I upset some people last issue by saying “Black Lives Matter.” I want to address three common objections.
1. I’ve never endorsed the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and I reject any of its beliefs that contradict Catholic teaching. The organization simply does not have a monopoly on the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”
2. It’s good to believe all lives matter. It’s bad to use the slogan “All Lives Matter” as a rebuttal to “Black Lives Matter” and a refusal to confront the (yes, systemic and institutional) injustices that have prompted that cry — including centuries of chattel slavery, Jim Crow laws, redlining, a racialized war on drugs and mass incarceration.
3. If one’s response to “Black Lives Matter” is, “What about Black-on-Black crime? What about absentee fathers? What about abortion rates?” — what is the implication? One set of problems does not exempt us from caring about another.
To be clear, I accuse myself. To a shameful degree, I am guilty of complacent indifference to injustice.
Jesus calls all of us to more.
Northwest Catholic - September 2020
Kevin Birnbaum is the editor/associate publisher of Northwest Catholic and a member of Seattle’s Blessed Sacrament Parish. Contact him at Kevin.Birnbaum@seattlearch.org.
Kevin Birnbaum es el editor de la revista Noroeste Católico/Northwest Catholic y miembro de la Parroquia del Sagrado Sacramento en Seattle. Pueden contactarle en: Kevin.Birnbaum@seattlearch.org.
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