Black Lives Matter

Kmele Foster: Black Lives Matter 'Is Hostile Towards Free Markets and Capitalism'

The Fifth Column podcaster on racial identity, cancel culture, libertarianism, and Trump vs. Biden


Kmele Foster is the co-founder of Freethink, a media company that showcases social and technological innovations, a co-host of the Fifth Column podcast, and an outspoken libertarian critic of Black Lives Matter, cancel culture, and political orthodoxy.

In a wide-ranging, in-depth conversation with Nick Gillespie, Foster explains why he signed the Harper's letter on cancel culture, why he thinks that racism is not the primary factor for most African Americans' success or failure, and why libertarians need to be pushing individualism now more than ever. He also talks about his video documentary company Freethink (which he co-founded with former Reason videographer Dan Hayes), which he says highlights the sorts of innovations that will "matter in a thousand years."

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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99 responses to “Kmele Foster: Black Lives Matter 'Is Hostile Towards Free Markets and Capitalism'

  1. …said everyone who went to their webpage and actually read it.

    1. And disputed by half the posters here refusing to inform themselves.

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    2. Agreed. Its really interesting…how many people know about BLM? How many people know about Campaign Zero ( Its almost like some of the original BLM people could see from the very beginning that BLM would go off the rails and cease to be about actually reforming police.

      1. Sort of like how from the beginning some people could see that the Tea Party would go off the rails and cease to be about actually reducing government spending. It’s like no popular movement can survive more than a month before someone in power manages to take it over.

        “Racism needs to stop in the country!”
        “Oh, then you must be a Marxist!”
        “Government spending is out of control!”
        “Oh, then you must be against immigration and free trade!”

        1. BLM wasn’t “taken over”. It was founded by self declared Marxists and run by trained Marxist organisers. Marxists have been exploiting racial issues to achieve their ideological ends for a century. BLM is literally broadcasting the propaganda people in communist countries are subjected to day after day about the US.

          1. I think idea is more that the slogan was taken over. Though for all I know it was also first used by a marxist too.

            Whatever it is, you won’t see me using the slogan, even though I do agree with the proposition that black lives matter (at least as much as any other lives do), because the group calling themselves BLM are an evil, racist organization.

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            2. That’s the game being played. So if you oppose the organization they say you are a hateful racist and black lives don’t matter. Black Lives Matter, Black Lives the Organization matters because it is the enemy of freedom.

          2. And they were violent, or at minimum pro-violence, from inception

    3. I did go to the BLM website and found absolutely nothing to support Foster’s argument.

  2. If you like free markets and capitalism, then you ain’t black!

    1. Well, those are aspects of “whiteness” according to the NMAAHC.

      1. I’m skeptical that’s real. If it is, it and its creators should be hounded from public life. But that’s so over the top that it feels like a troll-job.

        1. That seems plausibly real to me. I think calling it whiteness is stupid, but I do think it is mostly accurate at describing the values of most of middle class America about as well as a bullet point system could. Sure there’s a few eye rollers, (I like “Must always “do something” about a situaltion”). The irony of it is that it outside of the explicit Christianity, it could describe both liberals and conservatives pretty well, broadly speaking. Then again, most of the milquetoast NPR listening liberals I know have no idea that they are basically conservatives in practice (sexual puritanism, substance abstinence, rigid time structure, insistence on ladder climbing and clear hierarchy.)

          1. Yeah, what it’s really describing is how systems of power work in any organized human system. There is (generally) a majority view on something, and that majority uses its power to establish systems and institutions which have as their chief goals the perpetuation of those majoritarian views and in general to keep the lives of the majority comfortable. When those same systems are also used to silence minority views by force, those systems may fairly be called “systems of oppression”.

            The stupid parts are that they choose to label all of this “whiteness”, and that they seem to think capitalism itself, or the nuclear family, or the scientific method, to be “systems of oppression”. That’s not true.

            Capitalism is not oppressive; there are oppressive people who are also capitalists, but that is true of any economic system. (Way worse in all the others, I might consider.)

