A militant Black Lives Matter supporter arrested last week in the attempted murder of a Democratic mayoral candidate in Louisville once told a local magazine that he believed he was “at war” against perceived systemic racism in the U.S.
Quintez Brown, 21, was charged on Monday after allegedly barging into candidate Craig Greenberg’s office in Louisville and firing several shots. He is now under house arrest after a group run by Black Lives Matter posted his $100,000 bond.
The incident has brought attention to warning signs of the young man’s radical ideology, from recent calls for revolution to his now-ironic advocacy for gun control.
Yet his views hardly differ from much of the increasingly popular rhetoric on race touted by prominent intellectuals and academics, so often presented as the only solution to perceived injustice.
If he’s guilty, Brown’s actions speak volumes about how very dangerous this ideology can be — if the burning cities, destroyed businesses and lost lives amid the 2020 George Floyd riots hadn’t done so already.
Brown adheres to a vengeful belief that the governing philosophy of the U.S. is inextricably linked to anti-black racism, a theory that appears to propose little more than sheer anarchy as a solution.
In the summer of 2020, Brown told Louisville Magazine that amid the pandemic and nationwide rioting, “it feels like a perfect moment to do something, a perfect moment to be outraged.”
Outraged he undoubtedly was.
“I was 14 during the Ferguson protests in 2014, and I really didn’t know too much about America’s history and racial structure back then. But that really opened my eyes to things,” he said, referring to the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, that broke out after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“I think there’s a communication gap between Gen Z and millennials. I feel like our generation don’t even listen to millennials sometimes,” he told the magazine. “We grew up in the Obama era. We see their generation as kinda like having a break. Like, y’all had a chance to do something. And then y’all let Trayvon get killed.”
“We tired. We’re not gonna let that happen. We want to change now. I feel like we’re honestly the generation that’s the last generation to be messed with.”
Trayvon Martin was a black Florida teenager who was shot and killed in 2012 during an altercation with George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman was acquitted on self-defense grounds, but the incident served as a catalyst for many, like Brown, to broadcast their outraged narratives about racial injustice.
“I’m in a survival state,” Brown told the magazine. “We don’t have time to sit back and wait for the next leader.”
These are chilling words in light of the crime he has now been accused of: The attempted murder of an aspiring political leader.
One wonders what Brown was planning to do as he did not have time to sit back and wait. This statement is just the sort of thing an outraged activist would include in a tweet or protest sign, but it appears Brown may have taken it very seriously.
This isn’t even the most disturbing part. It’s clear that Brown — who described Republicans and Democrats in the interview as “fascists” — was not satisfied with any of the proposed solutions to the injustice he perceived and had a committed revolutionary worldview.
“I’m in a mindset of liberation now. A lot of people talk about equality. When Obama came in, the conversation was around equality and equity,” he said. “But I really think it’s more about liberation, about thriving, about being free.”
In fact, he said, he believed that this was “war.”
When presented with the idea that the “Defund the Police” movement was being distorted by the media attention it was receiving, Brown replied, “I don’t see how there’s that much distortion.”
“Like, it literally says, ‘Defund the police.’ It really can’t get more specific than that. The demand is we want to take money away from the police,” he said.
Most importantly, however, he explained that he believed “you can’t reform” the police.
“Defunding the police is our first step toward dismantling everything that was rooted in slavery. Because they’re the original slave catchers. When black people try to liberate themselves and become free, you had the police to stop them and put them back in their place. So defunding the police to me means kind of like funding our revolution by defunding our oppression,” Brown said.
“Who do we trust when it comes to the political establishment? Who do we look to as leaders? Because a lot of these leaders will really kill us and tear gas us and then blame us for it.”
Then came the four words that summed it up: “We’re really at war.”
Many on the left, particularly the Democrats whom Brown derided, are facing the fallout over their previous support for the defund movement as crime spikes. Yet this angry young man took it to its conclusion, which is, in short, lawlessness.
His views are representative of what we have come to refer to as critical race theory: Aimless declarations about the extent of “systemic racism,” the idea that law enforcement is rooted in slavery, and the belief that police must be eradicated before black people can truly be free, all wrapped up in a holistic hatred of Republicans and Democrats alike who work toward any sense of justice that falls short of this distorted, utopian vision.
Like the broader Marxist worldview on which these heated racial grievances are based, Brown’s perception of race in America is entirely rooted in bitter, covetous materialism.
While claiming to be motivated by a valid concern for society — and the desire to ensure that men and women are never again subject to the real prejudice previously experienced by African-Americans in our country — he, like the many prominent figures promoting this ideology, proposes nothing short of total anarchy to cure perceived social ills.
He literally blamed millennials for having “let Trayvon get killed,” as though every single member of a generation that was busy just learning how to “adult” back in 2012 could have somehow prevented the unfortunate interaction between Martin and Zimmerman if they were only endowed with more outrage, or something.
The reason Brown’s worldview is so twisted is that it is rooted in the fallacious notion that with enough “social justice,” the deepest sins of the human heart can be eradicated and that every person who doesn’t share his extreme, hate-infused view of systemic racism is complicit in the sins of others.
And if you don’t have faith in the One who made us, the One who gives us the only objective standard for true justice, and the One who died so that our own sins might be forgiven, why wouldn’t you shadowbox against elusive social ills that can never be fully eradicated until kingdom come?
Is it any wonder that what began for Brown as an embrace of popular narratives on race and social justice has resulted in attempted murder charges? When your ideology is rooted in vengeful bitterness toward sinful men but also uses sinful men as the standard for righteousness, more sin is inevitably what you get.
I myself am a former angry young radical, so I know what it’s like to hopelessly rage against the aspects of humanity that are so utterly disappointing: corruption, greed and the ultimate unreliability of justice systems that are designed to right human wrongs yet often seem to fall horribly short of this noble intention.
The truth that I had to face as a young woman, and that I sincerely pray Brown now faces, is that just because something aims to rectify injustice doesn’t mean it actually can, especially not by weaponizing the very same sin that caused the injustice in the first place, which in this and most cases is hatred.
Please join me in praying for this young man, that he would be led to the only reliable source of justice in the world: The God who sent his Son to die for all mankind, freeing us from the kind of sin that leads to racism, anarchy and murder.
The God through whom we can live according to the only law that truly ends hatred: Grace.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.