Do you remember that scene from The Princess Bride, in which Inigo Montoya questions Vizzini’s continued use of the word “inconceivable”? It simply cannot be the case that Vizzini continually finds himself in inconceivable situations. Therefore, Inigo states, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
When the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was developed in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, many within the white community responded with “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter.” Of course, this is the continued response by many.
But the problem, dear white community, is that you keep responding this way but I do not think you know what the phrase means. The visceral and bewildered response from many white communities to Black Lives Matter proves that they genuinely do not understand the underlying message. Namely, black people deserve equity and justice but are receiving unequal treatment and oppression from the police, criminal justice system, economic system, healthcare, and on and on.
Instead of listening to the cry of the black community, far too many white folks have turned continued injustice into something about themselves. They have ignored the message of Black Lives Matter as some sort of personal attack against whiteness, which it isn’t.
“When we frame racism in this way, it allows for whites to absolve themselves of the subtle and less obvious ways through which they are responsible for perpetuating racist harm,” said Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby on the CBF Podcast.
We sat down with the president of Simmons College and the senior pastor of St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy