CNA Staff, Jun 17, 2020 / 16:29 pm
Catholic leaders say the Church has an important role in working for racial justice, but that protesting for justice does not imply endorsement of the positions taken by Black Lives Matter organizations.
The phrase “#BlackLivesMatter” began to trend online following the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and a movement grew amid protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 after the shooting of a young black man, Michael Brown, by a police officer.
“Black Lives Matter” has become the rallying cry for a broad social movement. But there are also specific organizations which take the name “Black Lives Matter.” The largest and best-funded of those groups is the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, which has a network of local chapters around the U.S. and in other countries, and operates the website blacklivesmatter.com.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation promotes LGBT ideology and opposes the nuclear family.
The group’s platform aims to “dismantle cisgender privilege,” and “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”
“We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking,” the group’s website says.
At least one Black Lives Matter network affiliate has incorporated spiritual rituals into protests, drawing from animistic religions by calling forth deceased ancestors and pouring out libations for them. The leaders of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles say their efforts are more than a movement for racial justice, but are a “spiritual movement.”
Other organizations also use the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” some with different agendas and goals than the global network. But the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is often correlated directly with the movement itself, and its affiliates often organize local protests.
The organization should be distinguished from the broader social movement for racial justice, said Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, a black Catholic deacon of the Diocese of Portland, Oregon, author, and co-host of EWTN’s Morning Glory radio show.
“Marching to protest the inequitable treatment of black people by those in authority—that’s good,” the deacon said.