            The traditional nuclear family itself is not oppressive; those who insist that the nuclear family is the only legitimate way to raise a family, *and who seek to use the state to impose that belief by force*, that’s the potentially oppressive part.

            The scientific method isn’t oppressive; what could be oppressive are sloppy and bigoted thinkers who use scientific methods to attempt to justify bigoted beliefs with a veneer of scientific respectability, *and who seek to use the state to impose those beliefs by force*. That’s the potentially oppressive part.

            1. Hey look. Someone decided to finally investigate the organization he has been defending for weeks.

              1. Christ, what a wanker you are.

                1. It’s just Jesse being Jesse. Even when I write something that he nominally agrees with, he will find a way to argue over it. He has to virtue signal to his tribe that he is still on the “correct side” and won’t be caught engaging in any of those intellectually honest activities like “agreeing with someone I oppose when they happen to be right”.

                  1. Hey dummy…

                    The argument was a week ago when I tried politely informing you that BLM was a marxist organization practicing critical theory that included the issues you finally issued today.

                    Today was me finally congratulating you on investigating them.

                    Take the win.

                    I’m happy you finally did research. Could have saved yourself a shit load of embarrassment if you had simply investigated them the last 3 years theyve been around instead.

                    1. Jesse, you don’t do anything “politely”.

                      BLM was a marxist organization practicing critical theory

                      And your evidence for that claim was: (1) something 3 founders said years ago, and (2) a theory that not even Marxists agree with.

                      You do realize that Marxism is a different belief system than what I posted above? You do realize that the words of what some people said years ago do not necessarily reflect what the organization professes in the current day? You do what right-wingers typically do: throw around scary words like “Marxism” and “soshalishm” and “ANTIFA” and expect people to run into the arms of Team Red out of fear, praying that Daddy Trump will save them from the evil commies hiding in the closet.

                      Do you even know what actual Marxism is?

                    2. Jeff’s position is that sure BLM is Marxist and practices critical race theory but it is not “real Marxism” and what it’s founders said years ago may not reflect what people believe now. Jeff has no evidence that anything has changed and presents no reason to believe it has But since BLM is leftist and Jeff always defends and excuses leftists, he is sure it has. Anything short of everyone associated with BLM affirming these beliefs tonight, gives Jeff enough doubt to give BLM a pass.

                      Jeff you are the most dishonest pathetic person I have ever seen.

                    3. “Do you even know what actual Marxism is?”

                      Easy: a political system based on primary consideration of individuals as mere units of identity classes, based on more-or-less superficial characteristics, in perpetual conflict with each other for totalitarian dominance to control all resources and impose their will upon the rest of the populace

                    4. Nope that’s not Marxism. That is collectivism. Marxism is just one flavor of collectivism.

                      When you don’t even understand the language of your opponents, don’t be surprised that you get laughed at.

                    5. Hateful bigoted morons who assert that “BLM is Marxist” have NEVER yet collected the following statistic: WHAT is the ratio of SIGNS CARRIED BY PROTESTERS at BLM protests, of A) Marxist ideas like “Nationalize industry” v/s B) The stated focus of the organization, like “BLM” or “Cops BACK OFF, Don’t Shoot!”

                      But to folks like JesseSPAZ, the actual FACTS (of the above sort) do NOT matter!

                    6. No, Jeff, it is Marxism – which is necessarily collectivist.
                      And you’re too fucking stupid to come up with a definition yourself, so either do so or shut the fuck up

                    7. CULTURAL MARXISM – all the Marxist rhetoric of the collectivist struggle, but substituting race and gender identity for class. Cultural Marxism is A variant of Marxism, just as noxious, if not moreso

                  2. “Anything can be oppressive if imposed by State force”

                    Real deep thinker we got here!

                    1. “Anything can be oppressive if imposed by State force”

                      Manifestly TRUE, and all that Nadless Nardless can do in turn, is snark! Intellectually and “truthiness” Bankrupt One loses AGAIN!

