On Friday, a coalition of African American pastors criticized Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris for celebrating the Black Lives Matter organization as “the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system.”
Harris commended BLM’s three co-founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi for “their brilliance” in conceiving the movement.
“History is going to show it was an inflection point in the ongoing fight for justice and to reform the criminal justice system,” she said.
“I actually believe, as a former prosecutor, that Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system because it has been a counterforce to the force within the system that is so grounded in status quo, in its own traditions, many of which have been harmful and have been discriminatory in the way that they have been enforced."
The California Senator also defended the Black Lives Matter protests as “an essential component of evolution in our country.”
“Nothing that we have achieved that has been about progress, in particular around civil rights, has come without a fight, and so I always am going to interpret these protests as an essential component of evolution in our country — as an essential component or mark of a real democracy,” Harris told Rye. “The people’s voices must be heard.”
In response to Harris’ remarks, Bishop Aubrey Shines, co-founder of Conservative Clergy of Color, told The Christian Post that “it’s extremely disheartening to see a U.S. Senator and a candidate for vice president give such high praise to a group that is trying to destroy our country.”
"Does Sen. Harris not watch the news? Has she not seen the businesses burning, the livelihoods that have been wrecked by this organization? People are terrified, but we have to praise the organizers because it’s the cool thing to do,” he said.
Shines noted how BLM has made “no secret about their agenda” in recent times.
“They were loud and proud about their anti-American goals until the violence they’ve instigated started affecting their favorability. The only ‘brilliant’ thing I can see is how quickly BLM’s website operators scrubbed their agenda to be more appealing. This is not a group that needs to be praised,” Shines argued. “More Americans are beginning to see that, and I hope Sen. Harris will too.”
In 2020, Conservative Clergy of Color was formed by Bishop Shines, Rev. M.J. Reid, Pastor Francisco Vega, and Rev. Derek McCoy as they believe that the BLM movement is ultimately about “domination and divisiveness.”
According to the group’s "About Us" page, the ministers stressed that their goal “is to build, not to destroy. Its mission is to enrich the understanding of our history, not to erase it completely because there are parts we don’t like.”
“The leaders of Conservative Clergy of Color accept our history is not perfect, but they also accept that Americans as a people always overcome the bad. This is because America was founded on Providence, and this is why America will always need Providence.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.