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When the organization known as Black Lives Matter (BLM) was first formed right after George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin on July 13, 2013, most overlooked the true intentions of the group beyond their calls for “justice.” Fast forward to today and it can no longer be overlooked that their calls for justice now result in retaliatory violence against those whom they believe are the oppressors, namely those being white people in general and police officers specifically. By tracing the origins of the organization back to its philosophical formation in the 1960’s, we can begin to see how BLM is rooted in the radical ideological beliefs espoused by none other than President Barack Obama.
Before we get to that point though, it is crucial for us to understand that BLM was founded by three militant feminists by the name of Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opel Tometi. While each played their part in contributing to the creation of the group, Garza is the driving force as she detailed the philosophy behind BLM in her October 2014 article titled A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. Garza writes the following in regards to BLM’s philosophy:
“Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, Black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.”
The key takeaway from Garza’s statement is found in the last two sentences primarily as she notes that BLM was created with the intention to “(re)build the Black liberation movement.” The reason this statement is of utter importance is because it ties directly to the idea of Black Liberation theology, which was the doctrine taught to Obama for over twenty years at his church in Chicago made famous by Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Black Liberation theology was first formed on July 31, 1966. In an article published by NPR, it is noted that:
“Black liberation theology originated on July 31, 1966, when 51 black pastors bought a full page ad in the New York Times and demanded a more aggressive approach to eradicating racism…echo[ing] the demands of the black power movement.”
What is often overlooked in the formation of the group is the linkage between the Nation of Islam and Black Liberation theology as Wright’s mentor and founder of Black Liberation theology, James Cone, credited Malcolm X with “shaking him out of his theological complacency.” Stanley Kurtz of National Review highlighted this synergy in noting that according to Cone, “The black intellectual’s goal is to aid in the destruction of America as he knows it.” Such destruction requires both black anger and white guilt. The black-power theologian’s goal is to tell the story of American oppression so powerfully and precisely that white men will “tremble, curse, and go mad, because they will be drenched with the filth of their evil,” wrote Cone.
In an excerpt from Stanley Kurtz’s piece drawing on the influence of Malcom X on Black Liberation theology, Kurtz states:
So what exactly is “black power”? Echoing Malcolm X, Cone defines it as “complete emancipation of black people from white oppression by whatever means black people deem necessary.” Open, violent rebellion is very much included in “whatever means”; like the radical anti-colonial theorist Frantz Fanon, on whom he sometimes draws, Cone sees violent rebellion as a transformative expression of the humanity of the oppressed…“Theologically,” Cone affirms, “Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man the devil. The false Christianity of the white-devil oppressor must be replaced.”
Couple these words to Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright’s statement that “there will be no peace in America until whites begin to hate their whiteness,” and you can begin to understand that the rhetoric behind Black Lives Matter that blames “white privilege” for virtually everything is rooted in Black Liberation theology.
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“However Wright was radicalized,” notes Bud White of NoQuarterUSA, “it is clear that he consciously appropriated the language and tenor of the Nation of Islam.” White documents the following:
Wright’s statement that 9/11 was deserved retribution (“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans…America’s chickens are coming home to roost”) is a perfect echo of Malcolm X’s statement that “The assassination of Kennedy is a result of that way of life and thinking. The chickens came home to roost.” Although it appears that Wright began his focus on Black Liberation Theology sometime after 1966, his racial attitudes and rhetoric have imitated that of NOI since at least 1970. Wright’s blaming the United States for creating AIDS to kill minorities is but just one example of his thinking being in lockstep with NOI.
The Nation of Islam and Black Liberation Theology are two doors to the same room. Black Liberation Theology is a “palatable” form of “Christian” black nationalism. The fiery anti-American, race-baiting words of Wright, Cone, and others behind the theology of Black Liberation “are from the same philosophical cauldron as the Nation of Islam,” concludes White.
From the beliefs that served as Obama’s bedrock foundation for his ideology, is it any wonder today that the radicals behind Black Lives Matter and the Nation of Islam are allowed a free pass to incite as much hatred and retaliation against those they deem are the oppressors? As violence has ramped up in the first half of 2015 in targeted assassinations against police officers, little to no coverage by the media is given to a meeting that was hosted by the White House on December 1st.
On December 1, 2014, Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder met with seven Black and Latino organizers – from Ferguson, Mo.; Columbus, Ohio; Miami, Florida; and New York City, who had been leading the ongoing actions to disrupt the status quo. In an article posted by the website FergusonAction, it is explained that during this meeting, activists such as Ashley Yates were given the platform by the White House in order to reaffirm their belief that “most violence in our (their) community is coming from the police departments, and something needs to be done about it.” On December 20th “something was done about it” as two uniformed NYPD officers were assassinated in their marked car by Ismaaiyl Brinsley in what Brinsley himself boasted as an act of retaliation for the death of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York at the hands of the police.
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The reason Yates is emphasized here is because she, like BlackLivesMatter founder Alicia Garza, praise cop killer and former Black Liberation member Assata Shakur as a martyr for their cause. Yates even created T-shirts and hoodies that read ‘ASSATA TAUGHT ME‘ in a reference to Shakur that has become part of BLM’s iconography. The fact that the president would even entertain the thought of meeting with those like Yates and other “activists” who hold cop killers as icons for their movement further goes to show how Obama’s belief in Black Liberation theology, primarily that retaliation and violence should be used to further their cause, has never left him. Why else would Obama have met with these “activists” unless he was sympathetic to their plight? Since this meeting, though, what cannot be dismissed is the fact that violence in the form of targeted assassinations of both white people and police officers have drastically increased.
And it will only get worse the longer we continue to allow Obama’s Department of Justice to remain idly complicit.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.