                    2. Sqrlsy, you’ve never contributed anything to the world.

                2. I know. Facts and educating yourself before defending an organization is being a wanker.

                  You’ll go far with your ignorance.

                  1. And by the way, I never “defended the organization” in its entirety, I said that the issues that they bring up with regards to the unjust treatment of racial minorities deserve discussion. But because BLM was the one who brought them up, you are going to spend more time shitting on them instead of discussing the actual issues of concern.

                    1. Their concerns are their problem.
                      That is, it’s largely one of mindset.
                      Actual racism at this point in time comes almost entirely from the left, in a paternalistic, passive-aggressive form rather than direct hostility.
                      A black person can become anything they want to become in modern America. The only systemic racism is in their favor and mandates they be given extra opportunities.
                      BLM’s grievances are a joke, a sick delusion they use to poison others and profit themselves.
                      If America isn’t white supremacist and systemically racist now, if blacks aren’t oppressed victims held down by skin color… then what use is BLM? What use is the grievance monger? What use is the critical theory professor?
                      They are selling mental illness, not reality. Get a man to believe he won’t get ahead because of an immutable trait and he won’t get ahead – not because of that trait but because his mindset will sabotage any inkling of confidence in his endeavor.
                      People like Kaep get this. Here you have a guy who had peaked as a professional player and whose flaws were glaring. Success on the field was pretty much over. So he came up with his protest scheme, making tens of millions of dollars not to play football and to be portrayed as a victim. And though he fills baizuo like Jeff with righteous (indignation) joy, he’s not at all sending a positive message or setting a good example for the average black person.

                      I have given BLM’s concerns plenty of thought, as you can see.
                      They’re transparently full of shit.
                      And those that are true believers – they’re doing nothing to make the world a better place. Nothing to improve anything for black people. Nothing to improve race relations. Nothing to combat overbearing government.
                      They are actively making the world worse, contributing and reinforcing a mass psychosis that harms everyone except those already in power.

                      Jeff and his ilk, of course, will reject these truths (self evident as they may be) because they are fundamentally collectivists who derive their identity and sense of self-worth from serving this psychosis.
                      Who cares if they’re teaching people to be victims?
                      It’s the highest virtue… second only to the virtues of pity and righteous indignation “on their behalf”

                    2. Exactly Nardz. The Democrat Party is literally the Party of slavery. One of the Democrat reasons for leaving the Union was to keep slavery.

                      The Democrat Party picked Obama to fool Black Americans into staying with the Democrat Party. Now the Democrat Party picked a racist old white man again, when multiple multi-ethnic women were running.

                      Anyone who falls for the democrat lies really needs to be ready for Trump to be reelected.

                    3. Their concerns are their problem.
                      That is, it’s largely one of mindset.

                      Oh, so it’s just “mindset” that blacks are pulled over on the streets at a higher rate than whites. Is that it?


                      A study of nearly 100 million traffic stops from around the country has concluded that, on average, black drivers are 20% more likely to get pulled over than white drivers.

                      The Stanford University study analyzed 93 million traffic stops from 21 state patrol agencies and 29 municipal police departments between the years of 2001 and 2017.
                      Researchers then analyzed the traffic-stop data in relation to the number of people of driving age within each jurisdiction and controlled for demographics, gender, reasons for traffic stops and other factors to try to create the most standardized set of data possible.
                      The results, which reflect experiences that have long been shared by people of color, revealed an observable racial bias in both traffic stops and subsequent decisions to conduct vehicle searches.
                      “Relative to their share of the residential population, we find that black drivers are, on average, stopped more often than whites,” reads the study, released by the Stanford Computational Policy Lab and featuring data organized by the Stanford Open Policing Project.

                      Are you now going to claim that the study is flawed? Fine, then go ahead and point out the flaws. I’d love to see if there are flaws actually. Because I actually want to discover the truth, not be comfortable in pleasing narratives.

                      Are you going to claim “it’s CNN therefore fake news” or “it’s Stanford therefore librul professors”? Then maybe you should Google “Tim Scott pulled over by police” and read what he has to say. He’s a fucking Republican US Senator and he still gets pulled over for “driving the wrong car”.

