Dishonest rhetoric is a major problem in American politics. One example of that problem is the use of misleading terms that make policy proposals or political movements sound nicer and less threatening than they really are. In the 21st century United States, “reproductive health” means abortion, “gaming” means gambling, “sex work” means prostitution, “trans equality” means letting men enter female-only space, and “marriage equality” means the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couplings.
Unfortunately, the phrase “Black Lives Matter”—along with the social movement that accompanies that phrase—is an example of dishonest rhetoric in American politics and society. On its face, the phrase sounds perfectly reasonable. Do the lives of black Americans matter? Of course they do. If the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) were a peaceful movement that advocated equal rights for African-American people and worked to end prejudice, discrimination, and police brutality, it would likely receive overwhelming support from Christians of all colors and ethnicities. All Christians should speak out against racism and other forms of injustice whenever we see them. However, a recent story out of Buffalo casts the Black Lives Matter movement in a very different light.
As Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” recently reported, Buffalo’s public elementary schools are using Black Lives Matter curricula that “encourage [students] to question the importance of the nuclear family.” According to Fox News, lesson plans out of Buffalo “instruct teachers to discuss various ‘guiding principles’ with students including ‘Black Villages,’ which they describe as ‘the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics and a return to the “collective village” that takes care of each other.’” Teachers are “reportedly encouraged to promote activism” and to discuss NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who is known for kneeling during the national anthem. Fox adds that the office responsible for the curriculum “released a statement in June defending recent riots, which they characterized as a ‘mass public outcry to address [painful] and traumatic killings.’”
At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we urge parents to be vigilant about the information being presented to their children in the classroom. In a nation where 40% of children are born to out-of-wedlock parents, we cannot encourage the false belief that the nuclear family is dispensable. And nothing about that false belief does anything to promote or protect black lives.