The Philadelphia chapter of Black Lives Matter has stated that their future meetings and rallies will be Black only. The organization claims that they are tired of white people invading their “Black Space”, and that from now only black supporters will be allowed to attend rallies.
BLM Philly defended this action recently, stating that they are “unapologetically black” and that they have every right to pick-and-choose who can and can’t participate on the basis of race. They have stated that:
1. Not being able to attend a rally doesn’t affect your ability to support a movement,
2. Blacks deserve their own space.
3. Since religious groups are allowed to discriminate who participates in certain events based upon that person’s faith, Black Lives Matter can do the same with race.
This obviously led to severe backlash. Here is how the chapter responded:
“Supporting the goals of Black liberation does not mean that you get to attend our sacred meeting places because of being self-diagnosed as “good natured.” That good nature, the willingness to fight for ALL Black lives, should be more than just a hashtag in your profile. It should be a lifestyle, a way of being. Demanding access to spaces where Black people have stated that, for the health and safety of their members, they do not want you in that space, but encourage and invite you to join other spaces, isn’t being good natured. It’s upholding the idea that Black people cannot do for themselves, must be constantly monitored, and that everyone should have access to our spaces and bodies. In other words, demanding access to Black spaces means still believing that we are property of the state and exist to serve and uphold the needs of others.”
I would love for someone to explain to me how whites being able to participate in a political protest regarding racial equality belittles African Americans. Apparently showing up proves that you don’t think black people can do it for themselves and you’re simply showing up to “monitor” their spaces and bodies.
The only semi-rational justification provided for this action is in reference to a double-standard regarding the fact that religious organizations may prevent non-members from attending certain events. This is quite a flawed comparison considering the fact that 1. These events generally do not have political implications, and remain “This religion only” for ceremonial purposes, and 2.You may choose your religion, but not your race.
This action depicts exactly what is wrong with the BLM movement as a whole. “Black Spaces”? We used to have those until MLK led the charge against discrimination, and now this movement is attempting to unravel decades of progress.
No matter how the movement spins it, this is pure, unadulterated racism. Actions like this one is why BLM is rarely taken seriously and the issues which contribute to the racial divide continue to go unaddressed. If we as a nation truly want to achieve racial equality, we must stop taking backwards steps such as this one. More from their page below:
This post claims that they did not “ban white people”, yet white people are not allowed to attend.
Overall, this an extremely scary time for our nation. The fact that BLM is now condoning systematic racism goes to show their true colors and that they are not an equality movement, but rather a supremacy movement.
And let us not forget that we used to have “Black Spaces” in the form of segregation, a terrible division which MLK fought to eliminate, and which BLM now seeks to reintroduce. It’s become very clear that this movement, despite good intent, is in fact unraveling decades of progress.
-Contributed by J.M.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed within the article are solely those of the author.