                      What is your response then? “They should just suck it up and deal with being harassed by the police for no reason other than skin color, that is how life works”? “Bull Connor doesn’t sic the dogs on them any more so they should be grateful”? You are part of the problem. You want to maintain the current system that penalizes minorities based on skin color, and you specifically, want to use state force to suppress protests against those injustices, with violence if necessary. Everyone around you who doesn’t see what you “clearly” see is mentally ill. I’m mentally ill, BLM is “selling mental illness”, everyone except you is mentally ill. No, you are the paranoid fascist who wants to shoot people showing up to protest injustice. Go fuck yourself Nardz.

                    4. Here we see fat, hateful Jeff make up arguments he’d rather respond to than those that were actually made.
                      Typical psychotic

                    5. The only way to be truly anti-racist is to make sure people of color understand that they have no right to not feel oppressed.

                      ^This is what baizuo like jeff actually believe

                    6. They push mostly falsehoods

            2. And by calling it all “whiteness”, they are implying that people of other races somehow can’t or shouldn’t participate in those aspects of capitalism and social organization that have created so much wealth and social stability. Which seems pretty damn condescending and insulting to non-white people if you ask me.

              The US is just the most recent in a long line of powerful states and empires with outsized influence. And probably the least horrible so far by a lot. I want to know what the people who want to tear it all down think it will be replaced with.

              1. I tried to explain this to my daughter, who is 17 and having her teenaged experiment with liberalism. This poster is basically a how-to on becoming- and staying- middle class America. The middle class is all about reasonable financial and social stability in which to raise children. Middle class Americans are middle class because they generally follow the rules of being middle class, and most of the stuff on this poster are the rules for being middle class, because they are the rules that work well for everyone. Being on time and being polite shows basic respect for your neighbors and colleagues. The nuclear family provides economic and social stability for offspring. Being self reliant ensure you are not a burden to your neighbors. Raising children to be independent ensures that they will be productive members of the community. Work before play is more efficient and results usually in more or better play time. These aren’t attributes of “whiteness.” They’re attributes of American middle classness, and while it’s not a perfect situation, compared to most of the rest of the world, being a member of the American middle class is a pretty comfortable place to be. And the middle class is both the economic and political engine that the US relies on for stability, so of course the Marxists want it destabilized.

                Some of it is absolute bullshit, of course. Tell either one of my white, middle class sisters in law that they are subservient, and they will both STRENUOUSLY object, as will their husbands because they know what’s good for them.

                1. And it’s pretty funny that they include religion. Aren’t black Americans one of the most solidly Christian demographics?

                2. The idea that the nuclear family is somehow a hallmark of “whiteness” (whatever the fuck that means) is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

                3. “Work before play” = white.
                  Most East Asians would say “work before more work”.

          2. It’s Western culture dating back to the ancient Greeks. They’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

            1. It’s raised millions of people out of poverty and provided the conditions required for human progress.

              But yeah, let’s kill it. It’s obviously horrible.

              1. The poor in America live far better than did anyone in the Soviet Union (outside of the party apparatchiks who were “more equal than others”), the so-called worker’s paradise. Stalin had to ban Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” to keep his subjects from finding out that even the poor in capitalist America sometimes had cars.

                The Soviets were truly devoted to Marxist doctrine. This idea that so many western academics have, the one where they disavow every communist country ever to exist as “not being real communism,” is so hubristic that it defies belief. If only one of these communist countries had some western academic as a leader, they would have achieved the “withering away of the state” by now!

                The reality is that Marxism is so completely unworkable that it requires mass propaganda, censorship, secret police, surveillance, suppression, oppression, fear, and people being ‘disappeared’ to sustain it. There cannot be a communist state without these things, and the centrality of the state is every bit as important as in communism’s close sibling, fascism, even though only fascism is supposed to be state-centric. Marxists call it “the permanent revolution,” but it clearly is just another name for the state. Worker’s paradise indeed!

