

Your links between incidents of death and destruction and BLM leaders are very tenuous. Were these incidents planned and executed as acts of policy? Or were they unplanned, carried out by third parties as personal actions? I think one should be very careful about untangling causation and correlation before making any definite pronouncements.

Wikipedia doesn't make your argument. In fact in their precise article Domestic Terrorism in the United States, the only mention of BLM in that context is as a target of domestic terrorism.

No, nobody is saying that you support the KKK or any white supremacist group or their aims. That’s a strawman argument.

But I put it to you that the current distribution of wealth, power, and privilege in America is a white supremacist outcome right now. A Christian white male wet dream.

Dissenters can be described as terrorists — as you argue — or they could equally be labelled freedom fighters. It is a matter of outlook and opinion.

Violence and destruction is a common outcome in efforts to overturn unfair social structures. The American Revolution, the American Civil War, these are notable examples. Often violence and destruction are caused by authorities or opposing movements intent on upholding the status quo rather than the protestors. The Tulsa Massacre, the Anacostia Hooverville, Kent State and so many more. It is hardly fair to blame the victims for the violence and looting.

My view is that Black Lives Matter is a protest movement. There is no evidence that they plan and carry out specific acts of violence and destruction in the same way that (say) Al-Qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks or Timothy McVeigh blew up a government office building in Oklahoma City.

I think that before you make an argument that others with more interest and authority have not, you should examine the rules of logic and evidence. I see your story as more sophistry than anything to do with truth and reason.




Britni Pepper

Whimsical explorer: Britni maps the wide world and human heart with a twinkle in her eye, daring you to find magic in the everyday.