        2. Show me this a few years ago and I’m with you. Now, not so much.

        3. Apparently not.

          Going to be a rather awkward discussion when people investigate further and discover slave ownership wasn’t specific to whites in the US.

        4. It’s real.

        5. Smithsonian Museum. It actually reads like something white supremacists would write. BLM gone off the rails? The Left is right on track to erase liberal ideas that have worked. It’s a right wing white supremacist death cult now.

          1. It should. These black racist organizations only differ from white supremacists in one way, and that’s who they think the racial bad guys are. How do you fight white supremacy (a discredited, unpopular fringe movement that would shrivel and die if not for the lifelines the media keep throwing out because they need a foil) by agreeing with all of their premises about racial superiority?

        6. Here’s the link:

          The National museum of African American History and Culture, of the Smithsonian Institution.

          The graphic is copyright 1990. It is a snapshot of ideas I remember from that time about increasing multicultural presence in academia. It is very very interesting that whoever made that web portal thought that would be the same as contemporary anti-racism. Ibram Kendi’s “anti-racism” as a perspective and as a goal has almost zero in common with this.

      2. They are indeed. And they should be part of black culture as well. Because they work.

        1. Here’s a white paper by the author of the poster in question.

          To her credit she doesn’t say whether the identified traits are good or bad. Here is a decent summary of her reason for developing this list:

          “If our organizations are going to be fair for all so we can leverage the diversity of the
          workforce, we as whites must expose the positive cultural bias that organizations have for
          us to the light of day. We must make it visible and acknowledged and known. We must
          ensure that white cultural aspects are utilized when they are appropriate and add value for
          the benefit of all. And we also must ensure that they are not utilized when they prevent
          some groups from making their full added-value contribution.”

          1. The fact that Katz thinks that the values she lists are associated with race is what makes her a racial identitarian. That is, she basically agrees with white supremacists and Nazis on their views of race, she just makes slightly different political demands as a result.

    2. Which works for Kmele, who does not identify as “black”.

      1. Good thing for him. Most Americans don’t identify themselves based on their race. Anybody who does is a racist prick.

  3. I can’t wait for the look of surprise on this guy’s face when he finds out that criticizing BLM means he’s racist against black people.

    It’s gonna be like that episode of Chapelle’s Show with the black white supremacist, his head is gonna explode.

    1. This ain’t Kmele’s first rodeo.

  4. Kmele 2020!

    1. Not even kidding. He’s about the only person I can think of that I would get off my ass and actually campaign for. He might be my favorite political commentator.

      1. Dude seems WAY too smart be tricked into being President.

        1. Indeed. I hate to admit it, but I think Michelle Obama is smart enough to avoid it too. You know they’re begging her to take the VP slot right now. You look at all the “candidates” that keep getting mentioned and it’s a shit show. Liz Warren? Kamala Harris? Amy Klobuchar?

          And Michelle knows that taking the VP slot is basically a ticket to being president. And she’s given a hard pass consistently; even to get rid of Orange Hitler. Kind of surprising but I’m sure she’s also seen first hand what being president really requires. I respect that she knows she isn’t interested in the effort it takes.

          1. She is very wealthy and widely admired. Being Vice or Prez will only bring heartache, and she’ll have to work. Why would she even consider it?

          2. Michelle already made hundreds of millions from her husband’s public office; she doesn’t need it.

            It’s not surprising at all: she’s venal and selfish.

          3. Karen Bass is now on the list. California representative in the House. Organized communities in LA to fight the crack epidemic. Has an MSW. I think I support her more than the others.

          4. No!
            Biden’s VP pick should be Comrade De Blasio.
            Just look how Mayor Marx has changed NYC the past few weeks.
            That alone should make Comrade De Blasio a prime candidate to run with someone who is in dementia.

            1. That might turn New York red!

            2. I made a bet that it will be Mayor Bottoms.
              She seems to have all the prerequired check marks for his standard for VP

  5. >>why libertarians need to be pushing individualism now more than ever

    yeah has cost me most of my friends. fuck those Karens.

    1. And defending western, liberal values in general.

    2. Try being a black chick who grew up poor in the South Bronx and being friends with a white guy from an upper middle class family. Our friendship is on life support because I have expressed increasingly non-progressive opinions and gasp, non conformist views. Poor man, hes been taking in by the guilt squad. Got him “really thinking about his white privilege.”

      1. Privilege is something that others bestow on you, not something you can build or change. Thus, it can never be your fault.

        Good luck.

  6. Well good luck with that. I hope he’s successful. But the culture has turned to far to the left and the stupid. It’s Miller Time motherfucker.

  7. Reason could use more Kmele. So could his own podcast – the 5th column.

    He’s pretty much right where I am on many issues.

    Which of course means he’s right. Agreeing with me is always the sign of a correct position.

    1. You apparently are in close agreement with me, so you must be quite intelligent.

    2. Yeah, if it were just him and a guest I’d listen all the time but if it were just Moynihan and Welch, 1 out of 4 episodes maybe. Kmele really ties the room together.

      1. Agreed. One reason I stopped listening weekly was because Moynihan’s Ego was the special guest on every episode and got way too much air time.

  8. Legislation and courts cannot stop or prevent racism. It is inherent in human nature to see patterns of all kinds, and some of those will be based on race just as some will be based on height, weight, clothing, cars, and a zillion other categories.

    This is where Progressives go off the rails. They are convinced that government almighty can do anything, including especially change human nature. Therefore it must, and everyone who fights that is evil by definition.

    The only real solution is to let the racists, the sexists, the fashionistas, and all other bigots self-isolate by getting majority rule government out of our lives. Keep government funding of schools, but do it in the form of vouchers. Keep government funding of police, but in the form of vouchers. Let bakers and florists choose who they serve. Let the bigots out themselves, and let the public choose who they patronize.

    1. Keep government funding of police, but in the form of vouchers.

      What do you mean by this?

      1. Use your imagination. If the only police you can imagine are government police, you are not trying very hard.

        1. The funny thing is you are literally asking for government to issue money from which they took from someone else to fund something you want.

          Oh the irony.

          1. Try some shades of grey. Your lack of imagination is amusing. It can take multiple steps to make a journey.

          2. Could be better than funding stuff people don’t want.

          3. No, he is not. He is asking that he get more control over the money government takes from us no matter what.

        2. Well, I’m not terribly comfortable going all the way to completely privatized police. As bad as the current system is, I think a privatized system with vigilante police forces would be worse. You just know that some of them will include some very perverse notions of “justice”.

          1. Classical Conservatives understand human nature. Idealistic Liberals of the old school Rousseau Variety ignored it. As did Communists. The beauty of our representative Federalist system Complete with strong judiciary and Bill of Rights is that it minimizes corruption, which is endemic to our species. Every other system in history has been much more corrupt, and the idea of private police enforcing laws as they see fit should chill any thinking person to the bone

        3. Private Police is the worst idea in history

    2. Christ. What a wanker you are.

  9. Black libertarian tries to get cancelled as PR stunt; no one notices

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  12. I was wondering when black America would start fighting back against BLM, an arm of the corporate media european white supremacist Marxist cartel.

    1. Being a subsidiary of oligarch-funded WhiteFeministAntifa and having ultra-white patriarchs Stalin and Marx as movement icons is revolutionary and provides a psychic thrill for BLM participants.

  13. I wonder how long it took for him to be called an Uncle Tom or House Nigger because he doesn’t agree with them. I’m sure it took all of 2 seconds.

  14. The BLM (bowel movement) is interested in getting free stuff only.
    All other considerations must go to the back of the line.

  15. I like Nick’s writing and enjoy listening to him, but he has to be the most irritating interviewer outside of Thaddedus Russell. He’ll take 2 minutes to set up a question, one that would require a substantial response, then interrupts 10 seconds in to the answer with something else.

    You’re doing a great job and I love your interviews, but take a deep breath and be patient, Nick. Take notes from Russ Roberts’ podcasts.